Delight in the Sabbath, Because You Delight in Jesus
You see, you delight in the day, because you delight in spending time, a full 24 hours, focused on Jesus. It’s like delighting in a weekly date night, because you delight in spending time with the special someone you love. This is what the prophet Isaiah is getting at in Isaiah 58:13-14…
I want you to really listen in to what is coming from the heart of Yahweh, the LORD, in these verses. Rather than treat this weekly date day with Him, who loves you and wants to be with you, like any other day, doing your own thing and forgetting about your relationship with Him, He says…
“…call the Sabbath a delight…” God actually wants you to look forward to, delight in, enjoy, celebrate and long for, the weekly Sabbath experience. If you are not finding delight in the Sabbath experience, then you are doing it wrong! The fact that the day is holy by no means translates to being boring. God forbid! Biblical holy reverence embraces both silent awe and joyful celebration; even with shouting and dancing unto the LORD! It’s important to find meaningful ways to enter this experience with delight, because you delight in Jesus. We’ll talk more about this in a moment.
“…honor Him…” Whatever you do to delight in Jesus and the Sabbath, should honor Him. It should focus on, uplift or reveal God’s character of love revealed in Jesus.
“…you shall delight yourself in the Lord…” You delight in the Sabbath because you delight in time with Jesus. Quite simply the Sabbath was designed to take your relationship with Jesus and others to a whole new level!
“…I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth…” This is poetic language God is using to say that He will bless you abundantly for keeping and delighting in the Sabbath. It is literally a promise available to you in Christ!
So what are some practical ways that we can delight in the Sabbath experience? In light of all that we just covered, I will offer you some suggestions, while avoiding the pit fall of this being an arbitrary list of rules.
Before the sun sets on Friday evening, start to focus your mind on Jesus, His love and grace for you. Literally take a slow deep breathe and cease from any frenzied rush.
Set the Mood
Create an atmosphere of peace, rest and joy by playing Christian music that captures this mood. Light some candles (real or fake). Search on YouTube for beautiful nature scenes on loop or a fireplace on loop and play it on a screen. Spray a fragrant scent in the air for some aroma therapy.
Turn off devices or significantly limit its use. Avoid social media or the news. This will free you mentally and spiritual from distraction and drama.
Eat Really Good Food
The best meals should be reserved for the Sabbath. This is a common practice of the Jews to this day. Some of their families will even reserve eating candy for the Sabbath only so their children will grow up associating the Sabbath with being sweet. Gather the family and friends around a really good meal, pray and enjoy good conversation over a meal.
Begin on Friday evenings as a family or in a small group of friends, with singing, prayer, thankful testimonies, brief reading and discussion about scripture. On Sabbath (Saturday) morning, practice the custom of Jesus in Luke 4:16 and gather with others for a corporate worship service. Just before the sun sets on Sabbath evening commemorate ending the experience and welcoming in a new week by repeating the same suggestions giving for Friday evening.
Go Outdoors in Nature
Jesus often went outdoors in nature to enjoy its beauty, celebrate creation and be closer with the Father. Try this, especially with children, in good weather.
Read, Mediate & Journal through Scripture
Especially in nature, get alone with God and find some quiet time with Him. Read Scripture and mediate on what you read in stillness. Then listen for God’s voice as He applies the Scripture to your life and journal what He says to you personally.
Jesus did most of His ministry, especially of healing, on the Sabbath. Find ways that you can serve other people, meeting their needs, thus revealing the love of Jesus.
The Sabbath is a day for relationships and relationships need time. Spend time with your spouse, children, a friend asking them questions, listening to their heart, empathizing with them, encouraging them and affirming them.
Though we shouldn’t sleep away this special day and miss all of its blessings in other activities, some people have such busy work weeks and are so physically drained, that a little extra sleep or afternoon nap may be the most spiritual thing they do!
Watch Christians Films or Bible Movies
Be creative, get out the popcorn and put on a Bible story or Christian based film with some friends and/or family and enjoy!
What are some ways you can make the Sabbath a delight? Take some time to think about it, write it down and talk about it with a friend. Then by all means, do it and enjoy entering His rest!
Follower of Jesus, Husband, Father, Pastor, Author.