Having a day of Sabbath rest does not mean you sit and do nothing. Instead its important to learn what activities are restful for you, as well as what would turn your heart towards resting in God. Maybe choose a few things to practice for a month and then evaluate whether those were restful activities for you.
One practice I decided to try out is having a time of reflection during my day of rest. I have done this most weeks and it has been very encouraging.
During reflection I write down the things that I think God has brought up to me during the week, conversations that stood out, questions people asked, something I learned during Bible study or my personal quiet time with God.
Taking time to reflect as part of my Sabbath rest has been incredibly valuable for my relationship with God and for my growth in becoming more like Christ.
When I stop and reflect I can see clearly that God is moving in my life, and that He is speaking to me! Reflecting and processing these things with God in prayer has been a source of joy and has caused me to be so thankful. Taking some time to reflect each week has helped to me to see how lovingly involved God is in the details of my life.
If you are interested in spending time in reflection each week, here are a few questions to get you started:
What have I seen God doing in my life or in the lives of others around me this week?
What is God saying to me or teaching me about Him through:
- My personal or group Bible study
- a sermon I listened to
- a book or article I read
- my circumstances
- conversations I had this week
- my personal time spent with God
- things that have been pressing on my heart or mind
- something I saw
- an answer to prayer
- things I am thankful for
Pray and invite the Holy Spirit into your reflection time. After you write out the things that come to your mind, take some time to pray or journal and process the things that stood out in your week. Thank God for the things He has been doing or speaking to you about. It can also be helpful to tell a close friend something God has taught you this week. For the following week, pay attention and take notes or journal things that come up in your week that you would like to reflect on later during your time of rest.
Do you already include reflection as a part of your Sabbath? If so, how has it been an encouragement or helped you grow closer to God?
Last week during reflection, I wrote down something encouraging a woman from my Bible study had said to me. It was a simple statement, but as I sat and thought about it, God spoke deeper into the topic our conversation had been about. He opened my eyes to an area in my life (friendships) that I had been feeling sorry for myself about and showed me that I am not embracing fully the life He is giving me now. This led to a time of thankfulness and then to a realization of many good things he has given me. God was turning my eyes away from what I thought I lacked and helping me to see how much I have to be thankful for. This has caused me to be more content in the area of friendships in this season of my life.
I shared this story just as an example of how having the time of reflection gave space for God to speak directly into an area of my heart that needed to change in order for me to be more content and thankful. Stopping to see what God is doing or saying has been like inviting Him over and just sitting and listening to what He has to say.
What is one restful or encouraging practice you would like to try for the next month during your Sabbath? I would love to hear what you plan to try or what has already been a regular part of your day of rest!