We’re not good at resting. And we really need some good, life-giving rest these days. Too many times we look for relaxation and down-time in the things of this world. Things that just distract us but don’t actually rejuvenate. We are spiritual beings and our souls need to drink deeply from the Living Water. We need the reminder and refreshment of His grace to fill us up. The things of this world cannot and will not quench that thirst. Drinking from the things of this world is like drinking saltwater. It only leaves us drier than before.
Here’s the next part of the trap. Following Jesus, while drinking from the wrong well, can turn our relationship with Him into religion. Turn it into a routine. Turn it into morality and rule-following. Turn it into keeping the Law. But our relationship with Jesus is not based on us keeping rules and checking boxes. It is based upon his mind-blowing, self-sacrificing grace which He has lavishly poured out on us.
At the Jerusalem Council, the Apostle Peter reminded the Jewish leaders in attendance that because of the gospel of grace, God had poured his Spirit out upon the Gentiles. They were saved by grace, not works, and they would follow Jesus through the Spirit and not by the Law. He reminded them that for generations the Law had been a heavy yoke upon the neck of Israel; a yoke that none of them had been able to bear. [Acts 15:8-11]
Peter could probably remember right where he was when he first heard these words from Jesus: “Come to me, all who labor 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” [Matt. 11:25-30] The Law was an impossible yoke to bear. Trying to earn God’s favor, or anybody’s approval, for that matter, will leave you tired, anxious, and fatigued.
Find rest for your soul this week by turning off the faucet to the things of this world. Find rest for your soul this week by setting down the yoke of religion and moralism. Find rest for your soul by drawing close to Jesus and learning from him. He will remind you that He loves you and that following Him is joy and peace. He will remind you that time sitting at His feet is never wasted time. He will show you that the world deals in death but He gives life in the Spirit!