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Finding Rest for Your Soul

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD
The Truth Network Radio
January 10, 2022 7:00 am

Finding Rest for Your Soul

The Urban Alternative / Tony Evans, PhD

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January 10, 2022 7:00 am

If you're trying to lighten your load in life, the last thing you'd want to do is take on something new, something heavy. But Dr. Tony Evans says that's exactly what it takes to find the rest your soul has been looking for.

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If you missed the big stuff, if you already got it made, and you do that independently of God, He says you got to carry your garbage with you. Dr. Tony Evans says those who try to make it on their own miss out on a divine gift. But until you take His yoke and until you learn of Him, you won't find what He gave. This is The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans, author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, the president of the Urban Alternative. If you're trying to lighten your load in life, the last thing you'd want to do is take on something new, something heavy. But today, Dr. Evans says that's exactly what it takes to find the rest your soul has been looking for.

Let's join him as he explains. The Pelicano was the most unwanted ship in the world. In 1986, there was a sanitation strike in the city of Philadelphia coming right out of the Democratic Convention. Myriads of people left myriads of trash that was being uncollected and unaddressed. Since the sanitation workers were on strike, the trash was collected and placed on the Pelicano, a freighter. Twenty-eight tons of trash had been burned and had become toxic ash and placed on this freighter. Because it had become toxic, it had no place to dock because no country wanted to deal with it. So for two years, the Pelicano floated from sea to sea, ocean to ocean, looking for a place to rest. But there was no place that would accept it because of the toxicity of the garbage. The only thing they would allow the Pelicano to do is to stop and be refueled in order to wander some more.

A lot of people are like the Pelicano. We just got all this garbage and no place to take it. We come to church on Sunday hoping to get rid of it, only to discover all we could do was get refueled. But we leave with the weight still on us, carrying the same load we came with. We got a little bit more fuel, a little bit more energy, but the same weight.

If you have come way down with the stuff of life, the garbage, it may even be toxic, both for you and for others. But Jesus wants to offer you a place to dock, a place to leave it. Not merely to be refueled to keep carrying it, but to release it. This release in the Bible is called rest, where the burden, the thing that weighs you down, you let go of. In Matthew chapter 11, Jesus starts off with a prayer.

In verse 25 he says, I praise you, Father, Lord in heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them unto infants. He's getting ready to tell you how to let the load go. He's getting ready to tell you and me how to release the burden. He's getting ready to tell you how to get rid of the garbage.

He's getting ready to comfort you in your affliction. But before he does, he starts with a prayer, and he says, Father, I thank you that you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent. In other words, the answer to life's burdens can be discovered at UCLA, Harvard, Yale, the University of Texas, or even seminary, which can give you information without illumination. He goes on to say in verse 26 and 27, only the Son knows the Father. And the only ones who know the Son who knows the Father are those to whom the Son reveals it. And he says in verse 25, he reveals it to infants. In other words, if you want to know the answer to life, you've got to become a baby again. He says he reveals it to babes.

That's an infant. If you miss the big stuff, if you've already got it made, if your degrees are hanging on the wall, and you've been educated to the height degree, and you do that independently of God, he says you've got to carry your garbage with you. He then says three words that will let you, when you leave here today, take the pack off your back. He says come, take, and learn. Those are the three words that he gives us.

Let's look at the first word. He says in verse 28, come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Come to me if you're weary, weighed down, heavy laden. That means the weight is too heavy to bear.

It's like a weight lifter with all these plates on both sides of the bar, and you're struggling to hold it up. Life is weighing down on you. The afflictions of life, the pains of life, the mistakes of life, the regrets of life, the hurts of life, the anguish of life, it's weighing down on you, and you can't lift it anymore. He says come to me, you who life has weighed you down.

Come to me all you who are weary. Now, weary is different than sleepy. Sleepy, you get a bed, you fall off to sleep and into another realm of consciousness. That's not the same as weary and heavy laden. That's when the burdens of life are controlling you so that you can't sleep. Or if you do sleep, you enter into a nightmare on Elm Street.

It is a burden. He says come to me. This word rest is a big word in the Bible, going all the way to the beginning of Scripture. Six days God created, and on the seventh day He rested. He didn't go to sleep. He didn't nap. That's not what rest meant. It meant He chilled. He chilled.

He sat back to enjoy His creation. So important was the rest that God told Israel to honor the Sabbath day, the day of rest. For six days He says you shall work, try to make money, try to make an income, try to make a life.

He says but on the seventh day you chill. You rest. You rest.

I prohibit you from trying to do that, make that extra dollar, make that extra buck, put that extra effort in, because I want you to see what I can do with the labor that's already been done, which is what I did when I created. In other words, why should you stay up if I'm staying up? Don't need both of us losing sleep. The Bible says the Lord giveth to His beloved while they sleep, that He's still working on stuff when you're snoring. He says you rest. Rest meant to put it in the hands of God, to leave it. Hebrews 4 says there is a rest for the people of God.

There is rest. He wants you to rest. In football, when the quarterback receives the ball from the center, he's under pressure.

He receives the ball from the center. He backs up. He's under pressure because the other team is trying to get in on him and get him. They're trying to tear him down, tackle him, sack him. He's under pressure. But then he turns around and hands the ball off to the halfback. And when he turns around and hands the ball off to the halfback, the pressure that was on him changes direction. See, the pressure was after him because he was carrying the football. But when he hands it off, the pressure that was after him goes elsewhere.

As long as you're holding on to it, you're going to feel the pressure. But Jesus says if you ever learn to hand it off, come to Me. I love this phrase. He says, I will give you rest, not I will buy you rest. He says it's free.

That's interesting. No cost rest. No cost rest. I will give you rest. Secondly, he says, take. He says come first. Then he comes to the verb take. Taking is something, come is a place you got to go. Take is something you got to do.

If I say take something, you got to go grab it. Come to Me. And I come to church because you can come to church without coming to Him. See, you can come to a religious ceremony, religious exercise. People come to church who don't come to Jesus. And if you come to church but don't come to Jesus, you've gone nowhere. But then he says take.

Take what? Take my yoke. Now, this is back in farming days, in New Testament days, aguarian culture. A yoke is a harness.

You folk from the country know this. It's a harness and it would harness two oxen together. They would be harnessed, usually an older, bigger oxen and then a younger oxen, younger oxen. And they would be hooked up together or yoked. The yoke was a harness that linked them.

The purpose of the link was threefold. Number one, it created companionship because they were hooked up side by side. So now there was a companionship. Not only was there a companionship, but there was submission because the younger ox had to submit to the experience, size, and strength of the older ox. The older ox had been here before, knew what he was doing. He had to submit to that and then there was responsibility because they're pulling a plow.

So there's responsibility. He says, first of all, come to me and then hook up with me, yoke. Link with me. So what does that link do for us when it comes to dealing with our day-to-day burdens? Dr. Evans will have the answer for us when he continues this message in just a moment. But before he comes back, I want to let you know that what you've been hearing today is one installment in the new 20-part message compilation called Coming to the Comforter. This collection of messages from Dr. Evans helps us understand how to deal with problems and pain more effectively and honestly. And the collection goes hand in hand with the lessons from Tony's brand new book, Hope for the Hurting.

Together, these powerful resources can help you discover what God wants you to learn during difficult days, how to find treasure in your trials, how to be made whole instead of just better, and how to develop a stronger faith even in the midst of trials. We'll send them to you as our gift right now, and thanks for your contribution in support of Tony's continuing ministry here on this station and others like it around the world. Just visit to get the details and make all the arrangements. Again, that's Or let one of our resource team members help you day or night at 1-800-800-3222.

That's 1-800-800-3222. Well, Dr. Evans, we'll come back with part two of today's message right after this. I'm standing here in Alaska, one of the most glorious places in God's great creation. And I want to invite you to join me and our Urban Alternative family for the Alaskan Cruise. We're going to have a magnificent time in God's Word and in God's creation. We're going to enjoy great fellowship, great fun, great food, and I'm looking forward to meeting and greeting you on our TUA Alaskan Cruise. Register to be there. Can't wait to be with you. To find out more about this unforgettable Alaskan Cruise, visit today.

That's I'm sure many of you have been in the situation that I've been in when something went wrong with the car and you were stuck on the side of a road somewhere and you had to pick up the phone and call AAA. And AAA would bring this big truck and this big truck had a harness on it and this harness would grab your car, lift up one side, and then your car would be moving but not under its own power because it was broke down. But because what came to help you was bigger and stronger than your vehicle and because it had a hitch on it that could grab hold of your vehicle and lift it up, you were going somewhere under the power of something else. Jesus says, once you come to me, if you ever hook up with me, you will discover I can move you from where your stuck position is and take you to where you need to go so that you can be made right.

Because they would always take me to a filling station or they would take me to a repair shop, somebody who could make right what was wrong, but I couldn't get there by myself until I got yoked, until I got hooked up. Jonathan, my son, he travels with me when I go somewhere to speak and because of the many years I've flown and the amount of miles I've accumulated with America, I'm a permanent platinum flyer, which simply means that one of the benefits is if there are first-class seats that have gone unclaimed, I can get bumped up. So on this occasion, I was bumped up, but they also give you a companion upgrade. And so we went and we checked in only to discover I had gotten my seat as the platinum flyer, but there was no upgrade for him, even though seats were available. She says, I'm sorry, we can't upgrade you. We say, well, why not?

And she went through the record. She says, ah, I see the problem. You are ticketed on this flight, but you got your ticket separate from him so you have a different indicator number. And if your indicator number is different, then you can't piggyback off of his privilege, even though you're his child. Many of us are God's child, but we can't piggyback on his privileges because we got our own indicator number. I belong to Jesus, but I'm going to do it my way. I belong to Jesus, but I got my own thoughts. I belong to Jesus, but I got my own will. We wonder why, since I belong to Jesus, nothing's happening out of the relationship. And Jesus is saying, because you're operating on your own number, so you don't get the companion hookup. He says, take my yoke upon you.

You've got to be hitched to me, not just related to me. It's not enough to be saved. To be saved gets you to heaven.

To be hitched gets heaven to you. He says, take my yoke upon you. It's like a coach picking up a player, wrapping that injured player's arm around his shoulders, wrapping his hand around the injured player's waist, yoking him so that this weary, bruised, broken, hurt player can make it. Not because he can make it on his own, but because he's yoked. Somebody's carrying him. He says, you must first come to me.

Then you must hook up with me. Yoke. Then he says, the reason for the yoke is that you might learn from me. The young ox was yoked for the purpose of learning plow pulling from the old ox.

The whole point of the yoke was education, maturation, and development. So that you learn how to pull this plow, I want you to hook up for me. Jesus is saying, so that you learn how to live this life, make these decisions, go in the right direction, I want you to hook up with me. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me. Why, Jesus, should I make you this whole thing for my burdens in life? For I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Listen to this. He says, the reason you should hook up with me is my yoke is easy. Now, the Greek word for easy means custom made, specially fitted. See, right now, this sermon is an off-the-rack sermon. But Jesus says, if you hook up for me, I got some tailor-made stuff for you, stuff that has been fitted for your size. See, it's one thing to get a general sermon that's generally for everybody. It's another thing to say, I'm talking to you when God speaks your name and you know it was like nobody else was in the room because you heard His voice for you. See, we've got Christians that have a general word, but they can't describe a rhema word. A rhema word is when God calls your name. I'm talking to you.

It's where He speaks to your soul, and you know you just heard from the living and true God. He says, my yoke is custom made. I got plenty of children, but I know you by name, so I can custom make my relieving your burden. He says, not only is it easy, but my burden is light. My burden is light.

Okay, don't misread that. He didn't say you won't have a burden. He just said it won't weigh the same. He didn't say all your burdens are gone. He's saying the weight of your burden changes. So I'm not suggesting here today that when you come to Jesus, when you take the yoke, when you learn His way, that every problem in your life will disappear.

What I am saying is it won't weigh what it used to weigh. The burden is now light. I was going through the airport one day, and I had suitcases in both hands. And I'm carrying suitcases in both hands, and somebody said to me, don't those cases have wheels? I'm walking, carrying, sweating, rushing, all that.

And somebody said, don't they have wheels? Why are you carrying that burden? I put them down, pulled the handles up, the weight of the cases never changed, but my burden became light.

They were as heavy as they ever were, but I didn't feel the weight of them like I was feeling them because they had something built in that changed the nature of how they could be handled. God is saying, I've got something built in for your weariness and weight of life, that if you let me do it, for as long as you have to deal with the case anyway, I can put wheels on that thing so it doesn't weigh what it used to weigh. My burden is light.

Wheels for you to deal with the realities of life. God's guarantee is not that there will be no problems. His guarantee is that He will change their weight.

They won't be that heavy. And it will be tailor-made with your name on it. Dr. Tony Evans, talking about how God lightens our load in a message called Finding Rest for Your Soul. And be sure to stay with us because he'll be back with a closing thought in just a moment. If you'd like to hear today's lesson again or pass it along to someone else, contact us to find out how to get a full-length copy. Better yet, consider getting the entire 20-part message series called Coming to the Comforter. As I mentioned earlier, it's yours as our gift when you help us keep Tony's teaching on this station with your generous contribution. And for a limited time, we are also including one of the first copies of Tony's brand-new book, Hope for the Hurting. Just visit to make the arrangements before the special limited-time offer runs out.

And while you're there, be sure to take a little time to browse our huge collection of CDs, DVDs, books, Bible studies, and more, covering just about any topic you can imagine. Again, that's Or reach out to our resource center at 1-800-800-3222. Team members are standing by to help you day and night.

Again, that's 1-800-800-3222. Where we find ourselves in life may seem like the result of random and even evil elements at work. But tomorrow, Dr. Evans will give us a look at how God not only sees the complete picture, but also always has a plan ready for our good. Right now, though, he's back to wrap up today with this final comment.

Our world has many problems today. It's coming in all shapes and sizes, and rest is hard to come by. And you know you have a problem resting because it won't even let you sleep. But he says, my yoke is easy and my burden is light. And then he says, and you will find rest for your souls. Wait a minute now, that's different than what he started with. He started with, I'm going to give you rest, in verse 28. But then he comes and concludes, you'll find it. Okay?

That's a different statement. God can give it, and you not locate it. Because you don't find it until the end. If you come to him, he'll give it. But until you take his yoke, and until you learn of him, you won't find what he gave. Guess what Jesus is saying? I know it's wearing you out and wearing you down, but I got it. The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by the Urban Alternative and is made possible by the generous contributions of listeners like you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-30 08:47:34 / 2023-06-30 08:56:28 / 9

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