Come to Me
Sometimes the Christian individual gets lost between the “old man” and “the new man” – as if a Christian has no permission to admit genuine, spontaneous thoughts and emotions of their own, as if the right response is always scripted. Do you know what I mean?
We are promised that our death to sin and our resurrection to God have both been accomplished for us by our Lord Jesus. With that completed, we are to live in the gift of the new life that we could not accomplish for ourselves (see Colossians 3 and Ephesians 4).
Our habitual ways of thinking, our attachments and addictions to immediate gratification, our worthless ways of serving ourselves, our self-satisfaction the instant we do one thing right – no room for those now. No more time for that waste and its shame and its residue. We are to be rejoicing in the Spirit at all times, to be kind at all times, generously forgiving each other out of thankful hearts.
We can’t do without either this absolute teaching about our accomplished salvation, or these relentlessly holy instructions in the pure love that is so alien to us sinners. When I say the Christian individual can get lost in between these teachings, I don’t mean that we may rightly identify with sinful habits as indispensable parts of our personalities. But do you ever feel that the core of you — your desires, your fears, your anger, your disappointments, angst, and longings, are all carrying on untouched underneath the surface, while you struggle to keep the “new man” on like a character in a costume?
Do you ever feel like you received all the grace you’re going to get, in a lump sum up front, and that it got you into a Kingdom far too rigorous for your kind? If “putting on Christ” is not a relentless, exhausting game of make-believe, where do we find the grace that is available to us, in order to find this burden is light and this yoke is easy?
Jesus says, “Come to Me.” Is that too simple? But stop and hear it again. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Did you just hear Him say, “Die for Me?” I know He has said all manner of difficult, even (for humans) impossible things — but did He say it just now? Didn’t He say simply, “Come to Me”?
You, in your sinner-saved-by-grace state, are somewhere in the process of being transformed by grace — and you’re not at the finish line. Your heart is in more than one place; you are moved and motivated and torn both by joys and sorrows that are flowering in you as the work of God’s Spirit, and by joys and sorrows that have your limbs entangled and your wind-pipe half-choked. And Jesus sees you there in the in-between.
Before you take one more step of dutiful obedience, come to Him, and listen to His heart for you. You might be surprised by what He is and isn’t asking of you. He promises, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light, and you will find rest for your soul” (Matthew 11:28-30).