If you think this is going to be another post about making sure you get 8 hours of sleep, you would be wrong. If you think this is about taking a "lazy day" or making life easier, again, you would be wrong. It is easy to take a nap. I do not need to write a few hundred words telling you to to get enough sleep, because we all know how important that is. But what if I told you getting 8 hours of sleep each night is not enough rest? Basically, it comes down to this: both physical and spiritual rest are important and different from each other. Yet I find in my own life when I am feeling weary spiritually, I try to fix it by resting physically. Am I the only one who does this? I'm willing to go out on a limb and say no.
So what is spiritual rest anyway? This rest is not of this world. It is found in Jesus Christ alone. Matthew 11:28-30 says, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." If you were raised in church, you can probably quote these verses, but do you know what they really mean? This passage is in the contet of knowing the Father through Christ. In other words, this is about salvation and growing in God. These verses give us 3 steps in the process of finding spiritual rest.
Notice the first step to receiving rest from Christ. "Come." That's all you have to do. Come to Jesus. Who needs to come? "All ye that labour and are heavy laden." Labour here means "to feel fatigue; by implication to work hard" (Strong's Concordonce). Heavy laden carries the idea of loading a burden onto something. Picture a donkey carrying a large load of supplies on his back. That's what this means. Are you working so hard that you've become fatigued? Come. Are you carrying a heavy load and can't seem to continue? Just come to Jesus Christ.
After you come to Christ, you must cast your burdens on Christ. 1 Peter 5:7 says, "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." Casting means throwing. Take that heavy burden you carry and throw it upon Christ with all your might. You don't need to carry that. You weren't meant to carry it. How are you supposed to take Christ's yoke on you if you're already loaded with your own burdens? If you're anything like me, you've tried to carry both. It doesn't make sense, but for some reason you still think it's possible. It is not. You can't have rest if you don't throw away the burdens you carry. Friend, Christ's yoke may not always be easy, but it will be much better than whatever else you're trying to hold on to. When you have the yoke of Christ, Christ is on the other side. You don't carry it alone.
The other thing we must remember is that once you have cast off your burdens, don't pick them back up! This simple thing is so hard. We want to do it all ourselves. We think, "I should be strong enough to carry everything on my own without any help from friends, family, or even Jesus." I struggle a lot with perfectionism. Perfectionism will tell me not only can I do everything myself, but I can do it all perfectly. The moment I try to put this concept into practice, I fail miserably. Then what do I do? I give up. My perfectionism changes it's message, I'm now told that I couldn't do it all perfectly, so I shouldn't do any of it. It's in these moments I must remember that I can do nothing without Christ. Have you ever noticed that it's on the days you ran out of the house without praying or reading your Bible that everything seens to go wrong? This is just one reminder of how desperately we need God in our lives. When we are yoked togther with Christ, we truly do learn of Him. We learn who He is, what He does, His plan for us, what He will do, and so much more. But when you decide to take the yoke off, you don't get to draw nearer to God or learn more about Him. You must stay connected to Him so that you may know Him.
Lastly, let's look at the word rest. Rest means ceasing. You stop what you're doing. Take a break and relax. You can find rest like this when you're yoked with Christ because He's helping you do the work. When you do things without Christ, it never really gets done. He completes the work and allows your spirit to find the rest it desperately needs. So take a break. Spend some time resting in God's presence today.
My name is Amber Marshall. I graduated from Free Gospel Bible Institute in 2019. I left Bible school with an overwhelming desire to help others, but, like many, I wondered how I could. This blog is my chance to do that using my passion for writing. I pray that anything that is published on this website ministers and blesses others!