Spiritually Alive

An introduction to a refreshing daily Spiritual walk with the Loving Saviour

Come unto me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  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.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.  Matthew 11:28-30

Streams of living waterIt is a wonderful privilege to be serving the Lord. But in the busy life we live today, anxiety, worry and tensions can so easily affect us as we serve the Lord.  It saps your strength and wears you down.  We want to look at what it means to be alive spiritually and as we walk with the lord we can be refreshed daily in our lives.   In John 7.37, Jesus says, ‘if any man thirst, let Him come to Me and drink’ where the idea is of drinking of the Spirit.   As we daily drink from the water He gives us we will find as Jesus said, in us will be a well, and out from us will flow rivers of living water.

Do you enjoy the river of living water in your daily life, or do you find that in the midst of your ministry and daily life you seem to be labouring and it seems to be heavy and hard.  You seem to be heavy laded, burdened?  When we are overloaded or burdened it is easy to drift from our walk with the Lord.

This is a summary all that is essential in the Christian life. It is put in a few words. It can even be stated in smaller compass than that. Jesus put the whole of the Christian life in two phrases when He said, “You in me and I in you,” (John 14:20b KJV). It is all we need.

In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus invites you to come under His yoke and walk with Him, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light.  He says:

“Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden (burdened), and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest to your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Jesus says first of all:  “COME TO ME”.  Come to Him the Living Saviour.  He means, come now.  He is saying this to all who labour and are heavy laden.  Come to Him and He says:  “I WILL GIVE YOU REST”.

Then secondly, Jesus says: “TAKE MY YOKE UPON YOU”.  Come into His yoke, one He has prepared for you, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

Then thirdly He says. LEARN OF ME” He does not want us to learn about Him, but of Him.  For us to have a personal daily relationship with Him.  To learn about meekness and lowliness.

“Come, Take, & Learn”

You will find rest for your soulThe yoke was a well known picture to the Jews of anything to which men committed themselves.   As we are walking with the Lord and serving Him, He says come under my yoke.   In general a yoke is made of wood and joins two animals so that it makes it easier for them, acting together, to pull a heavy load.  The yoke would be carved so it fit perfectly so that it didn’t chafe and harm the animal so that it could pull and carry the load.  That is what Jesus is saying here, that he has a yoke that is perfectly made for us so we can fit into His yoke and follow Him. As we walk with Him, it will not chafe, we will not have to struggle in our own strength as we will fit into the yoke with Him, and He said, His yoke was easy and His burden was light.

And this is what our Lord is asking you to do, He is saying, come to me, take My yoke upon you. And then He adds this phrase: “And learn from Me,” it is a yoke of fitting in with Him, to His teaching, to His instruction. It is a yoke that implies obedience. And I believe that is where we find real joy in serving, when we fit into the yoke He has for us.

So as we have seen, first of All Jesus says to you and me “Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  This may well refer to those who are labouring (or weary) in their serving and heavy laden under the work, working to the point of exhaustion.  Jesus  says to those who come to Him,  ‘I will give you rest.  Rest from the burden of the work.  It means that He will refresh us, revive us.You can enter into a spiritual Sabbath rest, a rest from labour and being heavy laden. A genuine rest without it being a burden.   As we come to Him He will give us rest of mind, rest of heart, rest from working with our own energies.

I personally found real help and encouragement from what Paul said to the Colossian believers in Col 1:28: “To this end I labour, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me”.  What Paul is saying here is that he was working hard, he was busy, He says, “to this end I labour”.  What he is saying here is that he grew weary, tired, exhausted from being busy, from his work. Now I found that encouraging, as it show us that we can be busy.  It’s great to go to bed at the end of a busy day being tired about the Lord’s business.  This says that I am allowed to be busy and work hard. But notice the next part of the verse, because this is the important part.  Paul said that we was working in the Lord’s energy, and that the Lord’s energy was working powerfully in him.  That is the key isn’t it, to serve Him, to work, not in our own energy but with His energy that works mightily within us.  Remember Paul also said, that he could do all things through Christ who strengthened him.  We can serve the Lord in every situation through the strength Christ gives.  Phil 4;13. Do you know that, do you experience that in daily life?  You can as Paul did.

First Jesus says comeThen Secondly Jesus says,  “Take my yoke upon you, and Thirdly  learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest to your souls.”

This is something He wants us to do.  First of all we come to him, then we need to take His yoke, we fit into His yoke and then we learn from Him. Learning from Jesus Himself what it means to be meek and lowly in heart, and walking in submission to Him. We learn as we come to Him that He is ‘Meek and lowly in heart.’   The Greek word for meek  is the word used to refer to a powerful stallion that is under the control of its owner. Therefore, it came to mean “God controlled”.  Let us come under His control.  Let’s  be humble, and teachable.

What is He saying here? “For I am gentle” … Do not fear my yoke for  I am gentle and humble. You suffer now because your present pressure.  He said, “My yoke is Easy and my burden is light.”   Light, is a word that means useful, manageable, serviceable, it is tailor-made for you.  When He says Light, it means, light in weight, not burdensome, or overbearing.”   When a young bullock is harnessed to a mature ox. The bullock will not even be pulling the weight on its own. It is learning to walk in a field with the mature Ox, under control with a yoke around its neck.  So what does it mean to take Christ’s yoke? To take Christ’s yoke means to submit to Him, the one who is gentle and meek, as one who is gentle and caring and concerned for us. It means to put yourself under His leading, to join yourself together with Him, but the difference is, as we fit into His yoke He gives us rest and the work He gives us is not a burden, it is a joy..

It means walking alongside Him without chafing, it will involve putting in full effort, but it will make whatever burden we have to bear a light one.  Our serving will not longer be a burden. It will be a ministry with joy as we fit into the yoke that He has for us.

Then He says, ‘And you will find rest to your souls.’  “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  You will find rest for your soul.”  You see , there is the satisfaction of rest through Christ. He calls you to fit into His yoke and His burden, and guarantees by His power you will find rest as you serve Him.

There is a “rest” that is available to us “today. I see this rest has present and future dimensions, just as salvation has. There is surely a salvation rest,  a resting from our works in an effort to earn God’s favour, when we come to faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus on the cross of Calvary. And there is the eternal rest which all Christians will experience. But there must also be what we might call a daily rest that we can enjoy on a daily basis,  a rest from striving as Christians in the power of our own efforts, in the flesh, in a futile effort to attain godliness. This is what we see in Romans 7 and 8. Chapter 7 is the description of a Christian trying to live up to God’s standards in his own strength, in the power of the flesh, and failing badly. Chapter 8 is the solution. The Christian is to live daily, moment by moment in the power of the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit that raised the dead body of Jesus from the grave. By the working of His Spirit in us, we are able, to some degree, to live a godly life (see Romans 8:1-17). This is resting in Him, or we might even say, abiding in Him (see John 15:1-14). This is the key to fruitfulness, service from the viewpoint of rest, serving with joy, and we can say with t Paul that, To this end I labour, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Come unto me and rest;
Lay down, thou weary one, lay down
Thy head upon my breast.”
I came to Jesus as I was,
Weary and worn and sad;
I found in Him a resting place,
And He has made me glad.

If you would like to contact me by email please feel free to do so.

Colin Lamb.  Sheep.lamb@btinternet.com