Sabbath is our special day with God, therefore Satan does all in his power to distract us from its purpose. We can honor the right day, go to the right church, give our tithe, and even actively participate in the morning service, and still not fulfill the purpose of the Sabbath – spending special time with God.
Not long ago, my family and I were part of a program that was going to be presented during the main service at a church a few towns away. Even though we all woke up tired and groggy, we scurried here and there, trying to get everything ready so we could leave on time. We all made our beds, took showers, ate our breakfast, and watched a Sabbath-school program on TV for our personal devotions. Then we put on our Sabbath clothes, and that is when things started going downhill. My little sister didn’t want to wear the dress that mom had asked her to wear. Grumpily she marched about the house, complaining about every fault that she could find in the dress (or in anything else for that matter). I’m ashamed to say that her bad attitude quickly spread to me. Bluntly, I told my sister what a rude, disrespectful, and ungrateful little girl she was. I couldn’t believe the behavior she was exhibiting. Of course, I didn’t improve her mood at all, but she greatly influenced mine. The grumpy, complaining spirit gradually settled on my family, and by the time we were pulling out of the garage, we had all tangibly realized it. Before we drive anywhere, especially to church, we always say a prayer, and as my mom started to pray, the Holy Spirit started to work on our hearts. Here we were, on our way to present the church service for another congregation, and we were bickering and carrying on as though we didn’t even know Jesus. To top it off, this was the day that we were supposed to be extra close to Jesus.
All of a sudden, my sister’s behavior didn’t matter so much to me. Look at my own behavior! On the day set apart for me and God, I had spent plenty of time worrying about myself and others, but I hadn’t spent time with just me and God. Sure, I had listened to someone else talk about Jesus, but that day, I hadn’t experienced Him personally. The Sabbath is a holy day, made for holy communion between God and me, between God and you. I didn’t receive the blessing of the Sabbath until later that day, because I couldn’t receive the gift without coming in contact with the Giver. The power and blessing of the Sabbath aren’t in its strict observance; they’re in its Maker and our continuing relationship with Him.