Whether we admit it or not, many of us cram too many things into our lives that we were either trying to catch up on or running away from. While we may outwardly claim that we have an abundant life in Christ, we often feel drained and empty. We might even feel frustrated when we are unable to live up to our own expectations in achieving great things for God.
28-30 Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Matthew 11:28-30, The Message
When Jesus spoke these words to His disciples, they just completed one of the most hectic, demanding and exciting times of their lives. After travelling with Jesus to various cities and villages to preach the gospel and heal the sick, the disciples were looking forward to a break.
Jesus took the occasion to reveal real rest to them.
Rest is not about doing nothing but doing everything at the pace of God. It is to be in sync with “the unforced rhythms of grace”. In other words, rest is receiving “renewable energy” from Christ to engage life. This comes from having an authentic relationship with our Lord, where we learn to walk and work with Him. We somehow got it backwards putting the “work” before the “walk” with God. As a consequence we either get burnt out serving God or become too jaded with God’s people because we have somehow prioritised them as more important than our own relationship with Jesus.
Intimacy with God is not a chore we need to do to get blessed, but a privilege for us to repeatedly discover that our relationship with God is not determined by how much we do. As his child we are connected with God’s Spirit living in us. The overflow of this intimate relationship is the ability to live freely and lightly.
So instead of feeling spent and heavy-hearted, recover your sense of identity and purpose in Christ and follow His direction in every season of your life.
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.