In this morning’s Bible study, I was drawn again to what has become my life verse. But this morning I studied it in context. “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt 11:28-30)
Right now I have many thoughts racing through my mind, but today I want to first paint a picture of toiling for the sake of toiling — running on a hamster wheel and going no where. So many times I’ve stepped up to take on a task that of itself was a good thing. The problem has been that I wasn’t called by the Lord to take up the task. And because I wasn’t called, most times I found myself toiling in my own power, and it exhausted me.
As I look at this passage this morning anew, I’m struck that this passage isn’t about rest, that’s a byproduct. This passage is about having a relationship with Christ; not just calling on Him in times of trouble, but staying on the vine (John 15:5). It’s submitting ourselves to Him, allowing Him to write His laws into our minds and on our hearts so that we are close enough to Him that we know when He’s telling us to do something, and when He’s not.
Elliott’s commentary says, “When we give ourselves up to the Father as the Son gave Himself, we shall find not only that our yoke is easy and our burden light, but that they communicate ease and lightness; not only will they not make us weary, but they will give us rest from all other weariness. Let us not waste a moment in asking how this can be; the only way to know that is to take the yoke upon us. Only by having it can we know it.”
This passage is truly the antithesis to legalism, which is adhering to a list of do’s and don’ts in order to make ourselves worthy. Our worth comes from being created in His image, and in our relationship with the Son who has bestowed His own righteousness upon us, thereby writing His laws on our hearts and minds (Heb 8:10).
Lord, thank You for Your direction to take Your yoke upon me that You have created to ease the burden, so I can learn from You. Thank You for reminding me that it is in my submission to Your Lordship, that I can truly rest. Lord, I give this day to You; I ask that You drive the tasks at hand today so that my work is for You so that You will be glorified. In the precious name of Jesus, amen.