Cope: Embrace Spiritual Practices - Rest

John 15:1-17

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.Matthew 11:28 NIV How easy would it be to cope today if we had someplace to dump our burdens? When Jesus says “Come to me”, he means that’s all we have to do; that’s our part. The rest is His part, (pun intended).

When we try to reverse the roles Jesus establishes, we get overworked and overstressed. Too often, we find ourselves trying hard to get through a situation expecting Jesus to show up while we’re doing it our way. Even when we’re doing something good like practicing a spiritual discipline, such as fasting or prayer or worship ect., we may not feel like we’re better off than before we began. So, we work harder and harder and just end up becoming exhausted. We have no rest; no recovery between trials. And, we’re not prepared to handle the next situation coming right behind this one.

Embracing spiritual practices is like embracing a child or loved one. It’s not burdensome, but it can be difficult. Getting up out of bed at 3am for an infant feeding, for example, is difficult. But there’s literally nothing that could keep you from that expression of love. During sacrificial love time, we’re bonding with our loved one and we know it. When we embrace spiritual practices, the Holy Spirit “cements” our bond to Christ, perfecting our “Come to me” part. Trying harder to work on spiritual practices is legalistic and exhausting because the spiritual practice itself can’t make us holy or bind us to Christ. It’s the Spirit’s work; the Spirit’s prompting and the Spirit’s illumination present in that practice that keeps us connected to Christ.

And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14 NKJV