Are you resting or running?

Are you resting or running?

Entering into the rest always seems to be a complicated issue. Grace people focus on resting, faith people on running and pressing in. Who is right and who is wrong? Many will say, it all has to do with “balance”. But somehow balance doesn’t seem to work. If we try to balance resting with pressing in, we become spiritually schizophrenic. It is not so much balance, but a deeper understanding of the concept of rest. Rest is not a condition of inactivity, but rather a state of heart and mind. Resting does not mean that you live without working, pressing and running, but that you live and even press without any stress.

Let’s break it down even further. Jesus urges us to come to Him when we are stressed, so He can give us rest. He continues to explain that we will be yoked with Him. We know that a yoke is something that was used for oxen. Oxen work hard, they press in, they plough and pull. So Jesus is not saying we should refrain from hard work. We should work with the right motive, expectation and state of heart. The key word in everything is: responsibility. If you are yoked with Jesus, you partner with Him but ultimately He will be responsible. You can now work with a yoke that is easy and a burden that is light, because you don’t carry the stress.

There are two areas to determine whether or not you have entered into the rest. The first one is happiness with where you are now. Dissatisfaction is one of the major stress factors in one’s life. If you learn to be content with where you are now, stress will flee from your life and only then do you qualify for a better life. It was Joyce Meyer who said it like this, “If you are not happy where you are now, you won’t be happy where you are going.”

The second area is your concern for approval, praise and credit. Remember God says He is not going to share His glory with no one, not even with you. So get used to the idea that you’ll get to enjoy lots of fruit and success, but you won’t be able to take any credit for it. But as long as you are trying to build a reputation, stress is an inevitable by-product. Once you have your impeccable reputation, you’ll have to maintain it. This is where Hollywood and all the other celebrities in the world suffer from enormous stress. Since the tabloids are dedicated to hurt and damage reputations, as long as you try to keep your reputation up, you will suffer. I am happy I have found the key to be stress free, no matter what people say or think: Like Jesus, become of no reputation. That is true liberty. That is entering the rest.

For reference:
Hebrews 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest,
Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
1 Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
Philippians 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men

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