“My presence shall go with thee — and I will give thee rest.” “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me — for I am meek and lowly in heartThese three texts are cohesively connected to one another in that they each describe a close personal relationship with our Lord. A relationship that only He can initiate. A relationship that He has purposed to exist between us from everlasting — because He is everlasting! A relationship that is ear-marked with genuine “rest”.

The Exodus passage comes right out of the context of when Moses was afraid that the task — the commission — the vocation that he was called by God to complete with his life — he could not do by himself. From Ex.33:12-13 Moses said to the Lord, “See — thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people — and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me! Yet, thou hast said — I know thee by name — and thou hast also found grace in my sight! Now, therefore, I pray thee — if I have found grace in thy sight — show me, now, thy way — that I may know thee — that I may find grace in thy sight — and consider that this nation is thy people!” It is at this juncture that the Lord spoke unto Moses the blessed words of Ex.33:14. This becomes the divine seal of the close personal relationship that our Lord initiates with each and every one of His eternally loved and chosen ones. Just knowing that this exists between us and Him — delivers to us — even bestows upon us — blessed rest in Him.

Jesus taught this from Mt.11:29-30. To have the “yoke” of Christ graciously put upon us — is to become closely tied to the will of the Lord — even to be united with Him. He is meek and lowly in heart — and so are we then humbled and subservient to His leading, keeping and providing. His yoke is easy — because it commands us to love Him — and to trust Him — which, by His grace, we already do. And, it is in this that we find “rest” — because in Him we know we are eternally safe and secure.

The truth of Mt.11:29 is entered into from the irresistible obedient response to His command for us to “come” to Him from Mt.11:28. Jesus issues to all of His “weary and heavy laden” ones — not an invitation, or an offer — but an irresistible command for them to “come” to Him — for “rest”. We come — because we are drawn to do so by God the Father’s everlasting love and mercy and grace [Jer.31:3; Jn.6:44-45]. We come out of the darkness of our tombs of spiritual death — right into His Light and Life — where we find in Him — and in Him, alone — that we have true “rest” for our souls. Our whole lives — and the way that we live and walk through this fallen world — are, henceforth, made new according to the close personal relationship that we have with our Lord. In Him we abide. In His “yoke” we abide. In His “rest” we abide. Under His leadership and grace we abide. And, it’s only natural that our walk through this world should reflect his abiding, leading, providing “presence”. Praise His Name!
— and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy — and my burden is light.” “He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself, also, so to walk — even as He walked.” Ex.33:14; Mt.11:29-30; 1Jn.2:6

For Christ’s Glory Only!
John Carpenter

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