“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.”
During the past few weeks I have been reading Marva Dawn’s Keeping the Sabbath Wholly which focuses upon the importance of the Sabbath rest for God’s people. This is a vital subject as we all find ourselves weary and burdened in life. Several people have recently asked me, now that I am retired, where I once found time to work. Each day seems to be busier than the last. We all need rest. However what we all really need is the genuine rest that is found in the Lord Jesus Christ. This is found only in Him and it must be received internally. In fact as we look at texts such as Matthew 11:28ff we discover that the rest we are seeking is in reality Christ Himself. We are to come to Him. As we seek to know Him we find that He is able to meet our deepest need. We are so prone to seek all the things He gives, but not to seek Him.
The Puritans used to speak about experimental Christianity. In doing so they chose the word experimental deliberately. Many equate it with experiential Christianity. They avoided this word because it brought with it the idea of a subjective, experience-based faith. Murray A. Capill defines experimental in this way. “The word “experiment” has to do with the testing of reality and truth. In science we deal with the testing of hypotheses, but in theology it refers to the work of testing reality and truth of God’s word in the hearts and lives of people.” What the Puritans were looking for in their lives was a reality that matched the truths they read about in the Word of God.
For our purposes today we must ask ourselves about the reality of our resting in Christ. So often we find ourselves talking about this rest as if it is something that we should pursue and experience. However we do not find ourselves living its reality. It can only come about as a result of earnest prayer which leads us to rest in the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Hudson Taylor once wrote that this true rest was in fact a looking away from ourselves to Christ. He is the faithful one. He is in fact our rest. It is only as we come genuinely to Him that we find ourselves entering into rest.
In our Christian lives and our Churches are we finding ourselves resting more completely in Christ alone?