Wednesday, May 12, 2010

RESTING LIKE CHILDREN

 A. Brother
©2010 Narrowgate Publishing



“Therefore, since the promise of entering His rest still stands,
let us be careful that none of you be found
to have fallen short of it.”
-Heb. 4:1

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.  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.”
-Matt. 11:28-29


          Today, many of us who call ourselves Christians carry around huge burdens that Jesus never intended us to carry.  Many of us are weary and burdened, full of the cares of this life, which choke out the Word of God and make it unfruitful in us.  We wrestle with all these things, anxious about many things, as Martha, Lazarus’ sister was, and Jesus reproved her for it.  We are the ones who martyr ourselves for the wrong reasons, and labor for the wrong motives.  We are the sad, hardworking, sincere, but rebellious and disobedient among God’s people, always learning, but never able to come to a knowledge of the Truth.

          What?  Could this be true?  The rank and file, faithful church members, who labor so diligently to make sure that the systems and programs of the institutional church go on without a hitch?  These are often the rebellious and disobedient among God’s people?

          To the extent we ignore and do not obey the Word—that is the extent of our rebellion and disobedience.  And church people who claim Christ but who do not obey His command to enter His rest and cease their labors are disobedient.  And Scripture has clear and present warnings for those of us who persist in our error and rebellion.

          Christ’s rest is a wonderful and simple thing.  He describes it as a rest that He gives only when we take His yoke upon our shoulders.  When we stop working our own works, and trying to create our own creations for God, and be silent, and listen to His voice gently teaching us.  When we hear Him, He will speak to us of resting from our own works, living the Sabbath Day every day.  He will speak to us and teach us to throw off the burdens we have taken up in our religious fervor.  He will remove worldly and religious yokes, and give us His yoke, a burden that He helps us carry. 

          Jesus’ yoke is not heavy.

          “For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”  -Matt. 11:30

            Jesus’ yoke is love, for God the Father, for His Son, and for others around us. 
          Jesus’ yoke is simple, and that is why we don’t want it.  We want lots of religion, and lots of pomp and ceremony, and lots of trappings and busy activities, and hustle and bustle.  We want the fast life, the busy life, the good life in Christ.
          Jesus offers us rest from all that.  Escape.  His rest.  He offers us a life so simple and straightforward even a child can understand it.  In fact, only a child can understand it.
          Why do you think, brothers and sisters, He said we must become as little children if we would enter the Kingdom of God?  It is because little children know and understand the simplicity of life, and are unable to compromise themselves with all the baggage, both religious and worldly, we as adults carry.
         
          We who name the Name of Christ must not miss His rest.  There is no other Way by which we can be saved.  The warnings are clear in Scripture. 

          Many will fall short.

          “For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.”  -Heb. 4:2

            All my life, I struggled to enter His rest.  And that was the problem.  It was about me, and my work to get there.  It was my work, and not His.
          Christ’s work is finished, and that does not just include His work on the Cross.  His work includes finishing all our works that we think are necessary to earn our way into the Kingdom of God. 
          But like children, who are young, inexperienced, naïve, and unskilled, we must enter the Kingdom without all our great works.  We must stay in the resting position while we go about our business, always trusting completely, always loving Christ and His people first, and always obeying His every Word. 
          Nothing of us, but all of Christ. 
          Not of our own works, lest we should boast in ourselves.
          Even entering His rest is impossible without the power of God in us, and our own letting go of the struggle.
          Oh, brother, storm-tossed and weary, let it go.  Open your tired and sad heart to the Lord Jesus, and let Him gently and humbly lead you forward.  

            

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