Care Group Challenge Four

Dave’s challenge to us this week was to rest in Jesus.  So, what does that mean, and how do we do it?

Jesus said:  “Come to 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 11:30)

A stoplight animation.
Image via Wikipedia

Resting in Jesus is letting him be in control, trusting him in all things. We let stress into our lives because we think we are in control. But the truth is God is always sovereign. He is constant and does not change like our circumstances, but we too often try to fight him.

We also get distracted and focus on the wrong things. Take driving, for example. We are thankful for the green lights, but not as thankful for the red lights when we are in a hurry. Whether the light is green or red makes no difference; our joy should be in Christ, not the circumstance.  Instead, we spend our time revving our engines above the red line running from metaphorical stoplight to stoplight.  We grow weary.  We grow tired.  We forget about God’s sovereignty.  We try to exert our will on the world around us.

Similarly, we tend to act as though we believe the world revolves around us. Our perspective is “me-centric” rather than God-centric.  This is somewhat like the old belief that the sun revolved around the earth, and is just as clearly flawed.  Who is in control becomes abundantly clear when we look at the big picture.  Our perspective changes radically when we place ourselves in the orbit of Christ.

Gravitation keeps the planets in orbit around ...
Image via Wikipedia

So, to rest in Jesus, we need to have that earth-shaking change in perspective.  We then need to believe he truly is in control.  Then we need to live in that safety net.  This is not a prosperity gospel; things may still be hard.  But our response to them can still be one of absolute trust in God’s sovereignty and grace.

The decision to rest in Jesus takes discipline. It takes daily reminding ourselves of the gospel.  It takes applying the truth of the gospel to everything in our lives daily.  It takes a commitment to not try to justify ourselves apart from Christ.

There are really only two goals for us in life that have any meaning:

  1. Glorify God, and
  2. Make disciples.

When we learn how to rest in Jesus, we are able to really glorify God. We do this because we see him in all things and are excited to share that knowledge with others.  When we soften our hearts to others, we share God’s love with them.  In sharing it with others, we naturally disciple them. It sounds so simple, but it seems so hard in life.

Yet, Christ still calls to us.  The yoke is easy.  The burden is light.  Can you accept his rest?

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3 thoughts on “Care Group Challenge Four

  1. Dave

    Thanks Mike for your post about our Care Group time, you did a great job explaining it. As I read it I began to think about our discussion and how to apply it to my heart. That is when I realized that many times the desire for control may not be the root of the problem. I believe that when we try to apply the gospel to our sin the farther back we peal the onion the deeper and more authentic our repentance. There may be a hidden desire to please others which would reveal a deeper desire to be justified by my actions, a fear of losing that control which would reveal a lack of belief in God’s benevolence, a sense of entitlement that would reveal a lack of humility. The list could keep going but I hope you are tracking with where I am going. The more we understand our need for redemption in a particular area the more accurately we can run to God for deliverance because only he can fix me. When we find the root of our restlessness in our hearts we will soon be on our way to walking in the rest that is already ours for the taking for those who are found in Jesus.

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