“Come to Me, all you 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.” Matthew 11:29-30 (NKJV)

I often refer to the “early days” of my walk with Christ because it was a time of great joy, peace, and rest in my soul. A life of contentment, something only God can do.

Unfortunately, we can move away from the yoke that binds us to Jesus, finding ourselves aligned with people or things in opposition to the Kingdom of God.

We can remove the yoke of Jesus when we serve Him through the requirements of the law, or set our minds on the things of this earth. We may also find ourselves yoked to the pursuit of earthly riches, focusing not on what is eternal, but that what is temporal. Anytime we “unhitch” from Jesus we forfeit His peace, and our souls become anxious.

There are three things Jesus says we can do to return to this rest.

  1. Come to Him
  2. Take His yoke upon us
  3. Learn from Him

If you’re are born again, these all transpired at the new birth. Your life came into alignment with God’s will and purpose, and you were at peace. It’s referred to by some as the “honeymoon phase” of our relationship with Him, but it’s supposed to be our life, not a phase in it.

The enemy is much smarter and deceptive than we give him credit for. Just as he did in the Garden with Eve, he can convince us there is something “more” out there God is holding back on us. He entices us to move away from Jesus and pursue what God forbids. When we do, we return to a yoke of bondage.

Writing to the Church of Ephesus the Apostle John said, “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.’” Revelation 2:4-7 (NKJV)

To those who have strayed form their first love, there are three commands.

Remember, repent, and resume.

Remember what it was like before devotion became duty.

Repent, turn back to Jesus and take His yoke upon you.

Resume the the things you did at first. (Learn from Him)

Do this and you will be an overcomer who is allowed to eat from the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God.

And you will, as Jesus promised, find rest for your soul.

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