Warm Up: Exodus 20:9-11, Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Stretching: Genesis 1- Genesis 2:3.
Run: Rest and recovery may be one of the most overlooked aspects of a proper training plan. In the natural, it would seem that working out on that extra day would give you a competitive edge. Those who relieve stress or get their ‘highs’ from working out, find it a nuisance to take a day off from training. It’s like trying to wean your self from an addiction. The body needs time to rest and recover. Certainly part of this is God’s natural intention for his creation. Today’s Stretching is the story of creation and how the entire notion of ‘Sabbath’ came to be. It was a holy day; a day to stop and consider all that had been accomplished. The original language refers to a sense of “joyous delight” in the Sabbath. The whole notion of stopping to ‘reflect and consider’ the great deeds that God has done is throughout God’s interactions with Israel. Certainly the festivals and holy days in the Jewish calendar were established with the idea of pausing to reflect on the goodness of God and his mighty deeds. And there was nothing better than God’s work in creation. At the end of each day God delighted in his work and called it “Good”. He did that every day, a rigorous training regime, until the last day when he noted that his handiwork was ‘Very Good’; so good in fact that God created Sabbath. It wasn’t that God needed to rest; certainly he wasn’t weary from his work. It was more a pause for dramatic emphasis and showed a pattern to be established for all history that reflection and remembrance are important. Did you ever consider that the fourth commandment is a key that links the other nine? Besides being the longest commandment, it is also strategically placed in the list. The first three call us to remember God while the last five call us to remember others. The Sabbath rest keeps us balanced between remembering the things of God and remembering the needs of others. It is as vital for our spiritual man as a day of rest is for our physical man.
Sabbath is holy time; it’s God’s time. It’s eternal time when we remove ourselves from the demands of this world and focus on kairos instead of kronos. It’s our ‘trial run’ for heaven.
Cool Down: “Lord, forgive me when I don’t keep the Sabbath. I have neglected my ‘spirit man’ and grieved your Holy Spirit in me by maintaining the busy-ness of the world thinking I can make up time by neglecting your command. Help me to see that it’s nothing more than running on a treadmill and getting me nowhere in the long run. Impress upon me anew this command and help me to joyously anticipate the restoration you want to do in me in time as I obey your Word. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”