Finding Balance Through Sabbath

“I find resting is a choice—one you must pursue and fight for. The enemy will do all he can distract you. But take it too far, and you’ve crossed the line into the world of the Pharisees.”

“Thinking that I don’t need it and continue to run on, even though I am on empty. Then, I raise my hand and wonder, ‘Why me, God? Haven’t I been faithful?’ ”

These were a couple of comments participants made when asked about struggles with keeping a Sabbath rest, the topic we shared about with leaders at the Christian Leadership Alliance conference in Dallas in April—part of a bigger two-day course on “A Leader’s Heart,” which we co-led with fellow Navigators Doug Nuenke and Peggy Reynoso.

As we looked around the room, it was obvious to us that we were not the only leaders who struggle and fight to be obedient to God in this arena. Yet when we do, we benefit from the blessings of living in His limits and freedom for us.

“The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people,” Jesus said, “and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27 NLT). God knows how He made us—with limits. We (we put that in bold because we know this applies to us, also!) need to embrace this. Living in our God-given limits allows us to:

  • more fully enjoy our love relationship with God
  • live out of who we really are, mask-free
  • find that our lives become so much more attractive to those around us, the people He has given to influence for Him

Observing the Sabbath in a real God-honoring way that’s not legalistic is a weekly course correction, refocusing on the real priorities of life and enjoying the relationships for which He has put us here.

We have so much to learn, experientially, in this arena, and we are hoping you’re on this journey with us. If you are interested in going deeper on the subject, we would highly recommend Peter Scazzero’s The Emotionally Healthy Leader, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day, or any other of the Emotionally Healthy resources.

We encourage you to struggle and fight to be obedient to God in this arena as well—and know that we are cheering you on! May you realize the blessings of living in His limits and experiencing freedom as His children.

Roy and Margaret co-direct Navigator Church Ministries. You may email Roy here and Margaret here.