In Matthew 11:28, Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. I used to read the word "rest" in this verse and picture Jesus telling His followers to chill, to just lay around, or to do nothing. Because of my belief in a works based salvation, or the idea that our salvation was based on doing enough "good" things, this didn't make any sense to me. So I did what was normal for me when I came across something in the Bible that I didn't understand or made me uncomfortable. I ignored it, figuring it was irrelevant in today's world and culture. This would ease my mind and I could move on with my life without having to make any real changes.
But after God changed my heart, I started understanding the power and the present day relevance of Jesus' teachings, so ignoring what He said was no longer acceptable to me. I have been trying to gain a better understanding of what Jesus meant when He said "rest" and I am learning that it doesn't mean what I thought it did. Webster's dictionary defines rest as "to cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength." I think this is a little more in line with what Jesus was getting at. Jesus was saying He could give us rest to renew ourselves, and this rest would give us strength and would change our hearts in such a way that we can't help but do things for Him.
If we say we are resting in Jesus, and we aren't changed or motivated to do something because of it, we need to look closely at where we are resting. Because if we truly understand and rest in who Jesus is and what he has done for us, we will do whatever He asks.