“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”(Matt 11:28 MSG)
What if we really lived this way: in the unforced rhythms of His grace? What would that look like? Is it even possible?
Jesus believes so, because he told us to. Think with me for a moment:
- Working by the grace of God
- Parenting by the grace of God
- Living in excellence by the grace of God
What if every single thing we did was only done to the rhythm of GRACE?
Our God loves it when we look to and rely on Him alone. In Hebrews 4:11, we are told to “labor to enter into this rest.” That rest is referring to the finished work of Jesus, where we now rest from our toiling and trying to keep the law. We can rest from trying to be and do enough. We can rest from carrying the burdens that the law put upon us.
As humans, we often think, “I know that God can handle all of the worries of the world, but just not MY worries.”
And we are wrong. For the labor and biggest work that God wants us to do is to rest in Him, by casting our cares, walking with Him, and watching how He works. He wants us to live in rhythm with Him.
Think about a life where you no longer worry about fixing everything in your world. Doesn’t that sound peaceful?
We live in a world where worry is acceptable, and self-effort is rewarded. But, as we live and move and have our being in Christ, we get to operate contrary to the world! We get to rest, trust, and believe. We get to have a best friend who carries our burdens and cares! And when we feel that self-effort propelling us, and the frustrations mounting, we can stop and be still in His presence. As we are called to “learn to live freely and lightly,” we can let God’s grace propel us instead of our own efforts.
Some of us were raised with a very strong work ethic. We put pressure on ourselves to do more and do better, but God doesn’t put that pressure on us. Remember, He wants us to rest, trust, and rely on Him. His grace is unforced. Our Father is not putting burdens on us, but wanting to remove them. We should never confuse work ethic and excellence with God’s awesome grace. He gives us grace for those things, but often we get caught up in propelling ourselves, instead of relying on Him.
You first must open your heart to Him. If you don’t know how, ask for His help. He is waiting. He is a gentleman. He won’t pry, he won’t force. When He is the one changing you, it is POSSIBLE. It may look challenging, but when you allow Him to work, there is GRACE for the change. When you are ready for that change, you will have the grace for it. The weight that you try to carry was already put on Jesus, 2000 years ago on that old rugged cross.
I challenge you to rest in the finished work of Jesus, and to ask yourself:
What does it look like live by grace, and to stay there, every single day of your life?