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Thoughts on Jesus Being Our Authoritative Refuge

July 10, 2009

jesus-the-refuge1

I was driving back from lunch today thinking of why I still find myself in the struggle of a battle of refuges. Let me explain. Typically when I am tired, weary, worn out, discouraged, or just plain feeling leisurely my mind takes me through a list of things I can use to find rest and happiness in.

For example: I can take a dip in our new pool, I can go buy a Sonic Route 44oz. drink, I can get on the internet and surf articles, I can go buy a Playstation 3, etc. I am amazed at how fast my mind and heart build up so many replacements for Jesus. He is THE one true refuge and rest. He alone is the one who gives us happiness and pleasure in finding rest. He is a rock of refuge in time of need.

So I pondered, “If I know this about Jesus (but obviously don’t believe it as true or I would embrace it), then why do I still replace Him for refuge idols?”

“Ah”, I though, “Because He is the Only refuge with divine authority!” That’s it! He is the only place of rest that actually requires something of me. And not just a little something, but hard things. Like self-sacrifice, worship, self-denial, study, discipline, service, selfless love and more.

Jesus was right when He said…

Matthew 11:28-30  28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

But out of that same mouth came “deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me” and “you will be hated for my name’s sake” and “humble yourself” and “the first shall be last and the last shall be first” and more and more. Jesus has been given all authority on heaven and on earth. Our typical human hearts rebel against authority non-stop. Even in our need for rest we rebel against authority.

So what kind of rest and refuge do we look for? A peaceful one? Yes of course. But only a peace we want; a peace requiring no action, no hardness, no work, no sweat, no thinking or feeling. A numb, apathetic, selfish peace that is ruled by ME.

What I need is a refuge I can rest in AND submit to. I need a refuge who is Sovereign and Gracious. I need a rest that is peaceful and fruitful. One that is easy and light but also hard and heavy to point me to sanctification. It is only by jumping through the briars that one reaches the other side of the bushes. Cuts and scrapes must come to get to the healing hand on the other side.

So saint, be honest with yourself. Stop running away from the authoritative rest found in Jesus Christ and run towards Him. Stop creating your own world of rest and refuge where YOU are the authority and you make the rules and you sit on your throne. But humble yourself, repent, and flee to the throne of the Savior.

You can find refuge at His feet in peace and rest, but remember that He sits on His throne with power and authority in your rest. The Rock is our refuge!

Christian: work while you rest and rest while you work.

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