Have I found the rest of Christ from the burden of dead religious activity, and my futile efforts to live godly in my own strength?
28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." - Matthew 11:28-30
INSIGHT: If you have a burden, whether it is from sin, suffering, or self-effort, thank God because He wants to carry it for you. A person who has no burden has no perceived need for Christ. They get along just fine without Him, or so they think. If you are needy, you are in a great place to meet the God of the needy and helpless (Psalm 12:5, 35:10, 40:10).
After chasing the carrot of “business success” for several years, I finally grabbed it. I even achieved more than I expected as the company grew at 300% annually. I had the beautiful office space, the personal freedom, the great income, a bit of notoriety and a pretty incredible “come back” story. So what could have possibly been wrong? I had no peace in my heart. I woke up completely miserable one day and I stayed that way for about 18-months. I had to start riding my dirt bike more and more just to escape the stress.
Eventually, I realized that my business was growing simply for the sake of growing. This is what cancer does because it has no other purpose. I spent a solid year searching for solutions to relieve my burden. I hired Zig Ziglar’s favorite consultant, brought on a business development manager, considered strategic alliances, considered changing the business plan, entertained selling the business, and I even tried to simplify by putting all of my eggs into one client basket. No matter what I tried, nothing worked. Things just got worse, and my burden remained. At one point, as I was inquiring of the Lord about it all, I began to sense that He was telling me, “You are making progress, but in the wrong direction...I made you for more than this.”
Finally, on October 30th, 2009 I had what Oswald Chambers refers to as my “white funeral day”. I died to myself and gave Jesus my whole burden and life. I got on my knees and said, “Jesus, I quit…I am not happy anymore…I am torn between my love for you and success…I need your help and I want to give everything to you…I’m scared to death, but Lord even if you need to take my family, I give you everything…I’m not holding back anything. Please have your way with me Lord.”
Do not read this next part and think this is guaranteed to happen to you if you surrender to Jesus. This is what I needed, not necessarily you. You’ll understand more as you read the book.
Incredibly, 9 months to the day of that prayer, on July 30th 2010, my wife filed for divorce, took our children and my whole world collapsed. God stripped me of everything and it was very hurtful, but He was doing it all for my ultimate good and His glory. It has been one wild journey, but today I’m the happiest and most joy filled I have ever been, and it has nothing to do with my circumstances. As you keep reading you’ll see how I found rest from Jesus, and why what He allowed to happen in my life was such a good and loving thing.
What is your particular burden? What problem in your life are you still trying to fix yourself? It may initially cost you some spiritual skin, but I challenge you to surrender your burden and life fully to Jesus. He will show up and give you a rest that maybe you've never known before.