Rest. The word itself sounds peaceful, doesn’t it?
When I think of rest, I imagine myself sitting in a chair on the beach as the waves lap my feet and the sun warms my face.
Or I think of sitting in front of a crackling fire on a cold winter’s evening, reading a good book.
Those are images of rest that equate to a restful mind, a spirit at rest. An exhale from life. A pause. After all isn’t that what rest is? A pause?
Our verses for this week are all about rest. True rest. Not beaches and books.
The kind of rest that requires action.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
(Matthew 11:28-29 NLT)
- Rest is not a ceasing of activity as some may think.
- Rest is not an illusion.
- Rest is not unattainable for the working woman whose “work” never ends, but simply switches locations.
[Tweet “Rest is a promise. “]
In fact, in the verses above, Jesus promises rest twice.
But that promised rest requires action on our part. Here are the three keys to grabbing hold of the promise of rest.
First Jesus bids us to come to Him. There is no rest this world can offer that compare to the rest found in Jesus. He said to His disciples that the peace He gives is not like the world’s peace.
In order to have that long-sought after rest, we must first come to Jesus, believing that he is who He said He was-the Savior of the world. A relationship with God through Jesus, is rest from the punishment and penalty of sin; rest in the knowledge of a secure home of heaven.
Second, Jesus asks us to take His yoke upon us. This is a call to partner with Jesus. A yoke was designed to harness the energy and power of two oxen to form one formidable team. Jesus want to partner with us in this life. He longs to come alongside of you and walk beside you through thick and thin. That can’t happen if we don’t stay next to Him. He wants us to be yoked to Him so He can lead us step by step.
The other aspect of the yoke is to submit to the leading of the One holding the reigns. As God has directed Jesus, He is directing you as well. But an ox that fights the yoke will go nowhere. The ox must submit to the yoke and the direction of the One who leads him.
The more I learn about the power and perfection of Jesus, the more I can rest in knowing that He holds the universe in His hands and I have nothing to fear. I don’t have to work so hard to make things happen, because God is making them happen on my behalf.
I would never be able to rest in those truths (and many more) if I didn’t commit to daily learning from Jesus, letting Him teach me from God’s word.
The more you learn about God, the more you will be able to rest in Him.
Do you long for the kind of rest that Jesus promises? Rest for your soul?
How can you implement these three steps to activate the promise of rest in your life today?