Ditch Self & Come To The Rest

September 24, 2010

Friends,
One of God’s most precious promises is REST. Oh, what a blessed thing is rest! For if we have rest, then there is absence from all that is negative. Or, if the negative is there, it isn’t affecting us. This is actually an even greater comfort to realize, since while in this fallen world, we will certainly have negative all around us –glaring at us, howling –even fighting– to attack us. But… there we are… just resting calmly…

What are the negatives? Oh, we know. Things like fear, frustration, disappointment, anger… –things striving to take over our own spirit. And things from the outside –like criticism, neglect, slander, rudeness, disdain…

Okay. We know about all that. What is the rest? The rest is Jesus. Himself. The Rest.

How do we enter this Rest? We come to Him. Jesus invites all of us. As He says in Matt. 11:28, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

All who are humble enough, trusting enough, weary enough… will come. And how do we come? We come in repentance, laying aside the weights that hinder us from entering. Those weights such as pride, greed, and self-centeredness… for the main weight is our very self. Truly, what a burden our own self is! But Jesus offers us crucifixion –death to self. And what a blessed offer! For who wants self anymore, anyway?! Self is so conscious of itself. Self keeps whining about hurts, sufferings, and its desires. Ugh. Self is so weak! And focused on itself, it keeps allowing itself to feel hurt, offended, battered, humiliated, shy, timid, and needy.

Many people throughout the world do not know about this Good News –this offer of death to self. –This offer of Rest. But those of us who have heard, must believe it, take it, appropriate it –by faith. Jesus continues in Matt. 11:29, “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.” Oh, there’s a “catch”. We have to take His yoke upon us. –We have to learn from Him. Yeaaa… But it’s really no “catch” when the alternative is living with Self, Sin, the world, and the devil all on one’s back. Besides, if we just crucify Self, but take on no Life, then where are we? We’re nowhere. So, to be offered Jesus, the Rest who is gentle and humble, along with His yoke and burden (which He promises in verse 30 are easy and light), then this is life abundant –life delightful. For He lives through us, and is actually the One bearing the weight. Any burden He puts on us, He will carry. And any assignment He gives, He will give His power to accomplish it.

If we enter this Rest by coming to Jesus, and we come to Him in our need, in repentance and trust, giving up our Self and our sin to be crucified, then how do we continue, how do we remain in Him? We do so by soaking in the super-natural Word of God. –That Word that is living and active (Heb. 4:12) and Who is our Conquering Glorious Sword. (Dt. 33:29 & Heb. 4:12 & Eph. 6:17 & Rev. 19:13) By doing this, we keep our mind focused on Him, trusting in Him. And as He promises the one so doing, He will keep him in “perfect peace” (Isa. 26:3) –another way of saying “rest”. Rest for the soul, the mind, the heart, the spirit, the body.

“When I bring them back from captivity…” says the LORD, “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” (Jer. 31:23,25) What a wonderful promise! It’s for all who come out of the captivity of Self –that which is dark, negative, and sad– and who come to abide in Jesus, The Rest.

What a freedom! What a rest!

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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