October 13, 2022
Are you continually tired? Worried and bothered about many things? Overwhelmed because you never seem to catch up? Weighed down with thoughts of unfinished tasks or future responsibilities? Are your shoulders sagging, your neck hurting, and your head bent? Do you wake up with joy or with a dull dread for the day? Listen to a blessed invitation.
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
The rest Jesus promised seems eternally elusive. It feels completely unattainable. But notice the pathway to this rest. Our part is found in the verbs.
"COME unto Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden." (Vs. 28)
It is our responsibility to come. We are not to come to a program or a human plan. We are to come to Jesus. Nowhere else and no one else can accomplish this. Few people come. Many come to the idea of Jesus or thoughts about Jesus, but not to Him in personal experience.
“To most people God is an inference, not a reality. He is a deduction from evidence which they consider adequate; but He remains personally unknown to the individual.” (A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God)
Tozer goes on to say that God is a personality. He made us in His image and is One who can be known. If we are to find rest, we must find Him. We must go to any lengths to encounter Him, and we will find that God was waiting all along.
“TAKE my yoke upon you and LEARN from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart.” (Vs. 29)
He does not tell us to devise a new human system to get rest or to ask Jesus to join us in our yoke (the double yoke of oxen is referred to here). We are to humbly, submissively join Him. To take His yoke upon us. To discover where He is going and embrace His leadership.
And then we are to learn from Him. We are to listen to Him and fully cooperate with His movements. He is the lead in this. If He turns to the right or left, we are to simply follow. When we do, all pressure, all stress, all decision-making is relegated to His side of the yoke. There is no burden we carry, no angst about where to go and what to do. We move in lock-step with the Great Leader.
“And I will give you rest … and you will find rest for your souls for My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” (Vs. 28-29)
Notice that rest is a gift given. It's not achieved through our striving. Jesus is the Rest-Giver, the Soul-Refresher, the Weight-Carrier. He is completely adequate to carry any burden that besets you or solve any problem you face. You need not worry about all the “what if’s” of the direction, for He will lead you in all the right paths for His Name’s sake. His shoulders are strong, His hand is not short that it cannot save, and underneath you are the everlasting arms. He never lets go, and nothing can separate you from His love. He does not sleep nor slumber and gives to His beloved even in their sleep.
Your one essential task is to lay aside everything and come to Jesus. You must remain in the yoke, listening, following, and learning of Him. When a problem or decision arrives, resist the temptation to leave the yoke. Do not lay it aside, thinking you must handle the next issue. Jesus knew a million years ago the problems of this day and the next. He sees the next bump in the road and has every provision in place. Your task is to abide, to remain in the stable and fixed position beneath His yoke, in large moments and small, trusting Him to lead.
The test of a man's religious life and character is not what he does in the exceptional moments of life, but what he does in the ordinary times, when there is nothing tremendous or exciting on. The worth of a man is revealed in his attitude to ordinary things when he is not before the footlights. It is a painful business to get into the stride of God ... in learning to walk with God there is always the difficulty of getting into His stride; but when we have got into it, the only characteristic that manifests itself is the life of God. The individual man is lost sight of in his personal union with God, and the stride and the power of God alone are manifested. (Oswald Chambers)
Life now becomes a blessed adventure of walking with the all-sufficient One. You can even talk with Him along the way without ceasing (this is called “prayer”) and listen to Him through His Word. If you will remain in the right position, He promises rest as a blessed gift in this life and an eternal reward in the next.
Lord Jesus, let me join You this morning. Reveal Yourself to Me. Let me come to You. I gladly take your yoke upon myself. I long today to simply listen and learn from You, following Your prompting and leadership every moment. I cast all my burdens upon You because You care for me. Thank You that You never planned for me to live any other way, my great Rest-Giver!
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