Soul Rest

Simple yet profound. What are the steps to achieve true rest for the soul? This is the real reason Jesus came – to help us seek and attain soul rest. Many want it, but are we prepared to do what it takes to achieve it?


Passage/s: Matthew 11:28-30

  • Context, Introduction
  • Steps to Soul Rest:
    • Concede your burden
    • Come to Christ
    • Connect with Christ
    • Centre around Christ
    • Continue in Christ


In his chapter, Jesus pays a tribute to John and condemns self righteousness. He applauds the spiritual wisdom of the “babes” and folly of the wise of the world. He then concludes with the strong reassurance that He can provide rest to the weary. Rest for the souls.

Bible Passage

Matt 11:28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

What is Soul Rest?

Jesus is not talking of physically or mentally weary though they may be included. The primary topic is focussed on rest for your souls which may have ripple effects on the mind and body? What is this rest?

The conscience cringes at open evil while the body craves for worldly pleasures. Recognition of sin as the primary burden it causes to the world and it’s repurcussions in our lives. Pursuit and longing for the truth, results in true rest, peace, abundance and satisfaction in Christ.

What is Soul Rest?

The bible gives us an example of Lot’s soul being tortured, yet trapped in materialism.

2 Peter 2:7 “and if He rescued Lot, a righteous man distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless 8(for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— 9if all this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.”

What is Soul Rest?

As opposed to the numerous salvation models designed with steps/laws, etc for salvation, Jesus brings the whole package in these verses. A lifelong journey.

Soul rest is relief from the burdens Satan puts on us. It is:

  • Embracing Christ’s offer of salvation
  • Systematically casting away demands of the flesh in order to “rest” the soul
  • Deepening our relationship with Him as we build relationship with His people.
  • An ongoing pursuit of discipleship

Steps to Soul rest

Concede your burden

Come to Christ

Connect with Christ

Centre around Christ

Continue in Christ

Concede your burden

“all who are weary and heavy-laden”

Do you have a burden? Do you feel it?

As an unbeliever, as a believer?

What’s it like?

What burdens overwhelm us?

Concede your burden – Soul Fatigue

Inadequate spiritual food – starved of word of God

Lack of Oxygen – limited holy spirit –

Excess cholesterol – over indulgence

Speeding heartbeat – too many activities

Inadequate sleep – inadequate prayer

Partial paralysis – numbness to reality

Concede your burden – Soul Fatigue signs

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of confidence/ overconfidence
  • Ego, Anger
  • Lack of purpose
  • Demotivation
  • Overindulgence
  • Infatuation
  • Addiction, etc

Result of soul Fatigue, Soul Coma

Isaiah 28:11 Indeed, He will speak to this people

Through stammering lips and a foreign tongue,

12 He who said to them, “Here is rest, give rest to the weary,”

And, “Here is repose,” but they would not listen.

13 So the word of the Lord to them will be,

“Order on order, order on order,

Line on line, line on line,

A little here, a little there,”

That they may go and stumble backward, be broken, snared and taken captive.

Come to Christ

The only source of relief

Release your burden

  • Sins (on regular basis, known and unknown)
  • Messed up feelings listed above

Repeatedly – daily rest/ sleep is required

Come to Me” – an ongoing process. How can we “come to Christ”? Before Salvation? After Salvation?

all who labour and are heavy laden”.. All  – everyone – Christians, non Christians,

who recognize the weight in their souls.

All who labour and are heavy laden

Trapped mentally into intellectual maze?

Emotionally into a love trap?

Physically into unending schedules?


Reject other “go to” people/ things

Remove other expectations, dependencies

Release your burdens emotional, physical, spiritual

Redirect expectations to Christ

The paradox

We want soul rest, but are not ready to let go of indulgences

We want the world and Christ

We want soul rest but do not want the yoke of Christ

We are under the cloud of Satan’s deception, unwilling to face reality.


We are addicted

  • How will Christ free our:

    • Mind
    • Heart
    • Body?

    Not removal therapy but replacement therapy

    He replaces Satan’s yoke with his yoke.

    • Changes our purpose
    • Our passion
    • Our endless routines

Connect with Christ

“And I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you”.

What is Christ’s yoke? How do we take Christ’s yoke?

  • Acquire His vision
  • Align with his purpose
  • Achieve His goals for us
  • Fulfil our life’s purpose

Not weekly, daily, hourly but every second

Talk, listen, read, – he is right beside – always

Spiritual fitness routine

Centre around Christ

Matt 11:29 ……and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Why is Christ’s yoke easy?

Sacrifice, service, persecution, loneliness? Easy?

Yes, when it’s accompanied by joy, peace, abundance, fulfilment.

Yes, when rewards outshine disappointments

Yes, when the cloud of deception lifts

Yes, every time

Centre around Christ

How do we learn from Jesus? Why should we learn from Jesus? How can we help others to learn from Jesus?

Jesus promises to personally walk with us on the journey, Gently, humbly, teaching us, guiding us, picking us up, helping us in every situation, comforting us, listening and talking to us – on a lifelong journey – carrying most of the load on Himself.

Are we truly making Him our centre? And everything we love the most ALWAYS second to Him? Can we trust when we cannot see?

Continue in Christ

Matthew 11:29b …………….. and you will find rest for your souls.

You – personal

Will – guaranteed over time

Find – Discover and experience throughout life


The only true rest we have  in this world and continue in the next. 


We know we are getting caught under the old yoke when

There is less time and place  for Christ in:

  • mind
  • Heart
  • body

Soul Rest - Recap

Concede your burden:

  • Identify and treat fatigue symptoms

Come to Christ:

  • Reject other “go to” people/ things
  • Remove other expectations, dependencies
  • Redirect expectations to Christ
  • Release your burdens emotional, physical, spiritual

Connect with Christ

  • Acquire His vision
  • Align with his purpose
  • Achieve His goals for us
  • Fulfil our life’s purpose

Centre around Christ

  • Always Christ
  • Only Christ

Continue in Christ

  • Guaranteed
  • Personal
  • Lifelong Discovery Journey

Discussion – Soul Rest

1.How and why do we tend to misinterpret the passage Matt 11:28-30?

2.Why are we more than willing to carry Satan’s burdens and not Christ’s?

3.How is Christ’s yoke “easy” as opposed to Satan’s?

4.What are different dimensions of “soul rest”? What are the distinguishing signs?

Soul Rest - Lifestyle

Placing all your bets on God. Getting all your “rest” from God.

1.When lonely, look to Him for companionship

2.When busy with various matters (physically or mentally), ensure priority for Him

3.When planning, schedule priority time for the great commission in spite of odds

4.Constantly talk and listen to Him

5.When discouraged, remember He is in control

6.If stressed and anxious, trust Him and get on track to enjoy peace, joy, abundance.

7.When exhausted and ill, expect His strength in weakness

8.When excited, share the excitement first with Him.

9.Feel more excitement and look forward to spiritual results over other things.

10.Always put your hardest efforts while completely depending on Him for results.

11.View the world from Christ’s perspective – the poor as spiritually poor, the captives as those unsaved or saved and struggling to overcome, etc.

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