As followers of Jesus Christ, we can find ourselves living life with great tension. Pressures that hit us from multiple directions. They seem to be tied to our past decisions, current conditions, and future concerns. They manifest in the weight of the bountiful blessings of God or the harvest of sin in our lives. They are also clothed with the faces of people we love, and those we love to hate.

Burdens that come from external sources, and even those that are self-imposed, can effortlessly grip our souls, causing us to spiral emotionally out of control. Thus, enticing us with intense pressures to perform, ultimately for man, while causing the simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to become a religiously moving target.

The result – more pressures to sort through, more burdens to carry. A life of unrest.

Yet, what Christ promised then, He still promises you and me today:

Come to Me, all 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

To possess and maintain a life of rest, we all need our come to Jesus moment

Have you reached your personal end?

Are you at a place that you’ve reached your pressure capacity at home?

In ministry?

At work?

In life?

I have. And I personally need HIS rest! I want it, and I need it more than ever. How about you?

Now, this rest that Jesus offers us is twofold:

1. Anapauo (an-ap-ow’-o) which means to cause or permit one to cease from any movement or labor in order to recover and collect his strength; to refresh; to keep quiet.

In other words, God has permitted me to rest. Yes, He wants us to rest and God graciously authorizes it. He desires us to stop moving and laboring so we can collect our strength and be refreshed. And sometimes we just need to keep quiet. Hard to believe, isn’t it? Nevertheless, there are times He must cause us to rest — whether we like it or not. This is when He creatively intervenes within our space and time to ensure we get the rest we need to go on and on in life and service to our King. But here, we must be reminded that ministry and life will inevitably go on – and sometimes continue on more productively in our absence. So, we must learn to stop, and rest before He makes us!

2. Anapausis (an-ap-ow’-sis) this is an inward tranquility while one performs necessary labor.

Here we find, unlike the previous definition, the responsibility to simultaneously work and rest. This is most likely where we spend most of our lives attempting to navigate through the weight of responsibilities. We must work. We’re required to work. We get paid to work. If we don’t work, we don’t eat… But, there are limited hours, days, and weeks we have the privilege to apply anapauo rest. Yet Christ promises us all, if we come to Him, He will provide an inward tranquility while performing necessary labor. Wow, I really need this, do you?

Resting while working, this is a curious thought. This doesn’t mean we become slackers or even develop into mediocre servants of the King but rather we are allowing Him to rule, govern, lead, and control every second of our lives. Rest is consulting the Wiser One. Rest is including Him in all conversation, well-before decisions are made. Rest is always keeping in mind, He knows everything and we know nothing. Rest is humbly embracing we could possibly be wrong, and He is always right. It is always understanding, He is all powerful and we possess none. Rest is saying to God and ourselves, if Your presences doesn’t go with me, I don’t want to go! To become followers of the Lord Jesus Christ who enjoy anapausis rest in every season and situation of life, we must allow Him to be Lord over and within every season and situation of life.

I hope, up to this point, we now agree, that we all need a come to Jesus moment. That moment when we allow Christ to truly manage all the affairs of our life. Meaning, everything from our past, that finds its way into our present. Everything in our present, that impacts our here and now. And everything in our future that concerns us today, and that may never happen tomorrow. He must be allowed to become Lord over everything and everyone that makes us who we are today and who we will be in the future. All that concerns us, we must allow it to concern Him even more! But, if you’re still wondering why we (all) need His rest, here are a few finally reasons, again from Matthew 11:28-30:

1. Matthew 11:28a  LIFE CAN GET WEARY

We will get weary. We absolutely will become fatigued, tired, exhausted; we will be worn-out both physically & emotionally. We will become exhausted to the point of not finishing the race well, and for some, a falling away. In the midst of it all, Christ promises us His rest. Yet we are still required to come to Him in our physical and emotional weariness. Better yet, before fatigue sets in, we must already be found at the foot of the Cross.

2. Mathew 11:28b LIFE CAN GET HEAVY

Life can get really, really heavy. Because of the responsibilities of life and ministry we honestly become heavy-laden. We’re placed under seen and unseen burdens; we become overloaded. Listen, it is certain that we will get overloaded. But remember, being overloaded can come from our successes and our failures, the good and the bad of life. So, no matter what direction it’s hitting us from, we must confidently come to Jesus and find His rest. Let Him really become your Burden Bearer.

3. Matthew 11: 30a HIS REST MAKES LIFE EASY  

Nothing in life seems to come easy. But here Jesus promises that His yoke is easy; it’s profitable; good for any use; it furnishes what’s needed. It’s like Christ is promising us, if we remain tethered to Him the difficulties of life really do get easier to bear. The painful relationship somehow become profitable to us, as it was with the Apostle Paul and John-Mark. God supernaturally can take our weights of life and use them to furnish what is needed for us to keep-on plowing – in Him and with Him.

Rest, rest, rest. It’s much easier said than done. Yet it is required, and commanded of us, to do it. God has modeled it, and now through His finished work, Christ has provided it. Will you have your personal come to Jesus moment? And I will meet you there, at the foot of His cross, where His rest can always be found

The following two tabs change content below.
Cedrick Brown
Lead Pastor of Commitment Community Church, Author of “The Racial and Cultural Divide: Are We Still Prejudiced?” and “Act Like A Man: Woman, Can You Help Me?”, former Executive Sales Manager for Alcoa and Defensive Back for the Philadelphia Eagles of the N.F.L.; Receive weekly video blogs from Cedrick by registering at www.loveallnations.org
Cedrick Brown

Latest posts by Cedrick Brown (see all)

2 Comments

  1. Paulo Freire Paulo Freire on October 13, 2021 at 1:46 pm

    Thanks for the good words!
    Rest of while laboring is a foreign idea.
    Praise God that he gives us the work, the skill to perform the work and rest while we work.

  2. Avatar david walton on October 13, 2021 at 12:24 pm

    Thanks Cedric — good for all of us to hear

    The temptation to be performance oriented pushes us to focus on “Doing the Lords work” which can be exhausting instead of ” Being His disciples”. As we focus on Being – we get the rest he promises

Leave a Comment





This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.