“Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves.”—Matthew 11:28–29 If you find that Christianity exhausts you, draining you of your energy, then you are practicing religion rather than enjoying a relationship. Jesus said that a relationship with Him would bring rest to your soul. Your walk with the Lord will not make you weary; it will invigorate you, restore your strength, and energize your life (Isa 40:31). Hard work or lack of sleep can make you tired. This fatigue can usually be remedied by a good rest. But there is a deeper fatigue that goes beyond physical tiredness. There is an emotional exhaustion that comes from experiencing heavy burdens and draining crises. There is a tiredness deep within your soul that comes from carrying the weight of the needs of others. You can go on a vacation, but your soul will not be restored. This condition can only be rectified by finding rest in Christ. Some zealous Christians want to do all they can to serve Christ, and they exhaust themselves in the process. It was to these that Jesus extended His invitation to go to Him and learn from Him. Jesus spent most of His earthly ministry surrounded by needy multitudes (Lk 4:40-41). He faced relentless opposition, He often prayed throughout the night (Lk 6:12), and He rarely had any privacy, yet He always received the rest and strength that came from His Father. It was not that Jesus did not work hard but that He knew the path to spiritual rest (Lk 4:42). Are you weary? Go to Jesus and let Him give you His rest. His rest will restore your soul as nothing else can. The above decision depends largely on the action below: Taking Responsibility Then the man replied, “The woman You gave to be with me—she gave me [some fruit] from the tree, and I ate.”—Genesis 3:12 Adam and Eve did everything they could to avoid taking responsibility for their sin. Adam blamed his wife: “She gave me of the tree.” He even pointed an accusing finger at God, saying it was “the woman, whom You gave me.” Eve blamed the serpent saying: “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” God ignored their excuses and announced the judgment they would face as consequences for their disobedience. One of the dirges of mankind is that we refuse to take responsibility for our actions. We want to blame others for our problems: Our parents did not raise us well; our friends let us down; our pastor was not a good enough preacher; our children are rebellious; our employer is not sensitive enough; our spouse is not understanding; there is not enough time in the day . . . the excuses are plentiful! Yet forgiveness and restoration cannot happen until we accept full responsibility for our actions. An obvious indication that we have not genuinely repented is that we make excuses for our sinful behavior. Nowhere in Scripture does God excuse one person’s sin because of someone else’s actions. If we make a habit of blaming others for our failures, we will not reach a point of honest repentance. God will hold us accountable for our own actions, not others (2 Cor. 5:10). Strive always to acknowledge and take responsibility for your own sins. It will free you to receive God’s forgiveness and to press on to spiritual maturity. You may be asking how do I take responsibility for my actions. Let consider the work of the Holy Spirit in a regenerated life. “Renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10 A backslider, if there be a spark of life left in him will groan after restoration. In this renewal the same exercise of grace is required as at our conversion. We needed repentance then; we certainly need it now. We wanted faith that we might come to Christ at first; only the like grace can bring us to Jesus now. We wanted a word from the Most High, a word from the lip of the loving One, to end our fears then; we shall soon discover, when under a sense of present sin, that we need it now. No man can be renewed without as real and true a manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s energy as he felt at first, because the work is as great, and flesh and blood are as much in the way now as ever they were. Let thy personal weakness, O Christian, be an argument to make thee pray earnestly to thy God for help. Remember, David when he felt himself to be powerless, did not fold his arms or close his lips, but he hastened to the mercy-seat with “renew a right spirit within me.” Let not the doctrine that you, unaided, can do nothing, make you sleep; but let it be a goad in your side to drive you with an awful earnestness to Israel’s strong Helper. O that you may have grace to plead with God, as though you pleaded for your very life—”Lord, renew a right spirit within me.” He who sincerely prays to God to do this, will prove his honesty by using the means through which God works (1Cor 2:14). Be much in prayer (Lk 18:1); live much upon the Word of God (Jos 1:8); kill the lusts which have driven your Lord from you(2Cor 4:3-6); be careful to watch over the future uprisings of sin. The Lord has His own appointed ways; sit by the wayside and you will be ready when He passes by. Continue in all those blessed ordinances which will foster and nourish your dying graces; and, knowing that all the power must proceed from Him, cease not to cry, “Renew a right spirit within me.” Remain blessed in the Lord.
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