January 22, 2023

Resting in God’s Love for You

Written by Shana Schutte

Religion without a vibrant, life-giving relationship with Christ will exhaust you.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 22, 2023

In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome. 1 John 5:3 

Several years ago after I married, I began to attend a women’s Bible study at a church not far from our home. The fellowship was great; the women were gracious; the conversation was stimulating, but every week when I listened to the speaker and conversed with the ladies afterward, I felt a big “yuck” in my spirit and I couldn’t understand why. As I walked to my car, I often felt burdened and sad.  

I went home and told my husband, “I don’t know what’s wrong. Sometimes I just feel as if I don’t want to be there. I don’t get it.” 

I later realized that through being in ministry for years (I used to speak at conferences and write books) I had attempted to get my identity from my vocation and that was what I was doing without realizing it—and it wore me out. It stole my joy. It made me emotionally and spiritually tired. So, whenever I heard someone at the study talk about what they “had to do” for God, I felt all kinds of yucky. 

Without realizing it, my faith had become more about performance rather than about relationship with Christ. I guess you could say that for a time I had more of a relationship with religion than with Jesus. So, at the study, when I heard a comment that smacked of any kind of legalism, I railed against it. I wanted to know once again the unconditional love of God. My spirit longed for internal freedom and rest.

Religion without a vibrant, life-giving relationship with Christ will exhaust you. It’s tiring trying to be “good enough.” But relationship with Jesus will revive you. 

Religion is based on performance, perfection, and results. Relationship with Jesus is based on what He has done, not on what you have done or can do. It’s about knowing a Person . . . a person who is crazy in love with you. 

If you are spiritually tired, perhaps this is why you feel worn out. And, if you have felt that worshipping Him has felt constricting or difficult, perhaps it’s because you’ve been trying to get your worth from performing for Him. 

If the commands of God feel burdensome, it could be because you feel as if you’re not enough and you have to try to be enough to earn His favor. The commands of God are meant to bring life. They are not to be a burden, but if you approach following His commands from a place of performance, you will be tired, and they will be burdensome. 

When you are secure in Jesus’ love, when you know you belong to Him, His commands will bring life. They will not be a way you try to gain His favor. They will be a way to fully experience the favor you already have in Him. 

Can you relate to anything I have shared? Do you feel spiritually tired? Do you feel exhausted from everything you feel that you must do for God? Are you worn out from running here and there trying to be enough for Jesus? 

If so, I hope you are encouraged today. 

Friend, Jesus knows you and loves you and nothing can change that love. He wants you to know Him intimately and know How much He adores you. Your identity doesn’t come from what you do. It comes from who you are in Him. You belong to Him. You are His child. 

“Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God” (Galatians 4:7).


Lord! You are so good! How can I thank you for your great and deep love for me? How can I thank you for setting me free from the slavery of believing I have to earn your love? Fill me up with a deep knowledge of your love for me and give me the desire to serve you that comes from a heart firmly rooted in freedom. Amen.


Go outside where it’s quiet and you are alone. Then yell the above prayer into the sky in exuberation!

Related Reading

Romans 7:22; Galatians 3:26; 1 John 4:18

Worship Resource

Kari Jobe: Rest


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