Hebrews 3 and 4 talk about a ‘Sabbath rest’ available to God’s people. The principle of the Sabbath is that of rest. God gave the Sabbath to His people as a special day; after six days of work, He commanded rest, leading by example in the creation week (Genesis 2:2 TNIV). In our Western world with its shifting patterns of work, it’s not easy to really understand the specialness of the Sabbath; many of us don’t work for 6 days anymore and we have lost the sense of anything ‘special’ about one day. But the principle of special rest, rest in which we can thank God and meditate on Him, is still vital to our physical and spiritual health.

Hebrews 4:10 TNIV says ‘anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did.’ I don’t think that just applies to our natural work. I think we are always busy striving, and the Sabbath rest Hebrews talks about is also an exhortation to rest from the constant temptation we face to ‘play God’, to do God’s work for Him. Louie Giglio has said, ‘We Are Called Into God’s “Already In Motion” Plans. Sabbath rest is remembering that God calls us into His plans, He doesn’t call us to create the plans and make them happen.’ He goes on to say, ‘God wants us to work with all our might as we participate in His plans. But Sabbath is about remembering that while we are responsible to step into the opportunities God sets before us, He is responsible for the outcomes. In the end, God did come through [for Abrahamn], and He did fulfil His promise for and through Abraham’s life.’

I always want to be involved in what God is doing. But there are many times when I need to rest from striving and allow God to be God. I need to stand back and watch Him in action, rather than always trying to work things out myself. The temptation to do it my way is strong. Sabbath rest allows us to let go of that temptation and to be still and know that He is God. (Ps 46:10 TNIV)