Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).
The above reference is familiar to believers. There can be the danger of taking certain scriptures for granted without realizing their relevance and profound meaning for our day. This Biblical passage is a case in point. Think what Jesus is saying here. He is extending an invitation to approach Him, especially if we are burdened with excessive cares and concern. He then goes on to assure us that He is able to provide His people Rest. What does this really mean? How can we appropriate the promise of what the Lord is offering? The following two verses provide further insights.
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light (Matthew 11:29-30).
First, we would do well to take advantage of the Lord’s invitation. It sounds simple enough but why is it such a problem for believers? Many times its due to approaching the Lord on our terms where we present our personalised agendas. The Lord does want us to be open with Him and to share our hearts. There comes a time, however, where we need to lay aside our pre-conceived plans while being willing to hear what He has to say. This is reflected in verse 29 where the Lord says to take on His yoke. What does this mean?
2. Take my Yoke
We are good at making known our burden and needs to God. The Bible instructs us to do that (Philippians 4:6). Have you ever taken the time to ask the Lord what is on His heart? Have you ever meditated on the thought of the Lord’s burdens? Taking on His Yoke means we are willingly allowing God to place His burden upon us. Can you see the difference between the two agendas; man’s as opposed to God’s? The key is to come into that place of alignment where our objectives, desires and concerns reflect that of God’s.
Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).
This is the basis for true Intercessory Prayer. This is how the kingdom of God can be established upon earth as He has decreed it in heaven (Matthew 6:10). The following is a critical key in how we can come into this level of relationship with God.
3. Learn of Me
What does the Lord say about Himself in this context? He mentions that He is meek, gentle, and lowly of heart. This is one of the greatest revelations that the Lord gives of Himself. If we want to learn more about Jesus we need to know the fruit of Meekness. A meek person does not seek to assert his or her rights but rather sees God as being Sovereign over all things. This is contrary to the spirit and culture of our day which places emphasis on the self-life. A meek person is void of pride and self-ambition. This manner of vessel can be used of God to accomplish great things for the kingdom.
4. I will give you Rest
Think of the constant striving and restlessness that characterises the day in which we live. As believers, we often find ourselves working hard in our work or ministries only to find ourselves tired and burned out. Does this sound familiar? The Bible gives the promise of a particular Rest for the people of God (Hebrews 4:9). One would think that the taking on of the Lord’s burden would be even more cumbersome. Nothing could be further from the truth.
This perception may be due to fears or not really knowing who the Lord is and what He is like. This is why we are called to Learn more about Him. Entering into Rest simply means we are flowing and aligning ourselves to be more in line with the purposes of God. Is this not the place you would rather be as opposed to striving and being overwhelmed with fatigue and weariness? God is calling His church to Rest.
This passage of Scripture, though familiar, is profound and relevant for this season. Jesus is constantly calling and reaching out to His people. Do we hear His voice, are we responding to His invitation to Come? Will you let Him share His heart and burden with you, are you willing to learn of His ways? Accept His gracious invitation today and come into that position of Restedness.