Come to Me…and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
Things look different from here. I’m not exactly sure when He led me into this new place called rest, it was so gradual. It’s a little uncomfortable and I often find myself frustrated at the stillness. There’s a strange emptiness I hadn’t been able to put my finger on until just recently.
Matthew 11:28 in the Amplified Bible says the purpose of this rest is to “refresh your soul with salvation”. When was the last time you felt inexpressible joy for your salvation? When was the last time you really rested in the fact He is your loving Father, your ever present help, your guide, your everything-you-need God?
There’s no chaos in His presence – no fear, no worry – only peaceful soul rest.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened by religious rituals that provide no peace…” (AMP)
How many things do we “do” in His name that provide no peace? How much pressure do we place on ourselves to perform in order to feel right with Him: Did we spend enough time in prayer today? Have we been reading our bibles regularly? Have we been serving our church, family, community enough? These things should help us learn about and desire to enter into this rest – but is the rest still there for us if we feel we don’t “measure up”?
In this rest He’s had me consider my actions with the simplicity of asking Him “Is this what you want me to do?” Many days He’s just invited me to enjoy Him, to rest in His presence with no performance of any kind. He’s shown me that even though I say I believe He’s made me perfectly right with Him, at the root of much of my performance is the attempt to make myself good enough, to check something I think I “ought” to do off the list so He will approve of me more.
We think that rest will come once we’ve done all the things we’re supposed to do or when He finally answers our long offered prayers. But that’s backwards. Rest was supposed to be the starting point rather than the end result of our performance and our prayers.
The emptiness I’m experiencing is the absence of self-effort. I’m not striving to make things happen. I’m not feeling the weight and unrealistic responsibility of outcomes unknown. I’m not allowing emotions to drive the bus (which usually takes the wrong route). I’m trusting Him. With all of it.
This rest begins by recognizing that our righteousness has nothing to do with our performance and everything to do with entering into what He’s already done. It is finished. He knew this world’s troubles would get the best of us so He made a way for us to rest with Him in uninterrupted communion. This rest, His rest, is waiting for us in His presence. It changes our perspective. Everything looks different from a place of rest.
I actually composed this blog at the end of January but just didn’t feel it was right or ready for publication. But now is a good time to be reminded how very much we need His rest. I hope you press in to find it.
“From a place of rest” was written by Kay Stinnett and was first published on http://www.ourpassionatepurpose.com