Come to me, all you 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 easy, and my burden is light (Matt. 11:28-30).
Many Christians erroneously believe this Scripture pertains only to the unsaved; we do not understand how it fits with our great commission to make disciples of all the nations. After all, the Book of Acts details the young Church turn[ing] the world upside down as they spread the gospel, continuously endangering their lives in doing so (Acts 17:6 ESV) – that doesn’t appear to be resting! And in all his great exploits and sufferings, the Apostle Paul does not appear to be resting in Christ, does he? Yet we know in our spirit that is one with the Lord that he did… How do we reconcile this in our minds?
Recall from the Gospel of Luke that Mary of Bethany sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said while her sister Martha was distracted… worried and upset about many things (10:38-42). Jesus emphasized only one thing is needed: Mary’s position of soul-rest. Note that Jesus did not discount all the preparations that had to be made (emphasis added).
Indeed, much work must be done for God’s Kingdom to come to earth, but it must be entirely of God’s will and empowerment, not ours. “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord Almighty (Zech. 4:6).
The crux of the matter is that God’s purposes are accomplished through us, the members of His Body, only from a position of soul-rest. Understand that this is key! May God enlighten the eyes of our hearts to apprehend such profound truth!
Behold what our Lord modeled for us: By myself I can do nothing… I seek not to please myself but him who sent me (John 5:30); it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work (John 14:10b). Continuously submitting to God’s will, doing nothing of His own human volition, Jesus entered into God’s rest on behalf of all descendants of Adam.
By grace through faith in Christ, our Obedience, we are likewise anointed and empowered to enter into God’s rest. His glory and resurrection power are ever ready to be expressed through our earthen vessels; this occurs to the extent that we let the death of Jesus work in us, individually and corporately (see 2Cor. 4:7, 11).
Which leads us back to our awe-inspiring brother Paul. This is how he accomplished such great exploits: Paul rested his soul in Christ – not only upon his spectacular conversion, but throughout his entire Spirit-empowered life. Not continuously, as Jesus did, but predominantly so. [to be continued…]
Entering into His rest with you, your sister deanna
(originally posted 7-16-2015)