Have you ever had the experience of hearing God speak to you from the same passage over and over again? That’s the way Matthew 11:28-30 is for me.
Years ago as a young pastor I led a weekend seminar in which the presence of healing showed up right from the beginning. That night as I reflected on the evening, I suddenly became convicted about some rather pride filled comments I had made with someone after the seminar.
I became deeply convicted and confessed to Jesus, “I usually feel so inadequate, but as soon as something goes right I become prideful. How do I learn to have humility?” Right away I heard in my mind the words of Matthew 11:29, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest.”
Several years later I went through a period of feeling extremely “weary and burdened.” Things got so bad that I needed to take a sabbatical from pastoring for a few months. It was an amazing time of refreshing that gave me “rest for my soul.” As the time drew near to reengage in pastoring, I became worried, “How am I going to sustain the peace that I am experiencing now?” Again Jesus spoke to me from Matthew 11:29, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest.” As I reflected on Jesus words I had an important realization.
Trying to do the work of the Kingdom on my own, was a big part of what had been draining me. I had been doing things FOR Jesus, instead of WITH Jesus. And not only that, but I had been doing the things I thought I SHOULD do, rather than the things Jesus was LEADING me to do.
Just this past week, I was meditating again on Matthew 11:28-30 from the Message.
“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.”
As I reflected on the importance of a lifetime of intimacy with Jesus, I found myself asking the Lord, “Why do I have to learn this lesson over and over again?” I have heard about the importance of intimacy with Jesus for over 30 years. Why hasn’t this become the predominant experience of every day?
I suppose the truth is that there is some (sinful) part of me (all of us) that still doesn’t believe it’s that essential for Jesus to be a part of every day, every hour, and every good thing I set out to do.
WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE TO ALWAYS BE YOKED TO JESUS?
WHAT STEPS CAN I TAKE TO KEEP MOVING TOWARD UNION WITH JESUS?