Matthew 11:28-30 “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; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Our soul – that is our mind, will and emotions, are left to us by God, to be controlled. It is truly the battle field of the Christian today; and the battlefield that our enemy is waging war and gaining ground.
The mind is assaulted on a daily basis with images, sounds and words that so quickly remove us from even a Spirit-filled service or daily devo time with the Lord that is boggles the mind as to why. What is the staying power for our minds to remain in that close fellowship with God?
We can look to the Word of God for the answer.
Luke 8:5-8 “A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
The seed – the Word of God – sown to our hearts, must first pass through the filter of our mind. If we are set up to be the judge of all things, based upon our experience, our teaching and training or lack thereof; we become the decision maker for our life. Many will say, “What’s wrong with that?”
On what principles do we base our judgments? By whose authority do we take up to do as we please? And when we fail, why is God the first one we blame? Consider these thoughts:
- You and I – if we are saved, are not in possession of ourselves. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” We are the purchased possession bought with the precious price of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.
- Our minds cannot and should not be trusted – Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” The most deceitful and desperately wicked thing is my own heart. To trust it, sets me up as God and decision-maker for my life. I go against the first principle – ownership, and second using something other than God’s wisdom and understanding by the Holy Spirit given to guide me.
- God’s Plan is always best – Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” If bought with a precious price and unable to trust what goes on between my two ears, we must look to our owner: the Creator, the Savior and master of my life.
His way was best when I needed salvation. Why is it we so swiftly and so easily leave off our trust for the rest of our life? We fight so hard for our own individuality; thinking we will lose our identity: when, if we were to be honest with ourselves, we want the control; we still want the ability to choose for ourselves.
Jesus Christ gave Himself for you and for me to be saved from eternal damnation in Hell for our sins. But He doesn’t and will not stop there. Our life here has to have meaning and purpose or we will die. He longs for us to get in the yoke with Him. A yoke can be seen as a device of bondage and restriction, or it can used as a tool for training and a vehicle to learn freely within the boundaries created by the One who created us and saved us.
The first step toward understanding is submission. Submission to His authority and understanding our position in that authority. The fact that you and I were given a free will to choose is an awesome thing! But as an act of love, God asks us to follow Him within the boundaries He has created for us to live.
I can think I am in the yoke with Christ and do things FOR God – but ultimately, I will leave unfulfilled, despondent, and without joy. Getting in the yoke WITH God means I am yielding to His leading, listening for His teaching, and submissive to His direction. Every child of God is gifted to serve in a capacity that will work together with others in the community of church and in the fellowship of other believers to accomplish together what we cannot do separately.
Jesus has a yoke for us to take up today. It has specific direction and purpose. It is filled with divine appointments and work that He set up for us before the foundation of the world. What is left is up to you and me – Submit and obey, or choose any other way BUT His. There are many a broken yoke left behind by rebels who thought that they knew better than God for their life only to return broken themselves.
As you start your week, don’t get into the world’s yoke of bondage, take up your place alongside Jesus Christ to see just where His yoke will take you. You might be surprised just how wonderful it is to do all that you were created to do with the One who is willing, wanting and desiring for us to see just what He has in store!