Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, 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 comfortable,
and My burden is light.”
ENTERING gOD'S REST IN UNPRECEDENTED TIMES
There are many things we are all seeking these days, but I would take a guess that rest for our weary souls is probably at the top of that list. We are no doubt living in some uncertain and unprecedented times, where we can on any given day find ourselves panicked and afraid. The facts are clear- it has been a scary 18 months. Covid has been scary, economically things are shaky and governmentally things are uncertain. But thankfully we serve a God who is unshakeable and is sovereign regardless of all the chaos. Not only is he God above it all, but he's the God that came close and stayed with us. And we are daily invited to come to him and find the rest our hearts, minds and bodies need.
Lately the Holy Spirit continues to impress on me the need to rest. In a time when bad news and uncertainty looms around every corner, we need God's supernatural rest, more and more and more. Peoples anxiety and stress are at all times highs and they need hope. There is no greater hope or salvation in any other name than the name of Jesus. His name means-salvation.
Discerning the times has never been more important for us as Christ followers. We understand that our futures are determined by the choices we make every day, but choices aren't as easy in uncertain times. You can second guess yourself on a daily basis when everything around you is being shaken and stirred.
You can binge watch your fav. Netflix one day to find some chill time, but it's certainly not a long term answer. We have to return to the ancient paths to truly find rest for our souls, and this is unfortunately for many, a lost art.
Spending time in nature, contemplating with God in silence, reflection and stillness has been breath for me lately. Sometimes nothing else satisfies me or gives me peace like being outside in my woods, sitting quietly as the creation sings me a tune.
With that in mind let us look at a few important scriptures that help us understand faith and rest in God.
At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent, and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well pleasing in Your sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son determines to reveal Him.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, 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 comfortable, and My burden is light.”
In verses 25-27 Jesus is speaking to His Father, regarding the faithful childlike believers among him. A faithful remnant is a reoccurring theme in scripture. Although most had rejected God's gracious covenant gift, a few faithful still remained, who demonstrated characteristics of humble kingdom servants.
A huge aspect of rest requires us looking to God with child like faith. Have you ever stopped and just looked at infants? Their faces are so innocent and have not yet been jaded by this world. They have looks of awe and wonder and are so free from the trappings of this world.
We too must become like little infants. We are God's children. We can't depend on or look to our knowledge, intelligence and worldly wisdom- it gets us nowhere with God. He wants us to come to him with the same wonder as an infant-free from worry, doubt and fear, looking to him for all things.
COME TO GOD AS A CHILD
In the preceding verses of 7-24 Jesus' righteous indignation towards an unbelieving generation had reached it's peak.
He was now praising his sovereign Father in prayer, for his wisdom and his grace—wisdom in his discretion regarding who should receive revelation of the truth and who should not, and grace toward those who received the revelation.
It is implied and clearly stated here that no person on his own has the ability to know or understand the supernatural realities that only God can reveal. We must always endeavor to have a child like quality with God. God hides the truth from a prideful heart, but gives "ears to hear" to the humble and those of childlike faith.
In the Scriptures we see how the Jewish people struggled under a heavy load of religious expectations and legalities that were laid on them by their false religious leaders. He was telling them to come and take on the ease of a light burden of obedience under a new a living covenant, that he would seal with his own blood.
Where do you need to unburden and unyoke yourself today? What load have you been carrying that you need to drop at the foot of the cross and join the light yoke of Jesus? Jesus is saying the same to you today as he did to them. Come to Me, and I will give you the covenant reward of deep and abiding rest for your weary and burdened soul.
I don't know your story but mine was one of works-oriented, self-serving Pharisaism, where I never found rest for my soul. I could never do enough to find peace and rest. It was such a heavy load to bear, and it was not a yoke from Jesus, but from man. Man-made religion.
We were designed to carry the burden of the Lord, and walk the ancients paths of rest as Jeremiah 6:16 reminds us.
This is what the Lord says:
“Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths,
Where the good way is, and walk in it;
Then you will find a resting place for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
Notice Jesus didn't say come to my teaching? Or come to my miracles- both which are good, but isn't where we find peace and rest.
This blessing in Jeremiah connects us to this covenant blessing that Jesus is still offering today. You can find rest for your weary soul as you come to Jesus and place your trust in him.
We undervalue and underestimate the ancient paths of rest, found in the renewal-of prayer, solitude and silence. In this fast pace world where we think it's wasting our time-just being with God-we've truly lost our humanness.
As we return to the breath he gave us, and to the scriptures' he gave us, and mostly to the Son he gave us, we can remember what it truly means to rest as human beings. We must learn "to be" in Him and with Him.
We must learn how to live in community again, as human ones, like him, in all of our beautiful diversity; and find ways to love, even when we ardently disagree. We must lay down our swords and pick up our crosses again so we can truly understand what it means to be human and a part of this race-we call mankind. I believe as we take steps towards this truth, we will begin to understand at least in part, new creation.
THE CHALLENGE BEFORE US ALL
UNCERTAINTY AND CHANGE!
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own estimation; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. This will bring healing to your body, and refreshment to your inner self" Proverbs 3:5-8
This is such an important scripture to fix our attention on this year. As unrest and change continues in our world, causing fear and anxiety in many hearts, we must fix our eyes on Jesus to find true rest each day.
One of the things we know according to scripture is that we all see in part, so what is God showing you? Speaking to you? Revealing to you? This is in part how prophetic function works. We were designed to live within the prophetic community, where we help each other see more clearly. Somewhere along the way, we as humans got sidetracked into thinking we don't need each other. We were deceived into believing that we could exist alone and isolated from others. That's a lie.
In the days ahead we will need the security of God's Word hidden in our heart, or our hearts will fail. We must learn to live in community again, we must learn to stay steadfast in prayer, we must learn what it means to truly rest in God; and we must learn what it mean to pick up our cross and follow wherever Jesus is going in our world.
God is for us, not against us, but we must allow him to re-order us however he sees fit-after-all he is God and knows what we need. It is time to allow God to shake off of us and out of us every sin, weight, and hindrance standing in the way of his purpose and his divine order. He is present in our world desiring to bring us back to himself, from every way we have wandered, so we can go forth as his human ones.
1 John 4:18-19 AMPC- "There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection]. We love Him, because He first loved us."
Do not be afraid. Take time daily to rest in God and allow God to renew you- body and soul.
Make it a priority to meet with the community of faith
Pray for the leaders in your community, state and especially nationally. This is a time to pray beloved.
Lastly we must Eat the Book- the Scriptures will sustain us as we look to him and rest in him
spirit-filled LIFE COACHING
My name is Dana Wade, and I am a Professional Life and Relationship Coach-but I am also a pastor, who loves to train and equip future Christian leaders.
Whether you need help navigating a difficult personal season, having relationship problems, or you want to be better equipped as a servant leader for Jesus- I am here to help you.
Be sure to check out my latest blog posts HERE.
Life & Relationship
I look forward to helping you discover the ancient paths of solitude, silence and prayer. These paths lead us to understanding more faithfully who Jesus is, where he's going and what he's up to in the earth. "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls." Jeremiah 6:16