Jesus said, "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me” (Matthew 11:28-29, KJV). Christ tells us very plainly: "Do not attempt to take on a walk with Me until you are at rest in your soul!"
If you do not have this wonderful confidence in what the Word of God says Jesus did for you, His yoke will not be easy or light. On the contrary, you will spend your time striving in the flesh to please God. You will go from hot to cold, living with unnecessary guilt and shame.
I believe the key to this verse lies in the words “learn of me.” Jesus is speaking here of the discipline of learning who He is and what He accomplished on the cross. He is saying, "You must have a knowledge of what I have done for you. Then, once your soul is at rest, you can take on My yoke. So, learn of Me!"
We do not want this kind of discipline. We want to take the easy way! We are like schoolchildren on the playground at recess who do not want to go back into the classroom.
Perhaps today you say, "I'm reading my Bible now and praying a little each day. I'm trying hard to do better!" This is all good, but I assure you that these things will not keep you through the coming storm. It is not enough to try hard, to make promises to God, to strive to be better. Nor is it enough to say, "I'm more diligent than before." No, it is all about going after a revelation of what Jesus did for you at the cross!
Something should cry out in all of us: "Jesus, Your Word says I can live in total rest, peace and security. I don't have to strive in my flesh or be tossed about by guilt or fear. You have set before me the promise of a life at rest, but I don't have that rest. Oh, Lord, I want Your rest with everything that's in me. Teach me by Your Spirit—I want to learn of You."