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									                                       COME TO ME
                              By Bo Ace – 18th September 2011

I have recently returned from the most amazing experience of my life. I attended a week
long ministry called Heartquest at which I met with the Lord in ways I previously only
imagined would be possible.
While I was away:
     I heard His voice closely.
     I understood His word clearly.
     I wanted His healing more desperately than I ever have.
     I recognised a deep hunger in myself to know and be known by God, to see and be
        seen by His people.
     I got located – not living and walking by faith. Not real faith. Not the kind that
        leaves you utterly trusting in God’s will, way, plan and design for your life.
     I realised the depravity of my own wounded soul.

Heartquest was not a time over which I had any control or one over which I could exert any
control. It was entirely out of my hands – but not Papa God’s - and, I am not proud to tell
you, I went to this week weary and fearful.

Papa God has a lot for us and I have become fully persuaded that many of us are not walking
in the good things pre-ordained by Father because of weariness and pain. Simply put, we
just don’t have the energy to believe for ourselves, that God’s word is true for us, to join our
faith with others, to yet do more and similarly, past disappointment and harsh treatment
from others has made us jaded as to the authenticity of our own, or others, Christian love.

If you are anything like I was at that time, the whole idea of “joining my faith” or “praying in
faith” with others was becoming just another “job” in a long list of things I have to do as a
Christian and as a pastor. I am not understating things when I tell you that part of me felt
that God’s expectations upon little old me were like those of Pharaoh upon the Israelites …
make more bricks with less ingredients.

This is what pain and weariness do in our life. They distort our vision and understanding of
who Papa God is and rob our joy of being saved and loved by Father God.

I had self-diagnosed and come to it that Geoff was a very big part of all my problems – if not
the root cause and that all would be well with me if only he:
     Appreciated me more
     Valued me more
     Understood me better
     Made me feel beautiful
     Met my intimacy needs
     Listened more closely
     Listened to understand not just to “fix” me
     Took the spiritual lead more
     Didn’t need me to spell it out so much
      Could understand the sigh of my heart more
      And more, and more, and more, and more


Please let me be completely frank and clear about where I have been living and walking – I
was going through the motions, running on fumes, limping in my lane, angry, wounded,
disillusioned and critical.

Attending this Heartquest was like Jesus’ personal invitation to me and this is how it
sounded:
“Are you done yet Bo? Have you had enough of having enough yet? Will you just STOP
already?

This is the way scripture says it:
Matt. 11:28-30 “Come to me, all who labour 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”

Here is the instruction and sequence:
    Come to Jesus ….. (humble ourselves)
    Take His yoke ….. (submit ourselves)
    Learn from Him ….. (lose ourselves)
    Find rest for our souls ….. (refresh ourselves)

I am yoked to Jesus and other believers. I don’t have to do life alone but I do have to move
in the direction Jesus is leading me in.

I am not to be a stubborn rebellious mule. The Lord has put a new heart in me and from it
flows the desire to follow Him wholeheartedly.

Who is Jesus talking to here? All that labour and are heavy laden.

What does he promise? To give us rest.

What do we have to do? This is so simple that we could almost miss it. We have to come to
Jesus and we come to Him in humility and meet Him first at the Cross.

… come to Me
The Cross – power through humility – you and I come humbly, not arrogantly to the Cross.
We did not save ourselves. Jesus went to the Cross for us and we get the benefits as a
result.

We yield here at the Cross; get power to be forgiven; to be cleansed; to blot out the
handwritings against us; because of our willingness to yield at the Cross God’s power that
translates us from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of the Son of His Love is
released into our lives. The Cross is the place of power where eternal exchanges are made –
death for life; poverty for riches; beauty for ashes; brokenness for healing; weakness for
strength.

If we want help in our “heavy ladening” - we don’t go to others who will listen, sympathise,
criticise or dramatise. First of all, we go to Jesus.
In humility.
Not demanding His attention.
Not telling Him where to touch us so that we may be healed.
Just - coming to Him.
Just - presenting ourselves to His merciful and faithful scrutiny in order that He may identify
and address anything in us that He does not fit us for eternity.

… all you who labour and are heavy laden
In our coming to Jesus, we admit our condition. Jesus identified the malaise as being heavy
laden.

Heavy laden (perfect passive participle) – as having already been done (add ….ing to the
word) might make the text read something like this:
“Come to me all you that labour and who have already been ladened and are heavy with the
ladening”

Is that anyone here this morning? Are there others who recognise they are not where they
could be? Family, we have a huge capacity for pride and stubbornness and we are also very
blinkered when it comes to identifying our own depraved condition.

Jesus said that we should consider removing the log from our own eye before we attempt to
relieve our brother of the splinter in his eye. Honest admittance of what is really going on in
our own lives is a start to removing the log from our own eye.

May I tell you something? Jesus will carry your burden if you let Him but you have to lay
down your determination to self-sufficiency and pride to let Him do it.

… and I will give you rest
Scripture has a lot to say about God’s people entering their rest (the rest of faith i.e. trust in
God and the rest that comes from completely trusting Papa God, in all circumstances).

Rest – anapauo – to repose, to be exempt, remain, by implication to refresh, take ease. This
verse now gives us a fuller picture of what Jesus will give us in return for our heavy ladening
and could read something like this:

“Come to me all you that labour and who have already been ladened and are heavy with the
ladening and I will cause you to lie back, I will exempt you from your load and cause you to
remain in me, to be refreshed and to take your ease”
What’s not to like about this offer? Jesus gives us the rest we need. The rest we need is
found in Jesus. I don’t have to work at my rest, Jesus said plainly “…and I will give you rest”.

Perhaps we are willing to look for rest anywhere except in Jesus. Why is this? Do we
mistrust Christ’s motives? Do we fear that the rest He gives will come with strings
attached? Is it even more simply that the journey to the Cross and to the Christ of the Cross
is one we are willing to undertake only very rarely and in extreme circumstances?

Heavy ladening, lack of rest, unease, stale spirituality – these are extremely negative for the
Christian and should not be tolerated as acceptable – especially in view of the fact that Jesus
has made a way out.

It just boils down to how badly we want the “out”.

… take my yoke upon you
Take – airo – to lift, by implication take up or away, to raise the voice, keep in suspense (the
mind) i.e. specifically to sail away (weigh anchor) to expiate sin, away with, bear up, carry,
remove, take away with.

The instruction is to take Christ’s yoke upon me, but how do I do this?
To take up or away by raising my voice - by the words I speak. Give yourself permission to
take on the yoke of Jesus in your situation. By your words, confess your need and sins to
Jesus.
To keep my mind in suspense – the action of taking up the yoke of the Lord may seem, to the
cerebral part of ourselves, to be foolish and even contrary to our natural will and desire for
self-rule.
Sail away, weigh anchor – leave behind the other stuff that has been weighing you down
and anchoring you into a different and unhealthy lifestyle.

I take the yoke of Christ upon myself– I don’t take it to put on others (legalism), I take it
upon myself. Now, as we look at this verse with a better understanding of how we take the
yoke of Jesus upon ourselves, it might read more fully like this:

“Come to me all you that labour and who have already been ladened and are heavy with the
ladening and I will cause you to lie back, I will exempt you from your load and cause you to
remain in me, to be refreshed and to take your ease. Lift up your voice to Me, don’t let your
mind tell you what to do here, weigh anchor from what has been holding you back.”

… and learn from Me
To learn in any way, to understand (Manthano).

And learn from me (Jesus speaking) - this is what the scripture instructs, to take the yoke of
being a Christ follower, to yield to the constraints of being called, identified and chosen to
be a Christ follower. This does rein me in. This does limit me. This does affect what I do;
how I do it; where I go and why I want what I want.
Scripture exhorts us to be imitators of Christ.

Everything Jesus did, was as an example of how we can now live.

However we get the knowledge of the true Christ, just get it, and in the getting learn it.
Learn from our own mistakes, learn from the mistakes of others, learn by reading the
warnings of scripture so that no mistakes have to be involved, learn by receiving the
instruction and correction of Holy Spirit.

Remember, the Holy Spirit is the One who will lead, guide, teach and train us. He is called
alongside to render aid, He will convince of sin, He will show us Jesus, He illuminates the
Word as we read the Bible. The key way we learn from Jesus is to follow His example of
living a Holy Spirit infused and led life. Let’s look at this verse with the understanding of
what it means to learn from Jesus:

“Come to me all you that labour and who have already been ladened and are heavy with the
ladening and I will cause you to lie back, I will exempt you from your load and cause you to
remain in me, to be refreshed and to take your ease. Lift up your voice to Me, don’t let your
mind tell you what to do here, weigh anchor from what has been holding you back. I will
teach you how to live. Imitate me. I know how you should do things.”

… for I am gentle and lowly of heart
It really does matter how we perceive Jesus.

Who Jesus is to you will be what you will give away (and portray) to others.
If Jesus is a strict task master who makes you do more with less; who expects you to give
until you are empty; who wipes the floor with you when you do wrong, then you will repeat
and model this to others.

Imagine what happens to us when we encounter Jesus in the midst of our heavy ladening
and He is gentle with us. It shifts something deep within. It calls out to our pain and we are
enabled to give it over to Him.

Our Heavenly Father is kinder than we give Him credit, more willing to render aid and more
ready to tender forgiveness than we believe likely.

…. and you shall find rest for your souls
The heavy ladening of our expected godly labour (to walk in the good deeds pre-prepared
for us takes determined effort) affects our souls, not our hearts. Our soul is regarded as
being the seat of our emotions, will, thoughts, intellect. By contrast, our hearts are the
inmost part of our born again spirit that is good and perfect because God has set up home
there.

At salvation, Papa God removed our heart of stone (our dead heart) and gave us a heart of
flesh (one soft to Him). Jesus lives in our heart, we are God indwelt in our heart (not our
soul, not our body). God cannot live where there is sin, therefore the place where God
dwells within us must be sin free.

The sin nature that is inherent in the natural or carnal man wars with our renewed spirit to
have dominion over our thought life, spiritual life, physical body and actions, words, deeds
etc. This is only my opinion, but I believe that the extent to which our souls are rested and
healed is the extent to which we will walk in the spirit.

I put it to you plainly, the less healed you are, the less of the Spirit you will walk in.
Similarly, the more healed we become, the more of the Spirit we express. Which means
that the more healed we become, the greater benefit we can be to God’s people and His
purposes.

Why is it then, that Jesus was so adamant about healing all who were oppressed of the
devil?

Importantly, brokenness (soul pain) interrupts our ability to sense and show Papa God.

A wounded life filter colours our perspective of who Father is – not just for us, but for
others. As we flesh out this verse further, look at the depth of meaning it now carries:
“Come to me all you that labour and who have already been ladened and are heavy with the
ladening and I will cause you to lie back, I will exempt you from your load and cause you to
remain in me, to be refreshed and to take your ease. Lift up your voice to Me, don’t let your
mind tell you what to do here, weigh anchor from what has been holding you back. I will
teach you how to live. Imitate me. I know how you should do things. I won’t berate you or
humiliate you when you come. I will heal your wounded soul.”

… for my yoke is easy:
Easy – chrestos from chraomi - to furnish what is needed, employed by implication useful (in
manner or morals) better, easy, good, goodness, gracious, kind.

The yoke that Jesus offers to us is furnished as fully specific to what is needed by us and as
that which we can usefully employ (in the things we do, our behaviour and morals) and His
yoke will result in a good, gracious, easy, kind way of life (not to be confused with a life of
ease or a life without trial, struggle or pain).

This does not mean that taking and walking in that yoke is easy (for we have an active
enemy who will do all he can to convince us not to take up and become yoked with Jesus)
but it does mean that in tough times, the yoke Christ offers (and which teaches us about
who He is in those tough situations) will be an easier option than trying to do life in our own
strength.

…and my burden is light:
Burden – chliaros – tepid, lukewarm from chlio – to warm.
The burden of our sin, the burden of doing in our own strength, the burden of enemy
oppression can all produce an inferno of raging, internal pain.

What Jesus offers us in exchange, when we come to Him and take up His yoke, does not add
fuel to the fire or hurt us further. It soothes and heals us - like calming anointment on a hot
sting. In fact, Jesus takes the “sting” out of most of life’s burdens if we let Him.

As we take the entire verse, fully expanded, let us consider the instruction of Jesus to the
weary saints:
“Come to me all you that labour and who have already been ladened and are heavy with the
ladening and I will cause you to lie back, I will exempt you from your load and cause you to
remain in me, to be refreshed and to take your ease. Lift up your voice to Me, don’t let your
mind tell you what to do here, weigh anchor from what has been holding you back. I will
teach you how to live. Imitate me. I know how you should do things. . I won’t berate you or
humiliate you when you come. I will heal your wounded soul. I have what you need, when
you need it. By learning from Me, the life that I give you, will be good, gracious, useful and
easy. I will not add fuel to the fire”


How about the promise of an easy yoke and a light manageable burden? What an exchange
if we will come to Him when we are weary, humble ourselves and take the rest He offers.
Papa God offers me rest through:

      Recognising I am weary
      Humbling myself to come to Him
      Coming to Him in humility
      Submitting myself to His yoke
      Choosing to be joined to His will; pace and direction. I AM NOT MY OWN. I DON’T
       GET TO CHOOSE THE WHERE? I DON’T GET TO OFFER ALTERNATIVES. I AM THE ONE
       WHO IS LED!!
      Learning from Him as we are yoked together
      I get to learn firsthand how Jesus walks. I get to see what He is like. I quite literally
       get schooled by being yoked to Jesus as I “do” life
      I also get to walk real close, all the time, continually, with Jesus who loves me
      I also get to exchange my heavy burden for His light one
      I have been given a new heart and from my new heart, comes a natural desire to
       obey, follow, enjoy, know and be known by Papa God as His child. Our Heavenly
       Father knows all about me, but He wants us to enjoy being fully known by Him. No
       dark spots – no hidden, shame filled spaces
      There is exchange in the yoke
      There is freedom in the yoke
      There is healing in the yoke
      There is joy in the yoke, if we are not walking with Jesus, our joy levels and our
       strength levels will fail us
      Jesus enters our painful journey to give us rest. I need to take the rest He offers I
       cannot run my race well burdened with “heavy ladenning”
Matt. 11:28-30 (Message)
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and
you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with
me … watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or
ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly”

Is. 40:31
They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength…”
Qavah a primary root; to bind together (perhaps by twisting) i.e. collect, figuratively to
expect; gather (together) look, patiently, tarry, wait for, wait on or wait upon.

I started by saying that Jesus wants to exchange yokes with us.

As we wait on the Lord, there is a change or passing on of strength. If we wait on the Lord,
we exchange our weakness for God’s strength. Exchange is a better translation of the word
“renew” – chalaph which means to change, to pass on.

REMIND PEOPLE THAT:
Each person should examine their own heart and life and should only respond to what the
Lord reveals to them. If necessary, confess in their hearts and repent before the Lord for
any sins He reveals and then come to Him in humility, repentantly.

It takes courage to face what you are shown and to do as you are told but, there is rest and
freedom in this place. Papa God wants our hearts and souls so that we may love Him with
all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength and with all our mind.

Jesus, aware of the weariness of the people around Him, offered them rest. His offer still
stands today.
NOTES ON MINISTRY TIME:

James 5:13-16 “Are any among you suffering? They should keep on praying about it. And
those who have reason to be thankful should continually sing praises to the Lord. Are any
among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over
them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. And their prayer offered in faith will
heal the sick and the Lord will make them well. And anyone who has committed sins will be
forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results”.

The devil tries to keep us locked in shame, guilt and accusation. He uses condemnation to
keep us secret about inner issues of our life that, once bought into the light of Christ’s light,
life and love, would be seen for what they are – merely sin issues that have already been
paid in full at Calvary.

Confession to one another must be done in a safe environment. This cannot be done by
people in front of the whole church but within the confines of a ministry team who have
themselves known the power of this and humbled themselves through this exact same
process, we can be sure that people will be afforded the safest possible environment
through which to let the Lord reveal and heal them.

For this reason, only those people who have been on Heartquest are to do the ministry.
They have been strictly warned of the need for confidentiality and to ensure that nothing of
what is spoken to them, ever goes anywhere else. Many of God’s people have been abused
by those who minister to them, then sharing their business or alluding to it with others
(mostly due to pride issues).

Having preached the word, allow Holy Spirit the time to deal heart to heart with His people.
Allow dignity and privacy for each person. Some people may not be ready to deal with
things. Let them know that is ok. This may be just a “soaking” preparatory message for
them. Give people permission not to respond but make every effort to facilitate those who
want to.

								
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