Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. – Mat. 11:28-29 NKJV
When we try to handle a load of problems in our own strength, we become heavy-laden and struggle in our labor. These heavy weights might even belong to others. We search for ways to unload what weighs us down, but only find temporary solutions. Going to Jesus before we go into overload is the answer.
When training a new animal to plow, farmers would often yoke it to an older, stronger, more experienced animal who would bear the burden, pull the younger animal and teach him through the process. Similarly, Jesus invites us to come to Him, take His yoke upon us, surrender all to Him, and find rest for our souls.
As we follow His leading, He teaches us His ways and trains us to walk in His steps. He is our burden bearer, inviting us to yield to His leadership. When we try to do the pulling alone, He gentling pulls, never pushes, with grace and love. His burden is light. The more we trust Him, the more we abide in Him and receive physical and emotional rest, from glory to glory.
After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly. – Mark 8:25 NKJV
A single touch from the Lord forever transformed our lives during salvation. Then He touches us again and again! Amazing grace. Not only when we are in need because of hardship, but just because He loves us and delights in making His presence known. It enables us to face the fiery darts, trials, and circumstances we come in contact with on our journey and stand in who we are in Christ.
We can do an ordinary task and suddenly feel His presence; have a simple conversation and hear His wisdom; feel weak and experience His strength; worry about our loved ones and encounter His peace. When we pay attention to His presence in our lives, we find it, treasure it and walk in expectation of it. We discover all His amazing ways and seek Him with more love, faith, and hope.
A touch from the Lord heals any wrong touches. It transforms our behaviors, changes our desires and creates new ones. Some things we can no longer touch because of His touch. We can come to the Lord repeatedly, seek an encounter with Him and experience His presence, from glory to glory!
And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” So the Lord said, ‘If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea, and it would obey you.’ – Luke 17:5-6
When what we expect doesn’t come to pass, we question ourselves, is it because of something I have done, not done? Is my faith too small? Guilt and self-condemnation add to our doubts, along with discouragement and a hesitation to continue to hope.
Looking at ourselves and wondering if we have enough faith, are deserving or worthy, is having faith in ourselves: faith in our ability, our righteousness, our faith. It’s faith in Jesus, who He is and what He has done that helps us stand in our afflictions and find peace.
Our faith can be small as a mustard seed when it is in a big God! Because we believe in Him, not ourselves, we trust in the outcome of any situation. Father knows best. We abide in His love and forgiveness.
Our faith in Him leads us to rest in His care, in the assurance of what we do not see. With thanksgiving, we pray; and in peace, leave the results in His mighty hand. We do not look to gain more faith, but to know Him more. As we do, we pray, Lord, increase our faith, from glory to glory!
Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the waterpots with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. – John 2:6-7 NKJV
The waterpots needed to be filled to the brim. The servants couldn’t just fill the container halfway and see what would happen before doing the rest of the task. Also, it wasn’t just one gallon, but twenty or thirty! Not half-filled, but filled to the brim. To fill to the brim in our lives is to do whatever He leads us to do to the fullest.
It requires patience to walk into what God tells us to do when it involves long hours, continued faithfulness, and unseen results. Seeing the full picture would help us handle the process, but would not help us walk by faith. The full plan is unknown, but Christ is not. He clarifies the picture as more of the pieces of our lives’ puzzles come together.
We are to obey the Lord wholeheartedly regardless of the nature or size of the task, its appearance, or the cost to our comfort zone. Jesus gave His all for us and we give Him our all, with love and joy. With a spirit of excellence, we do all things for His glory. Filled with His Spirit, we obey and remain filled to the brim, from glory to glory!
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.- Romans 8:1 NKJV
No condemnation. None. Jesus took on our guilty sentence and paid the punishment for our sins. When the Spirit of God convicts us of yesterday’s errors, He does it with love and healing. He leads us to repent and move forward. When satan condemns us, he brings shame and condemnation, to hinder our progress, walk unforgiven, and bring regrets.
Regrets brings despair, sorrow, and hopelessness. We battle thoughts of defeat: if only I had not done that; if only I had handled that better; if only I had not missed that opportunity, if only … When we dwell on our pasts, we get stuck in places we no longer occupy. Recalling God’s faithfulness brings encouragement and empowerment. Receiving His forgiveness and forgiving ourselves produces freedom.
As a new creation in Christ Jesus, we walk free from condemnation. Our story of redemption replaces our history of regrets. By God’s grace, we make the most out of today. By His mercy, His blood covers new mistakes. When we stay present in our tasks and relationships, we find peace and rest. It might take time, but God carries us through the process with care and patience, from glory to glory!