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Good, Better, Best: It’s All In Where You Find Your Rest

January 7, 2019

Instagram.  The Office.  Twitter.  New Girl.  Pinterest.  Fortnite.  YouTube.

Statistics show that the average person spends 10 hours per week on Netflix and 14 hours per week on social media. After a long day of work, we want to veg out on the couch and not think or talk.

It makes sense, right?

In ministry, we spend our entire day pouring out physically, mentally, and emotionally: walking on campus, sharing the gospel, leading bible studies, studying scripture, and recruiting to events. We work days and nights. We even bring our work home with us, inviting students over or planning last minute for the next day.

We’re tired, and Netflix and social media seem to be our most available options for unplugging from life.

But there’s a better way to rest. Matthew 11: 28-30 says:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Jesus invites us to come to Him for our rest. He calls us to rely on Him instead of being self-sufficient. When we choose to look to other things, we are deliberately putting ourselves in the driver’s seat. We are basically saying that our way is better, and we are keeping Jesus at an arms length, only coming to Him when it is convenient for us.

To take His yoke upon us means to yield our life to Him and willingly be guided by Him.

If He is guiding us to Himself, then why are we looking for rest in other ways?

We probably have a distorted view of what rest really means.

Our world says rest is:

  • Sleeping
  • Hanging out with a friend or your spouse
  • Watching a movie
  • Reading a book
  • Eating
  • Taking a vacation

All of these things can be relaxing for a while. They give us the temporary illusion of rest, but the Bible tells us something different.

In Exodus 33:14, God answers Moses’ prayer by giving him a promise. It says:

The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

The kind of rest that will last comes from His presence, not from anything we can do. I don’t know about you, but even if I get a ton of sleep, take a break from work, and relax all day, I still somehow feel tired. I feel like I need something more.

We need rest for our souls! Saint Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless until they find rest in you.” We won’t ever feel rested until we look to Jesus.

Campus ministry is a humbling job. We know God doesn’t need us to accomplish what we’re doing, yet He chooses to use us. When we depend on ourselves or coworkers to do the work, it’s exhausting. It’s easy to forget that it’s Him working through us.

Imagine the joy that could overflow from us to our students if we were to truly find rest where we are supposed to! I would think we would be so much more effective in reaching college students for Christ.

So how do you look to Jesus for rest?

  • When you are feeling like you need to be rejuvenated, refreshed, and restored, spend extended time in prayer and reading God’s Word.
  • Take a look at your life and diagnose where you’ve been trying to find rest other than Jesus and why. Take steps to decrease or maybe completely remove that outlet from your life.
  • Memorize and meditate on Psalm 23.
  • If you are struggling to have the desire to spend time with God, switch up your time with Him: sing worship songs, change up the location, journal your prayers, and alter your posture.
  • Instead of scrolling through Instagram or watching Netflix right before you go to bed, work on scripture memory, read a book that will develop your character, or spend time in prayer. Let the last thing on your mind before your head hits the pillow be Jesus!