Episode #58 The Power of Countercultural Rest – Intentional Living

4 Minutes Read

Rest More Resolution Podcast

From Today's Episode:

Welcome! We're in our Intentional Living Series and today's topic is The Power of Countercultural Rest.


Matthew 11:28-30

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God, you know what's going on in my life. How can I prioritize rest and find refreshment in you?

Here's the episode transcript

Hey friend, are you overworked and maybe even a little bit overwhelmed? If you are, you're not alone. I actually can relate to feeling that same way. And today we're talking about being energized and revitalized by connecting with God through opportunities to rest. Now, prioritizing rest and refreshment is something that's difficult for a lot of us, especially in a culture that prizes activity and busyness.

And if you've been around our Good God Talks podcast for a little while, you've heard me talk about rest before. But the reason that we're approaching it today, from a different angle, is that we can't really talk about intentional living and partnering with God in our day-to-day life experiences and skip over this area of rest.

It's a huge aspect of how God created us to live and be sustained. He created us to have times of rest. Today we're challenging the cultural notion that productivity is king, and I want to focus for a minute on what it means that the type of rest God offers us is countercultural.

One of the ways that we see that happen is simply in the ways that we rest. It can be really easy to look at rest as a form of crashing. We binge some form of entertainment. We binge some form of enjoyment like grabbing fast food on our way home or finding something that's quick and easy to distract us and to pull our attention from the things that have been heavy or hard or simply just busy in our day-to-day lives.

But that's not the rest that God offers.

He offers us actual replenishment and the exchanging of things that we find to be heavy and burdensome for a new load to carry. A load that is light.

I'll read for us, Matthew 11:28-30. this is Jesus speaking, and he says,

"Come to me, all 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."

Now the yoke that Jesus is talking about here could be in reference to what oxen wear when they're plowing the fields. And Jesus says, come to me you can take my yoke and learn from me. So Jesus isn't talking about adding an additional yolk to the burdens that we're carrying. He says, if you're laboring, if you are heavy laden, come to me. Exchange the burden that you have been carrying for the yoke that I offer you, because mine is light. Come to me and I will lighten your load.

I love reading this in the context of the passage because if we look up just a few verses earlier, Jesus is telling them that all things have been handed to him by the Father, and no one knows the son except the Father. And no one knows the father except the son and anyone to whom the son chooses to reveal him.

And then he says, come to me if you're heavy laden. So it could be that the yoke that Jesus is encouraging us to receive is the lighter load of receiving from him what we need. Of coming to him and receiving revelation of who he is and who the father is. This is a lighter for us to carry.

I've heard it spoken before, most recently I heard it from Pastor John Mark Comer, that the word "yolk" was also a first century term that rabbis would use to describe their set of teachings or their way of reading the law. And so, Jesus could also be saying here-which we may see in that passage context-come and receive from me my teachings, which tell you that if you come to me, I will bring you to the father. That I am the way for your salvation, that I am the way for your atonement.

When we talk about rest as being countercultural, and I think about that in the context of a yoke being Jesus' teachings, I wonder what lifestyle can be exchanged for a new way of living?

I love thinking about this passage in the context of receiving rest, because Jesus is telling them don't come and receive a lighter load so you can work harder with it. Or so your energy can be maximized, and you can do more or last longer. He says, come to me. My burden is light. I want to offer you rest. I love this reminder that Jesus wants to be gentle toward us.

And so, in whatever circumstances that you find yourself feeling worn out or overwhelmed or heavy laden, let's bring those to God and talk with him about it, to see what he would have you do.

And here's today's question:

God, you know what's going on in my life. How can I prioritize rest and find refreshment in you?

Have a good talk.

And if you've been encouraged by this content, please share it with a friend and help them grow in their conversational relationship with God too!

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