Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Yoking Up: Defining Rest

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened,
and I will cause you to rest.
[I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]
 Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me,
for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart,
and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment
and recreation and blessed quiet)
for your souls.
  For My yoke is wholesome
(useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant),
and My burden is light and easy to be borne
Matthew 11:28-30


As of Monday, I have now received the verses Matthew 11:28-30 fifteen times.  Fifteen times in the last 4 weeks from fifteen different sources.  A couple of days ago I heard a speaker say if you get the same scripture twice in a row, you better listen.  So, what does it mean when you get it fifteen times?  Serious business I expect.

I am still trying to figure out all the meaning behind these verses. I might be making it more complicated than it is, but about three weeks ago I decided to start meditating on what God was trying to tell me.  The first thing I did was look up the Greek meaning for some of the words....most importantly for me, the word REST.  If you recall I was rebelling because I was back in my recliner, and I was wondering whether the meaning of rest in this scripture was literal~ like,  kick-back-in-your-recliner-and-rest real. Resign yourself to your recliner. 

As I searched for the Greek definitions of rest in Matthew 11, I found this.

The New Testament. The primary Greek words are the nouns anapausis [ajnavpausi"] and katapausis [katavpausi"], and the verbs anapauo [ajnapauvw] and katapauo [katapauvw].

In the Gospels the theology of rest is most clearly articulated in the words of Jesus: "come to me and I will give you rest and you will find rest for your souls" ( Matt 11:28-30 ). The rest he promises is certainly for the world to come, but it is also for this world. It (THE REST) is the sense of security and peace that flows from a right relation with God, the Father, through obedience to his Son, , and membership in his kingdom.
(Rest for the soul.)

The words I highlighted resonated with me. Security and peace....I have come before God more than once this year seeking both at higher levels in my life. It seems God is telling me...loudly...and often...... that living a life of peace and security is found in my relationship with God and His Son Jesus. Come to ME Jesus is saying. He and HE ALONE will give us the sense of peace and safety we desire when we draw close to Him. Part of that resting in the Lord is to surrender to His plan for your life.  Resting....letting go....surrendering....trusting.  God truly wants to be in a relationship with us . It needs to be our top priority, everything else flows from that. His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

When I read the amplified translation, it confirmed for me that the resting I needed was for my soul.  Weary, carrying heavy burdens~ these are not necessarily physical...they very well could be the soul burdens that make us so tired.  What we carry around that we could leave at the cross.  What we carry around that we need to trust Jesus with.

Let's define our souls. We are made up of body, soul, and spirit. The Spirit of Christ lives in us, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.  Our body is the outer shell that carries us, that keeps us alive. Our flesh.  The soul is our mind and our emotions. It is here that the battle often lies. The enemy loves to deceive us by wrapping up our mind and emotions, twisting the truth, but we need to remember that the truth lies in God's Word.  Jesus promises us in Matthew 11 that when we come to Him, loving and learning from our relationship with Him, that His yoke will be easy and His burden will be light. 

Come to me Jesus whispers......come to me He beckons.....and when we don't hear Him the first time nor the second....or even the third....He is persistent in His love for us and continues to say......come to me.... surrender in Me, let go, don't try so hard.....just rest in Me. 



Anonymous said...

Wow! This is amazing! Such a powerful post and such truth!

Your writing is such a blessing!

Gayle said...

I busted into laughter when you said how often God has brought this scripture to you! Sometimes it is shout out. ;) Keep resting, keep seeking. Wishing you peace and rest.