with Jeremy Westcott -
Come to Me, all you who are weary and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls (Matt 11:28-29 AMP).
One of my most significant encounters in the heavenly realms was face-to-face with Jesus as He talked me through this scripture. He sat me down and talked to me about living from a place of rest, a place of peace and wholeness. He gave me a revelation from this passage that I can live in, and that He wants all of us to live in.
Take My yoke
Jesus asks us to take His yoke upon us. We are to be joined to Him. We go where He goes. This means that we do not get to choose which field we go to plough in. Jesus sets the field, the path and the direction.
He wants to carry the weight of our burdens so that we can be at rest. But we also have to learn from Him. By looking at His life we can learn how to live at rest. In His relationship with the Father and how He operated, He modelled how to live in rest. Jesus wants to train us and disciple us in that.
He describes Himself as ‘gentle and humble in heart’. Being gentle is not being wishy-washy and allowing yourself to be treated as a doormat. The meaning of the Greek word used here is that of a wild stallion which has been broken and has a bit in its mouth. God wants us strong and powerful, but wholly submitted to His will and purposes.
It is the same with humility. Being humble is not saying ‘Oh, I am a worm and no man! I am nothing!’. Humility is acknowledging who you are as a child of God and accepting your royal identity, your destiny and calling. Jesus took on the form of a servant, even though He was the Lord of creation. But He knew who He was, and what He was called to be. He lived totally surrendered to the will of His Father: ‘I only do the things I see the Father doing’ (John 5:19). We must accept who we are as children of God, and live out of that knowledge.
Most of us would say we want to live in ‘rest, relief, ease, refreshment, recreation and blessed quiet’, prospering in all we do, and not having to struggle and strive. But we will not be at rest if we are feeling weary, heavy-laden or overburdened.
So if I feel tired, I am going to ask Jesus to show me if I am:
- trying to survive and cope with life myself. Or am I surrendered to Him?
- trying to provide for myself. Or is God my provider?
- trying to protect myself. Or do I trust in His protection for me?
- trying to find significance in achievements.
- trying to create my own self image.
- trying to compare myself with others. Or am I content to be unique?
- trying to be somebody else. It is OK to have role models, but I need to be me.
- trying to meet others expectations. Maybe even the expectations my parents put on me as a child? It is God’s expectations we need to fulfil: that is our destiny.
- trying to wear a mask of pretence. Keeping up appearances.
- trying to maintain control. Or have I surrendered control to God?
- trying to cover up my inadequacies. He knows all my faults and weaknesses, and loves me anyway. He loves me enough to accept me, but also enough to transform me and make me whole.
- trying to be good and righteous with dead works. Jesus’ sacrifice provided all we need for salvation and for transformation.
- trying to please God, others & myself. I cannot please everyone: I must choose to please God.
- trying to make amends for my past. Or receiving forgiveness as a free gift?
If I feel burdened, am I carrying things I shouldn’t be?
- burdened by false responsibilities for family, finances, or future?
- burdened by sin, guilt, shame & condemnation? In Christ there is no condemnation. In Christ we are cleansed and made the righteousness of God.
- burdened by the weight of expectations?
- burdened by sorrows and grief? Jesus came to carry our griefs and our sorrows. There is a grieving process, but we do not have to bear it on our own.
- burdened by disappointments? Hope deferred makes the heart sick (Prov 13:12).
- burdened by unforgiveness? That is probably the heaviest weight for us to carry. We have been forgiven completely and unreservedly: He wants us to be able to forgive everybody else.
- burdened by worry, anxiety, fear?
- burdened by debt?
- burdened by carrying the responsibility for my own life?
If we will hand all these things over to Jesus, He will take the weight. How do we do that?
Covenant names of God
Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10)
The compound names of God, the covenant names, are really important here.
- The Lord my righteousness.
- The Lord my sanctification
- The Lord my peace
- The Lord my provider
- The Lord my healer
- The Lord my shepherd
- The Lord my banner of victory
- The Lord is there
All are names God has revealed because He wants us to live and know Him in these ways.
Cast your care
Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. (1 Peter 5:7 AMP). He has broad shoulders and can carry everything we would like to lay on Him. He longs for us to hand over the burdens of our lives to Him, our future, our present and our past.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matt 6:33). Places to live, clothes to wear, food to eat: everything we need will be added to us when we seek first the kingdom. I cannot put myself first, and still seek the kingdom. If we insist on providing for ourselves, we cannot expect that God will provide for us. It is one or the other. God wants us to surrender.
Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you (James 4:10).
God wants to raise us up and give us a position and a place of authority and rule to fulfil our destiny and call. Will we surrender and humble ourselves before Him?
Let us pray these things through, step into the presence of God and allow Him to change us and transform us. We can step into His presence, because the kingdom of God is as close as the hand in front of our face: we have a choice to turn into it or elsewhere.
So, if you really want to hand over to God all your cares, worries and burdens, everything that is making you tired and weary, here is an opportunity to do it.
I suggest you stand if you are able, and find a place where you can take a step forwards and backwards as by faith we engage our physical bodies with this process.
Father I thank you
that you have made a way
for me to come into your presence
By faith [take a step forward]
I step into the realm of your presence
and ask you to forgive me
for doing things in my own strength.
I repent of providing for and protecting myself;
I repent of finding significance in achievements
and trying to create my own self image;
I repent of comparing myself with others.
I repent of trying to be somebody else
and trying to meet others’ expectations;
I repent of wearing masks of pretence to cover up my inadequacies;
I repent of trying to be good and righteous
using dead works
to try to please God and others;
I repent for trying to make amends for my past.
I repent for trying to maintain control of my life.
Today Jesus I wilfully, with desire,
hand over responsibility for my life over to You.
I cast all my burdens onto you
and hand over responsibility
for my family, finances and future.
I cast all my sin, guilt,
shame and condemnation onto You
I cast all my sorrows, grief,
disappointments, worry, anxiety and fear onto You.
I cast all my debts onto You;
I cast all the weight of expectation onto you;
I surrender control of my life to You.
I choose to be yoked to You Jesus:
Train me in gentleness and humility
to bring me to the place of maturity.
Now, Lord, I step back [take a step back]
into this earthly dimension,
bringing Your rest with me
to live in the eye of the storm.
I choose to live from the seat of rest.
Related articles from Freedom ARC