Come unto me, all ye who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. 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.”
Sitting in a room filled with pastors listening to the speaker pose a question- Have you ever been in a place where what you are preaching and encouraging is totally the farthest thing from your actual lived experience in the moment? Are you preaching about continuing to stay in prayer and yet your life is the most barren? As I look around, I wonder is anyone brave enough to answer these questions honestly? It’s not just pastors who need to wrestle with these questions. Any believer can. As Christians- as people, we want so much to appear strong, held together, sufficient in ourselves. Yet what we need is to find our strength in God and to know that in our weakness, only then is He made strong. There is a secret to a successful Christian life. We are not trying to display our strength but God’s! Weakness is exactly the place that God has placed us in, so that his strength is exactly what is on display.
Our actions have consequences. If we don’t let God show his strength, we will reap the consequences of our weakness. We cannot do it all. We cannot do anything without God and will fail if we continue to do it on our own. There is no rest going away from God and relying on ourselves. Involvement in his ministry, in serving him and others- is labour- God knows that. He calls it that. It is hard work. He calls us to him because he understands us. He understands that it is wearisome to live and minister for him. He understands that the cares of this world can hide his power from us. Matthew 11:28 shows us how to let our human weakness be a place of strength.
1. Come unto me…God has never sent anyone of us to live in our own strength.
God puts us in situations where we can recognize our need for him and his Spirit to be at work in our lives. We are always inviting others to do this and we miss making that choice ourselves. We encourage others to trust God. We must choose to hear, receive and act on his voice that calls “come to me” We have to encourage ourselves in the Lord, as David did. Sometimes that is the only place we will find it! There is more blessing and encouragement from simply just waiting on God. We cannot neglect that truth or that is where we are vulnerable for defeat. They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. (Isaiah 40:31). We must learn the secret of waiting on God. It is a “secret “, hidden in plain sight.
2. Take My Yoke Upon You-Anything God calls me to is not mine and still belongs to him.
It is not my ministry or anyone else’s. It is God’s. He is calling us to get under his plan, to join him in what he is doing. We are not to ask God to help us in our work, but to let him help us, in his work. We are involved with him, in what he is doing. He is not involved with us, in what we plan to do. We would not be so tired, if we focussed on what God wants, rather than what we want. He lifts our burdens when we work with him, not just for him.
3. Learn from me–our real mentor is Christ.
Learn from his example of his prayer life. We need to see Christ and how he prayed- frequency, fervency, freedom, “father’s will” focussed. We need to make prayer a priority in our lives. Scripture tells us that we should always pray and not lose heart- not give up (Luke 18:1).
We can see and learn how God rests in the midst of the storm. He was in the boat sleeping. We can rest in God, because he is in control. He is master of the storm. We can see and learn of Jesus’ had confidence in the word of God- “It is written” We need to have this confidence. The Word of God is our authority! (Matthew 4:4-6).
When we come, take and learn from Jesus, He keeps his promise to give us rest. My God will supply all that we need (Philippians 4:19). God’s first concern is always his child!