Saturday, December 19, 2015

To Experience Jesus' Promise of Rest For Our Souls

Any time we find a promise in Scripture that still applies to God's children today,[1] we should ask ourselves how well we are experiencing what is promised. If God promises that the fruit of being filled with the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control,[2] those who continuously set their minds on the Spirit should experience these qualities constantly maturing in their lives.

One promise that stands out to me at the moment is contained in Jesus’ invitation of Matthew 11:28-30. Jesus says that, if we come to him for rest, he will give rest to our souls. That being the case, if we come to Jesus, our experience ought to be a distinctive kind of rest deep in our souls. 

Here are a couple of diagrams to help us think through what Jesus is promising us, and how much we experience of this promise.

First, this is what it looks like when we consider what Jesus promises, and then our experience of his promise.

Second, here are some questions that correspond to what Jesus told us to do in order to fully experience what he has promised. 

This last chart simply pictures giving yourself room to answer the questions.

Here are the three questions listed separately. It would be worth copying into a word-processor document so you can fill in your answers:

1.  “Take my yoke upon you” ~ What are the ways you have taken Jesus’ yoke upon you? (What do you feel the Holy Spirit leading you to do in order to do this all the more?)

2.  “and learn from me” ~ What are the ways you are learning from Jesus in a real and personal relationship? (What do you feel the Holy Spirit leading you to do to grow in learning from Jesus?)

3.  “and you will find rest for your souls” ~ What are the ways you have found rest for your soul through the things you have learned from Jesus? (What do you feel the Holy Spirit is exposing within you of further need of rest for your soul?)

If each of Jesus’ disciples will do this, setting our minds on the Spirit instead of the flesh, we may be pleasantly encouraged to identify how these things are already true in our lives, and how we could experience rest for our souls in even greater ways. Perhaps we will also see how to minister this to others who need help and encouragement to experience Jesus’ rest for their souls. 

[1] There are some promises that applied to Israel under the first covenant that are no longer in effect to believers under the new covenant; there are promises Jesus gave to the church that have already been fulfilled; and there are promises about our future hope that will not be fulfilled until we are with the Lord forever. In the case of this post, I am identifying things that Jesus has promise that all his disciples can and should experience during our earthly pilgrimage, so to speak.

[2] Galatians 5:22-23

© 2015 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~

Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.)

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