Day 5: The Invitation
Friday, February 11, 2022
This week, we are delving into the inner world of the heart as the secret place where we meet with God and our spiritual foundation is formed. The condition of our heart determines the direction of our life. Our focus in prayer has been building that foundation during our time alone with God. This is necessary for a life of faithfulness.
To live a life of following Jesus, we need to follow the example he modeled by building a rhythm of life around prayer. Jesus embraced a way of living that was radically different from how most of us do life today. Of course, Jesus didn’t live in 21st century America. He did not experience life in the same way we do today. However, his example of living was also radically different from his day. In his approach, there is a secret truth of how to live and experience the freedom and fullness of life that most of us cannot even fathom in our too-fast, hectic, overly-full daily lives.
The good news is that Jesus invites us into this new way of living. For the next three days, we will focus our time of prayer and fasting around the incredible invitation Jesus gives us in Matthew 11:28-30. Let’s explore what this new way of living looks like.
“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.’”
We begin today by focusing on verse 28. Read the scripture in bold again. Now one more time, but slower. Okay, one final time, but even unhurried. Absorb Jesus’ words. Personalize them. When you read “I will give you rest,” substitute “you” for your own name. Say it out loud. Experience the freedom he is offering you right now. Are you weary? Are you carrying heavy burdens? Is it okay to presume the answer to that question is yes?
Jesus is inviting us into a different kind of life. It is no understatement to say his way is superior to ours. And it is freely offered, freely available to all of us. It begins by simply coming to him and learning to do life his way. There, we exchange our burdens for rest. There we truly find the fullness of life from the inside out: in our hearts and in our daily experiences.
To be Jesus’ disciple is to accept his invitation and follow his example. According to author John Mark Comer, it means organizing our lives around three basic goals:
- Be with Jesus.
- Become like Jesus.
- Do what he would do if he were you.
The purpose is to organize our entire lives around following him. It’s not part of us but the whole self that we submit to his will and way. And his way is precisely what we need. It is how we exchange our heavy burdens for rest. There is a cost, but what we gain is much greater in this life and the one to come.
Begin your time of prayer by responding to Jesus’ invitation in your heart to come to him. Enter in the quiet place with Jesus, ask him to exchange your burdens for His rest. Name all that is making you weary and burdened during this season of your life. Write them down if possible. Then, simply offer them to him. Don’t rush. Experience the rest for your soul that he gives you.
Prayer: “Jesus, today I respond to your invitation to come to you. You promise that you draw near to me when I draw near to you. I want to be with you and be like you. I want to live life the way you would; I want to follow your example. I bring you my weariness and my burdens. Here they are, Lord—I surrender them to you. Help me to experience the full life that only you give. My life is yours. Amen.”
By Dave Mann
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