“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.” Matthew 11:28-29
Ah yes, the promise of rest. The Message version of Matthew 11:28-30 reads: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” After a trying day or a trying week, or even a year that tested your strength, who would not say yes to rest? A time to recover be refreshed, be replenished and be restored. We, however, must understand how to attain this rest.
First, Jesus asks a series of questions: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?” And the Body of Christ answers: Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes, we are tired of trying to figure it out. Yes, we are worn out trying to make it happen on our own. Yes we are burned out on repetitive powerless words. The solution – the answer to our frustration and weariness – Jesus says, “Come to Me.” Please note that Jesus did not say, go to your BFF or call the psychic hotline. He did not even say go to your Pastor or the Prophet. He said, “Come to Me.”
To obtain this blessed rest, it is important to pay attention and follow Jesus’ instructions. Jesus repeatedly says, “Come to me. Get away with me. Keep company with me.” If we want His rest and if we want Him to restore and refresh us, then we must come to Him; we must spend time with Him. Spending time with Him is not coming to Him in prayer with our wish list. Spending time with Him is being in His presence with nothing on our agenda other than to hear from Him, or even if He does not speak, being content to be in His presence. We gain access to His presence by carrying out Psalm 100:4, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.”
Psalm 16:11 reads, “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.” (AMP). It is in His presence that we find rest for our souls. It is in His presence that we find joy, and it is in His presence that He shows us the path we are to take. Jesus said, “Walk with me. Work with me. Watch how I do it.” It is in His presence that we receive instruction and direction so that we are not tempted to do things our way, which causes us frustration and disappointment. Jesus said, “Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” The more we come to Him, the more He teaches us and the more we learn about Him. The more we learn about Him, the more we trust Him. The more we trust Him, the more we rest in Him.
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3