Guest Post by Dawn Klinge
There are two types of rest: spiritual and physical. We need both kinds of rest if we want to be healthy. The following is about spiritual rest. What does it mean to find rest in God?
Trusting in God’s unfailing love, and believing that he will do for us what we can’t do for ourselves is how we can find rest in God. God will show us his will for our lives and he will give us the strength to accomplish it. We don’t need to be constantly striving and achieving on our own strength.
Christianity is not about doing better, following rules, or extra burdens. It’s about trusting in Jesus, and the power of what he did on the cross, and it’s about allowing Him to change us, as we become more like Him, through the power of His Spirit in us.
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. Matthew 11:28-30
The term yoke, here, is used to refer to the extra burdens of legalism and rule keeping that the religious leaders were putting upon people vs. the yoke that Jesus offers, which is simply to accept his gift of grace and trust him.
Our human proclivity is to try and make our own way to heaven. It’s a story as old as time. It’s something that I struggle with, still. I’m a rule follower, who likes to be in control, and the more the rules are followed, the more I feel in control. Trusting in God means that I give up that control and rest in his love.
The part that’s easy, as Jesus says, is the trust. It almost seems too easy, and that’s the hang up that many of us face. The heavy yoke of following rules that we can never live out perfectly, to try and earn love- it’s exhausting.
Even as Christians, we can often accept Jesus’s grace and forgiveness initially, but then forget that it carries out into our daily lives, and we keep adding more regulations back onto what we think we need to do to earn his love. We already have his love. We won’t lose that.
The easy yoke is not referring to an easy life. Sometimes God calls us to do very hard things, risky things, things we know we can’t do on our own strength. Christians are not exempt from heartache and difficulty, but when we place our trust in God, we are not alone.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. Isaiah 43:2
This is where I find spiritual rest. The gospel and the promises in his Word show me I’m loved. This is where you, too, can find rest and know that you are loved.
I want my trust in God to grow deeper. I want to give back to him, to serve him, not because I’m trying to earn his love (I already have it) but out of gratitude. I know that serving God will not always be easy but there is rest to be found through Christ.
I pray that you, too, will find rest in God. Trust him. He is worthy.
I don’t know about you, but I could really use a time to pause and renew my mind. Dawn has created a mini-retreat called Renew to help others seek out spiritual rest.
Renew is an online, self-paced, retreat experience that is brimming with Christian faith based inspirational encouragement and ideas that will help you turn your gaze towards the Author of peace and renewal.
As our lives return to a semblance of routine after the summer months, before we enter the busy season of the winter holidays, let’s take a pause, a personal retreat, and renew our minds, bodies, and spirits.
Renew will offer plentiful activities from which to choose- and is adaptable to varying schedules and interests. Our approach will be a series of restful invitations.
The retreat begins Monday, September 11th and goes through Friday, October 6th, 2017. But even if you miss the beginning, you can still sign up anytime and receive all the material. You will receive a welcome e-mail upon purchase, containing information on how to access the class website and files. Each weekday throughout the retreat you will receive an e-mail with a link to the newest post and PDF files. By the end of the course, you will have 20 “mini-books” containing all of the content from the retreat. Additionally, the class website will remain online for at least one year following the end of the course.
Dawn is a writer and Christian blogger who loves encouraging people to keep their focus on Jesus. She’s the author of Look to Jesus: How to Let Go of Worry and Trust God. She’s a wife and mom to two teens. A Seattle girl, she loves books, coffee and spinning classes. You can find her at Above the Waves. Facebook. Instagram. Twitter.
This post has been an excerpt from my book, Look to Jesus: How to Let Go of Worry and Trust God (available in paperback, digital, and audio).