Whenever the topic of keeping the Sabbath, aka Shabbat, on Saturday comes up, many people will say that it’s legalistic. It’s a very controversial thing in the church, and many think that we should be able to choose our Sabbath day, or that Jesus is our Sabbath. However, these things aren’t Biblical, and I have found such rest and joy keeping the Sabbath.
Today I want to share with you a few things I’ve learned from keeping the Sabbath, as well as share some testimonies from some good friends of mine who keep Shabbat. Thanks to them for sharing their answers with me!!
My family started keeping the Sabbath in 2014/2015 or so. For the first few years, I admit, I just kept Shabbat because it’s what we did. However, over time I have started to truly keep Shabbat and spend extra time doing restful things and spending time with God.
Since I’ve started to understand what the Sabbath means for myself and not simply keep it, I’ve begun to look forward to it and truly enjoy it! It has taught me that all of God’s commands are for our good and His glory, and that rest is a beautiful thing. We honor Him by keeping the Sabbath and by obeying His commands, as a son obeys his father and thus honors him. Furthermore, we are also immensely benefited by keeping this day.
God’s ways are so perfect and planned out, and bring true joy! I have found that I don’t have to force myself each week to keep the Sabbath, but rather, it’s something that I want to do and do joyfully. I’ve even made challah bread some weeks to usher in the Sabbath.
I’m not obligated to keep the Sabbath, nor is it my duty. Rather, I do it because I know God gave us the Sabbath for a reason and that it’s an amazing gift.
Now that I’ve shared a bit of what Shabbat has taught me, I’m going to share some testimonies from friends! Thank you all SOOO much for sharing your wisdom and thoughts for my post!
(been keeping the Sabbath for 6 + 1/2 years)
“We’ve learned that remembering the sabbath shows obedience to God, living a life more like His, resting, setting it apart and always tying it back to the Father is really good.
“It all comes back to God saying that we, as His hard working children need rest. He has known what we needed since the beginning of time. Ever since day one, He set that day for us to rest on. Since God knew that we needed rest and since He gave us this rest we have to wonder, what other areas is He taking care of us in? Also, resting in Him and resting in your relationship with Him is where the true peace and joy come from.
“One of the commandments says “remember the sabbath day and keep it holy.” Holy means set apart and that is a different meaning for everyone. One thing that it has taught us is when we take this one day off, it refreshes us to be more productive when that new week comes. God stopped working after six days not because He got tired, but because He knew we would need rest. So, you are obeying God, following His command and being more like God by doing this. You are aligning yourself to Him.
“The whole foundation of the sabbath is: we need rest. But it goes beyond that. Even Erev Shabbat (Friday night) is special. The thanks we have given, showing our appreciation for each other, speaking blessings over each other has brought our family through a lot of hard things.
“We are thankful for Saturday’s where we are all together as a family. We try to set this day apart by not working, cooking, cleaning and keeping it different from the other days. We want to live in obedience. We don’t have to do this but we get to do this. It brings rest and refreshment.
“We have learned to follow the Father in deeper ways by doing this. He wants to give us good gifts and we believe this is one of the gifts He has given us/invited us to partake in. It’s a beautiful and refreshing thing and we have loved walking on this path. We have learned more about God, love, and joy through keeping the sabbath.”
(been keeping the Sabbath since around March of 2017)
“In keeping the Sabbath, there are many spiritual lessons to be learned. One of the most frequent I encounter is that of trust. In our work oriented world where we hardly slow down to “smell the roses,” doing no work for small chunks of time (much more 24 hours) can seem pointless and even foolish; especially when we have deadlines fast approaching. We might have something we feel can’t wait or else, “how is it going to get done?!”
“Meanwhile God is calling us to take a leap of faith and know that He’s got it in His hands. Perhaps it’s Friday and you have a test on Monday that you’ve hardly studied for and you just know you’re going to have to study all weekend to learn what you need. Well, Sabbath rolls around Friday evening and you realize that if you’re going to honor God’s instructions for this day that you’re not going to be studying until Saturday evening or even Sunday. That can be hard.
“But what it does is that it teaches us to trust God that He’ll provide enough manna. And maybe you get the highest score in your class. How’d that happen? Well, in the natural it can be explained something like this: since you decided to rest, your brain was not on overload from constant work, but rather more ready to learn what you needed; both faster and more efficiently. Therefore, you attain the highest score. In the supernatural it can explained in this way: God honors those who honor Him. (1 Samuel 2:30) Seriously though, God said there are “blessings and curses” (Deuteronomy 11:26-29; 28; 30:19) that come with His commands. Blessings when we obey and curses when we rebel.
“In conclusion: Yes, the Sabbath does require trust if you’re going to keep it, but the rewards reaped in that trust are so amazing and the fruit it produces displays so much growth spiritually that it is totally worth it. I have experienced it firsthand!”
(been keeping the Sabbath for about a year)
The Biblical Sabbath has for years quickly been labeled as “bondage” by many, but I have found quite the opposite to be true: it’s a huge blessing! Instead of trying to rest my way on my schedule when it’s convenient for me, I have made the choice to intentionally rest and set apart the time that our Creator Himself has called set apart, the time that He’s resting. And in making that choice, I have experienced only joy and greater intimacy in my relationship with Him.
The Sabbath to me is a just another representation of God’s infinite love for us. First of all, He knows our limits as human beings and so He, in His all-knowing wisdom, gave us a day to rest.
Second of all, He gave us a whole day to spend time with Him…the Lover of our soul! I try to remember it as a “date” with Jesus. I anticipate that time with Him each week and I know He’s anticipating that time with me, too. Can you believe it?! What an awesome God. It’s like having a weekly party.
(been keeping the Sabbath for 12 years)
“Since I was 7 my family has been keeping Shabbat. As the years have gone on, Abba has shown us more and more and deepened our knowledge and love for keeping this beloved, but often forgotten, 4th commandment. Now that I am nearing 19, I can’t imagine living without it. Yeah, when I was younger I didn’t take it seriously, but He has increased my understanding of the importance of keeping His Day kadosh, or set-apart.
“First off, Shabbat is a sign. When you biblically keep His Sabbath day, it is showing your dedication to Him… “if you love me you will keep My commandments..” (see John 14:15) This also proves that you are His because you are putting aside the will of your own flesh to obey. Just like a child does to a beloved Father.
More recently, I have realized what a breath of fresh air it is. I began a job working at a juice bar a few weeks ago, and after all the work and hustle, it’s so refreshing to have a day to rest and enjoy the day with like-minded believers. Not only is keeping Shabbat something we need to do because He told us to, but it’s something we are blessed with. A day where we can relax, spend time in His presence, grow in Him, and be refreshed from the work week. Shabbat is a blessing. A gift. And the more we cherish this gift, the more we are able to know Him.”
I hope this post has been an encouragement to you! The Sabbath is such a wonderful gift from the Father, and I pray you wouldn’t just take our word for it, but study out the Word of God yourself.
To read my post on why I keep the Sabbath on Saturday, click here.
- Do you keep the Sabbath, and if so, on what day?
- Have you heard about or studied keeping Shabbat?
- Which one of the testimonies in this post stood out to you, and why?