Thus says the Lord: "Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.
But they said, 'We will not walk in it."
Have you ever felt so tired from all the pressures of life and work and that no matter how many times you take a day off or go on a vacation, the passion just never comes back? A lot of professionals have succumbed to the lack of passion for what they do even though it was once there.
There was a point in my ministry that I felt extremely fatigued, and it wasn't because I was working long hours or sleeping late. It was because my soul felt completely drained and my passion was spent. Does this sound familiar?
Maybe you've experienced a level of burnout that goes beyond the physical. That's because rest has always been designed to be something that our whole being must experience. It's not just our minds and bodies that need rest, but our souls and spirits as well.
Allow me to share three realities about rest that just may revolutionize the way you take breaks from the pressures of life, work and circumstances.
Reality #1. Rest for the soul and rest for the body are two separate things
Jeremiah 6:16 speaks to us about finding rest for the soul, which is completely different from rest that benefits the body. These kinds of rest are like two opposite ends of a spectrum in that they cannot be garnered the same way.
Reality #2. Fatigued souls lead to fatigued bodies
When the soul is tired, our whole being feels it. Speaking of how Israel wandered across the wilderness for forty years, Psalms 95:10-11 says, "For forty years I loathed that generation and said, 'They are a people who go astray in their heart, and they have not known my ways.' Therefore I swore in my wrath, 'They shall not enter my rest.'"
Imagine how tiring it must have been to wander through desert and wilderness for forty years, but the nation of Israel may as well have experienced overall fatigue because deep inside, their souls were exhausted.
Reality #3. Rest for the soul comes only from God
So how do we gain rest for the soul? In Matthew 11:28-29, Jesus tells us, "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."
True rest for the soul comes only through Jesus Christ, who has made it possible for us to enter God's presence by fulfilling the ancient paths for us (as Jeremiah 6:16 speaks of). Jesus is our path to God's presence and to rest for our souls.