“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 11:29 NIV). A yoke is a device designed to pair animals together. It is a type of harness. It is not a pleasant object. It encloses the heads of the animals. A yoke is also something that keeps people in bondage and that forces them to live in a difficult or unhappy state. In Matthew 11:29, Jesus is not talking about oppression or bondage. He is talking about the opposite. He doesn’t give the way the world does. What He has to offer is light, freeing and liberating. His yoke is rest, peace and relief. When you take up His yoke, you are attached to Him and you are enclosed with Him. Imagine how powerful that is. You are bound to the Savior and you are attached to the Lord Almighty. He is the King of freedom so freedom is what you can expect. He will give you rest and peace when you tie yourself to Him. When you make Him the source of everything in your life, He gives you everything you need including rest. It is hard to make things happen on our own. There is very little peace in this world and when we turn to the Prince of peace, we are thrown into a series of peaceful episodes that bring serenity and freedom. I can’t rest on my own understanding and on my own strength. I need the Word of God and I need the power of God. Because of my human limitations, I can only go so far. Today I want to encourage you to rest in the Lord and to take up His yoke. Find rest and peace in Him. Plug into the source of all peace and you will have restful moments that will challenge the chaos and the uneasy feelings that are crippling the world.
The Lord is gentle and humble in heart. It is something to ponder and reflect upon. God is not agitated, easily irritated and proud. He is a good God and His kindness can tear down all the evil and the hatred in this world. I have found refuge in His kindness many times when the world seemed mean and hostile. People like to get into conflicts for no apparent reason and they can pick a fight with innocent people. Harsh words and gratuitous hate are rampant and they are spreading like wildfire. When I turn to the Lord, I find myself in the presence of love and I can forget for a moment that the world can be a very ugly place. I choose to be where the Lord is and I choose to meet Him where He abides. I flee the evil ways of the world and put myself at the mercy of kindness and love. That is where I can rest. That is where I am surrounded by peace. I need to part from the world and join the Lord. If I don’t do that on a regular basis, I can’t rest well and I am in a state of turmoil after a while. Spiritual rest is important. Physical rest is crucial. Why? When we are tired it is not easy to be sensitive to the Lord and to His Spirit. When we are tired, the flesh takes over and our spirit is given a backseat. If I don’t get any rest, I don’t get enough Jesus time and if I don’t get enough Jesus time, I can easily feel disconnected from God.
There is power in resting in the Lord because we renew our strength and we are given new wings. Wings that allow us to fly above worry, fear and concerns. Have you noticed that it is easier to deal with problems when you are well-rested? It is physically, emotionally and spiritually true. The amount of rest you get will allow you to face the day and you will be ready to fight the fight of faith. Little rest will not give you the boldness and the confidence you need. When I sleep enough, I wake up refreshed and my morning prayer session is phenomenal. Prayer is a great way to get some rest spiritually. Prayer enables you to lean on the Holy Spirit and to power up. Prayer is you resting in the Lord’s arms and gaining the assurance that everything is taken care of and that the Lord is on your side. After praying at night, I picture myself resting in the arms of the Lord and I fall asleep very quickly. I thank Him for His peace and for the rest He provides all the time. The power of resting in the Lord is a little underrated. Resting in the Lord is very powerful because it is an act of surrender and an act of obedience. I pray that you take up the yoke of the Lord and that you trust He can give you rest. Rest in Him and you will be able to do things you never thought possible. You will find rest for your soul. This means that your emotions and your feelings will be more under control and you will have more peace and more joy. Don’t underestimate the power of resting in the Lord!
Suggested reading: Psalm 116:7; John 15;10-14; 1 Peter 2:21-23