I want to suggest in this post that we all need to learn how to experience rest. If all we needed was physical rest we can always take a nap. If we needed only emotional rest, we could just take a vacation. But where can we find spiritual rest? How can we obtain relief regarding the deepest issues of life at the deepest level of our heart? In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus gives us three commands that lead to rest, real rest, peace and contentment that surpasses all understanding.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).
Jesus regularly invited people to come to Him to meet their needs. It doesn’t matter how messy our lives are He simply says “come”. If we are hungry, if we are thirsty, if we want eternal life, we can come to Him. I am not talking about physical needs. I am talking about spiritual needs. When those needs are met we will experience peace and contentment that truly does surpass all of our understanding. Peace is not the absence of conflict, it is rest in the midst of conflict.
“Take My yoke” (Matt. 11:29).
Most of us understand a yoke to be a type of harness that connects a pair of oxen. But it can also mean submission to a teacher. The word yoke is used six times in the New Testament and there are two dominant figurative ideas. First, the yoke of rules and religion. I want to suggest that religion is man’s yoke. Second, the yoke of relationship. That is the yoke of Jesus. Jesus said that His yoke is easy. That means the it is well fitted. It is not about rules and religion. It is about a personal relationship with God through the finished work of Jesus that we can find true rest.
We experience rest when we first come to Jesus, second take His yoke, and thirdly, we learn from Him. Are you open to learn? It is in the place of coming to Him and taking His yoke that learning begins. It is the gentleness of Christ that draws us to Him with our cares and concerns. The hurting, the lost, and the weary were drawn to Jesus because He cared for them and met their needs. When you find His rest you discover that there is no need to fear what Jesus might do in your life. It is simple really, the more we learn about Him, the more we find rest in Him. If you are in a place where the things of life have left you tired and spent, I want to encourage you move toward Jesus, come as you are and lay that burden at His feet. May the Lord keep you and bless you and make His face to shine upon you.