Why Do We Resist?



What makes it so difficult to take the message of Jesus about rest and apply it to our stress-filled busy lives? Many of us know His message about this and yet we persist. As I look through the rearview mirror, I can see how often I did! The tyranny of the “should’s” and the “ought’s” kept me in tow and their influence was a powerful tool to keep me running like the gerbil on the wheel. Those two words haunted me in every area of my life.


I could tell you the family dynamics and birth order research to explain some of those, but those (though significant) took me down rabbit trails trying harder to be better. As a result of my clinical counseling graduate program, I knew a great deal about healthy boundaries. They added to the things I needed to remember and do. Even the “to do” list that I heard from many Christians added to the stress that came from not feeling good enough. I knew they were good things, but it felt a bit like the Pharisees adding to the law.


What did Paul want me to understand from 2 Corinthians 3:5? That verse is highlighted and underlined in my Bible.


“Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God,” 2 Cor. 3:5 (NASB)


I had felt inadequate much of my life in multiple areas, but my response was to try harder and do more. That would be a good example of how duped I/we could be by the devices Satan has used effectively for thousands of years. Perhaps when I or we do good things or important things, it makes it more difficult to detect his fingerprints on the issue. After all caring for our children, spouses, homes, ministries, jobs, neighbors, family members and friends are all important. We are not to be selfish so we press on.


Jesus tells us to take His yoke when we are weary and heavy-laden. That speaks in direct words to tiredness and stress. Matthew 11:28-30…do we even pause to consider what the verse tells us or what He means?


“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.” Mt. 11:28-30 (NASB)


So why do I/you resist or fear His yoke for what it means?


Hannah Anderson in Humble Roots who inspired this current series that began August 16 names the problem for what it is.


“We fear the loss of control. We fear surrender. But we must understand that without protection of a good master, we are not safe. From the manipulation of other masters. From the expectations of society. From ourselves.”


Ah, yes, that annoying nagging issue of control. How often each of us can plead guilty on that one once the Holy Spirit starts turning on the light so we see more clearly. Hannah says we need a “good master” and I can fathom no better one than Jesus. But if I/you are weary, tired, and stressed, is there another ‘master’ in charge driving us? I found it helpful to look at what other ‘masters’ might be at work in my life, those whom I gave too much control. That looks at control from the flip side I tended to view. What I saw was how easily the expectations of those ‘masters’ were behind so much of the unrest I experienced.


I hadn’t intended to give over control to other ‘masters’ who were manipulating nor had I intended to allow expectations of society to take the upper hand. Expectations of myself? I had plenty of those in abundance. By the time I reached this point, I was certain those were ineffectual and added to the drivenness creating the stress and exhaustion.


Hannah’s insightful words point to the steps needed.


“And so we must respond to Jesus’ call. We must come to Him. We must come to Him and learn (emphasis mine) of His gentleness and humility. We must come to Him to be tamed.”

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16 thoughts on “Why Do We Resist?

  1. Oh, the striving we so easily fall into by the beckoning of society! It’s such a temptation and so easily happens when we are the least bit distracted and take our eyes off the Savior for even just a moment! Thanks, Pam, for the hope and reminder you share here! It’s so good to be visiting here again ♥ Thank you for joining me at #MomentsofHope!
    Blessings and smiles,

  2. This quote is in my face at the computer these days. It seems fitting:
    “We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul.”
    — Charles H. Spurgeon
    Thank-you for reminding me of Humble Roots, a book I had just barely begun on my Kindle, upon Michele M’s recommendation, before it got buried in the avalanche of ever present books to read.
    I’m putting Psalm 25 to memory these days, slowly but surely, and these verses also reflect what you have said so well : He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way… Thank-you for sharing your thoughts here. Settling into His rest is one of my perennial life quests!

  3. Try harder- do more seems to be the recording on my life. I have found myself in the place of my body not being able to operate under that stress anymore and it has been very hard coping with that. It’s our coping mechanism (at least for me). I’ve thought: I am feeling out of control so I will try harder and do more and that SHOULD solve it. Until you get to this place of utter ruin. Almost like a breakdown. I hate that it happened, yet I am starting to feel thankful for it, because it is causing me to shift these “recordings” and start some new ones in my mind. Ones like “breathe” and “rest” and “God’s got this”. Thanks again for your words, Pam.

    1. Sometimes the Lord allows us to come to just such a place because it is only then that we can hear His voice clearly and set aside the other demanding voices inside our head and outside our head.

  4. It is so difficult to rest well. I try hard on Sunday to rest and put away my electronics until 5 pm. I love the time of rest, it feeds my soul, and yet each week I find myself in the struggle to rest. Thank you for the reminder.

  5. I so need to receive this reminder for I do not rest well nor in Him when I should be yielding and laying things down. Thank you for the Truth through the Word of God. I have been blessed.

    1. I think we all need this reminder….none of us are exempt. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing. I always love hearing from you and glad you are back online and getting settled in your new home.🌺

  6. I think that’s true that we are not sure of giving up control. Personally, I didn’t want to be in charge of so much, I was trying to follow. But giving in to God, resting, He did put me in charge, now if I can teach others to rest.

  7. this good meditation reminds me of Gerber’s words: The main responsiblity of a Christian is yieldedness. We can all yield – it’s not a hard thing, until it is! thank you, Pam.

  8. This series has spoken to so many things I’m going through right now. Thank you for your insight. It has helped my awareness of God’s plan for me!

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