If you are not familiar with who Brian Doerksen is, I urge you to look him up. Brian is a Christian singer/songwriter, recording artist, author, conference speaker and pastor. Born and raised on the west coast of Canada in Abbotsford B.C., he now lives with his family (wife of 25 years Joyce and their 4 youngest children) in the same home that he spent his childhood in. He has notable songs like: “Refiner’s Fire” (1990), “Faithful One”, “Hope of the Nations,” (2003), “Holy God”, “Today (As For Me and My House)” and “Come Now is the Time to Worship” (1998).
Brian is a phenomenal song writer. Even in some of his simplest lyrics, he hits you with something when you least expect it. I bought a few songs from his album “Level Ground” when it came out a few months ago but never really took the time to listen to all the songs. But I was listening to “Enter the rest of God” the other day and boom – it hit me like a drone. A simple phrase tucked away in the song – “
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace… Live the unforced rhythms of grace.”
How do you live the unforced rhythms of grace? How do you lay aside all your striving to find rest through his precious grace? First, let’s look at the Bible verse and then the lyrics of the song. He bases the lyrics of the song on Matthew 11:28, 29, 30. “Come to me, all 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.” To this he writes:
Are you tired Worn out and empty Is your soul weary Have you tried Releasing your burdens Do you feel the weight Of worry? I am the rest you need I am the Prince of Peace Enter the rest of God. Come to Me Burdens will fly away Walk with Me Learn the unforced rhythms of grace… Live the unforced rhythms of grace…
When training a new animal (such as an ox) to plow, ancient farmers would often yoke it to an older, stronger, more experienced animal who would bear the burden and guide the young animal through his learning process. The point here is we are the new, younger, not strong, and inexperienced. He is wiser, stronger, and more experienced. It is in our coming, taking, learning, finding, and yoking ourselves to Him that we can begin to “live the unforced rhythms of grace. That is when we cease striving, that’s when we find rest. Rest for our souls.
If your yoke is hard and your burden is heavy, then it isn’t His yoke or burden, and you aren’t letting Him bear it with you. Jesus said it plainly: My yoke is easy and My burden is light. This is how we discover the rhythm of grace.
There are three areas in which God wants you to find rest:
Rest is Harmony in your relationship with the Father.
“For we who have believed enter that rest. For whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works” Hebrews 4:3
This is what Jesus calls rest for your soul. When we cease being enemies of God, when we come into fellowship with Him, when we repent of our sins and disobedience – we enter into a profound relationship with our Father – that is when our joy is complete.
Rest is Happiness with ourselves
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28,29
Sometimes life can be burdensome. We can carry around a load of care. At these times we worry about things and stress over setbacks disappointments and tribulations. But He invites us to lay our burdens at His feet. When we do, a certain kind of peace and contentment comes over our soul and we are able to live and breathe again.
Rest is Holiday Everyday
Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your servant woman, and the alien, may be refreshed. Exodus 23:12
Holiday is a period of cessation from work or one of recreation; vacation. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be at the end of the year. It doesn’t have to be at the end of the week. It can be everyday. If we would just divert daily from work, withdraw week and abandon yearly – we can find rest. If we would just turn off the TV and go to bed early so you can get your eight hours of sleep we will find rest.