The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 11/11

Posted on | November 11, 2015 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 11/11

Scripture reading: John 6:25–29

The Rest of Faith

Let us therefore strive to enter that rest. (Hebrews 4:11)

Years ago a farmer, riding in his wagon down the road, saw a traveler carrying a heavy load and asked him if he wanted a lift. Grateful, the man hopped into the wagon. As they travelled together, however, the farmer noticed that his passenger still carried the bundle on his shoulders. “Why don’t you lay down that burden? You don’t have to carry it anymore now that you are in the wagon,” he said. “Oh, no,” said the traveler, “I don’t want to be an imposition. I’ll just carry it myself.”

The Bible describes the deeper life in terms of “rest.” Just before crossing the Jordan River into the Promised Land, Joshua said, The Lord your God is providing you a place of rest and will give you this land (Joshua 1:13). This certainly didn’t mean that God’s people had no responsibilities in Canaan. Au contraire! There were battles to fight, cities to build, and crops to plant and harvest. But in the Land of Promise, as opposed to their experience in Egypt and the desert, the work would not be onerous, and the burdens would not be crushing. Yes, the challenges would be great and the responsibilities would be heavy, but because Christ was with them and in them their yoke would be easy and their burden light.

Perhaps today you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. Stress at work, pressures at school, strained relationships, deadlines to meet, decisions to make, bills to pay, obligations to fulfill, health issues, and world events are bearing down on you in such a way that you feel you can hardly move. I have good news! Jesus Christ wants to give you a lift. He is inviting you into his “wagon” so that the weight now becomes his responsibility. No, he is not going to make your burden disappear. It’s still there. But he does promise to carry it with you and for you. The “rest of faith” is not a license for laziness or irresponsibility. Rather, it is an invitation to trust in the promises of God. His strength, not mine, is the path to victory!

,. Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. (Jeremiah 6:16)

,. In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength. (Isaiah 30:15)

,. Come to me, all labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me . . . and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28–30)

,. There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his own works as God did from his. (Hebrews 4:9–10)

The irony is this: resting is harder than you think. This is why the author of Hebrews tells us to “strive to enter his rest” (Hebrews 4:11). In other words, we are commanded to work really hard at resting! The rest of faith is indeed the true work of God (John 6:28–29).

Today, climb in the wagon of faith and put down your burdens. You can trust fully in the One who is carrying you. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you (I Peter 5:7).

 Philip Melanchton once said to Martin Luther, “Today, you and I shall discuss the governance of the universe.” Luther replied,  “No, today you and I shall go fishing and leave the governance of the universe to God.”

—told in The Rest of God, by Mark Buchanan

point to ponder Resting in God is harder than you think

prayer focus Someone who is stressed out and/or overworked.

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