Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
[Matthew 11:28, NIV]
Christ Jesus, in His compassion healed, and also taught the multitudes who flocked to hear from Him, for to His loving and perceptive eyes they were like sheep without a shepherd, harassed and helpless. He was and is the Messiah, to whom the psalmist in confidence prays, Teach me to do Your will; You are my God; May Your good Holy Spirit lead me on level ground. [Psalm 143:10] And this day may this prayer do it’s work of grace in your heart, to be renewed in your mind, restored in your soul, and transformed in your life, to reign and rule in your circumstance, as you are led forward in His will and plan for your life. The key to it lies in the word of God, His counsel that comes to you through it, even as it did to Joshua at the entrance of the promised land. [Joshua 1:7-9] He was called to meditate, confess and be obedient to it in order to prosper and find good success.
For, the calling of God that is connected to your confession, leads to blessing of God that is good. It is a good success, for He is a good God, who has only good things to give you. Therefore, prosperity is having all that one needs to accomplish God’s will for one’s life, while good success comes about by doing God’s will for one’s life. But, there is a response to the call of God that needs to be made, and it is one that becomes your responsibility, for God never forces His will on anybody. It is a choice that you need to make, to His call ‘Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest’. [Matthew 11:28] And it is not a difficult choice to make, when He is giving you a good gift, that you only need to open your hands to receive. When God the Father, gave you His Son, and you made the right choice, you received a Saviour! In the above scenario, the Lord’s call is to give you rest, as you learn from Him.
For His words are, ‘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’. [Matthew 11:29] His call, is one that leads to a blessing of rest in your life, through learning from Him, or being His disciple. It is knowing the truth that transforms you. And in this climate of unexpected and prolonged stress, when the future seems very uncertain in the lives of so many, a call to rest is one that is most welcome, in your heart and mine. But then, why is ‘learning’ a part of the package deal, could be the honest and understandable query that arises within you. For, directly receiving the gift of rest would definitely be the more attractive option!
But there is a purpose in all that God does in your life; and the Lord wants you to learn from Him, that with an understanding of it, you will be able to sustain the rest that He gives you. The value of it is what the psalmist has well understood, to confess with a thankful heart that one day that is spent in the courts, or house of the Lord, is worth a thousand elsewhere. [Psalm 84:10] And it is His attributes of gentleness and humility, that Lord Jesus advocates, as character traits that you need to learn from Him, as you make the right choice, and take up His yoke, for they are qualities that need to mark a person whose inclination is to teach someone, and also to learn from someone. And it is also so wonderful that you serve a God, who when He bids you to make a right choice, also reveals to you what the right choice is! It is what He spoke through His servant Moses to say, ‘I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live’. [Deuteronomy 30:19]
An ’either’, ‘or’ question though, can look very simple, but could be quite confusing and difficult, when you have to choose between the two, and also go on to experience the consequences of it! But it is not so when you depend on the Almighty and Only wise God, who not only shows you what you need to choose in life’s stressful situations, but also empowers and enables you to walk in it, through His Spirit and His Word. It all boils down therefore, to the choice you make, one that is your responsibility. For, stress is something that is a common denominator in every one’s life, young and old, in varying degrees, and especially so in the recent past, when a virus has brought unexpected misery and fear in the lives of people all over the world. But the manner in which it works in a person can be quite different.
And as you come to the Abba Father, in prayer, may your heart’s plea be that you may remain His alone, that He would never let you go, and that your heart may never grow cold towards Him. He is a prayer answering God, who will do much beyond what you ask or imagine. And may it see every lethargic thinking, and rebelliousness removed from within you, and your heart kindled with a fiery zeal, as you learn from Him, to be led forward by Him, from where you are, to where He wants you to be, for the glory and honour of His Name.
In the name of Christ Jesus Amen.