Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Stop Laboring and Start Resting

By Kristen Leigh Evensen
Stop laboring.
Too often, we carry burdens that were never ours to carry. When Christ took our sins upon His shoulders, He declared once for all that we no longer had to carry the weight of our sins around ourselves. He declared us righteous. Yet, at times we act like Christ's sacrifice for us never happened.

We plod through our days, weighed down by burdens and sins, deterred by our past, and not believing our present justification by Christ's blood. We forget that Christ's blood has set us free from sin and death, which it has, to the praise of His glorious grace!

Today's post will be short and sweet, but I knew that I needed this reminder today to stop laboring--stop trying to "be good" and self-justify--and rest in the sufficiency of Christ. He alone is our righteousness. And to that end, here is an illustration from C.S. Lewis' The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, where young Lucy is asking the Magician about the rebellion of his minions, the Duffers. Take a minute and read:

"Well, [the Duffers] wouldn't do what they were told. Their work is to mind the garden and raise food--not for me, as they imagine, but for themselves. They wouldn't do it at all if I didn't make them. And of course for a garden you want water. There is a beautiful spring about a half a mile away up the hill. And from the spring there flows a stream which comes right past the garden. All I asked them to do was to take their water from the stream instead of trudging up to the spring with their buckets two or three times a day and tiring themselves out besides spilling half of it on the way back. But they wouldn't see it. In the end they refused point blank" (p. 164-5). 

My sisters, how often do we trudge up to the spring, trusting in our own ways and unnecessarily working, when the truth lies in the stream, right before us? Jesus Christ is the truth. May the Holy Spirit enlighten the eyes of our hearts! We need not work harder or be better, because Christ has already redeemed us by His blood shed on the cross. We need only to trust Him, to believe our new identity as His daughters united to Himself, and to walk by faith--taking our water from the stream of Christ Jesus alone. 

Stop laboring and start resting in the righteousness of Christ, who is your life.

Dear Father, I choose to place my hope in none other than Christ today. I trust Your sovereign plan, and I put my faith in Jesus alone. Thank you for the freedom that comes by His cleansing blood! 

Amen.

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