I wrote of being yoked with Christ on 1-30-17. I feel it’s necessary to continue with this topic. As stated in the Message Bible, Jesus is asking those who have ears to hear, if they are tired and worn out. If they are burned out on religion. He gives an invitation to get away with Him and He’ll show you how to rest and to walk and work with Him, and He’ll show you the right way to rest….in Him. He says you’ll be able to learn the unforced rhythms of grace. That alone should cause anyone to stop and listen. Unforced rhythms of grace? It sounds appealing, but after being under so many rules of religion and seeing how so many seem to expect you to follow their dictates while they themselves do not conform to their own rules, it just seems too good to be true.
In the Passion Translation of these verses in Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus says He’ll refresh your life and that He Himself will be like an oasis to you. But you must join your life to His and realize that when Jesus asks you to take His yoke upon you, it is a conscious act of fellowship with Him. You insert yourself into that yoke and by doing so, you state that you want to walk with Him and learn from Him. You literally lift it up and place yourself under it which helps you grow in grace and the knowledge of Him. If your life seems to have been like a desert at times, then an oasis is exactly what you need. This yoke He speaks of will not be ill fitting or too tight and cumbersome. He knows exactly where you are and what is necessary for you to walk with Him. It is the world, and too often the church, that puts overly burdensome restrictions on us and we mistake that for Him and soon we are again walking alone. You become that person sung about in the song by Green Day. Walking a lonely road. Alone. Your shadow is the only one that walks beside you. Your shadow’s heart is the only heart beating. Saying you wish someone out there will find you. You have to check your vital signs to see if you’re alive. Sadly many are in that state. Especially those who say they are Christians. They are not being spoken to in a way that brings His hope. They are just being spoken to. And those who have not taken a step in His direction look at what is being presented as Christ and saying no thank you in the most defiant way they can.
It is extremely easy to say yes to being yoked with Him in this country. No one is going to put you in jail for professing a belief in Christ. No one will beat you or behead you. But it is happening in many areas of the world and has been for a long time. We can suffer small discomfort and walk away from Him. We can become easily tempted and are quickly out of step with Him. Things don’t go the way we believe they should go, especially now that we believe we have arrived as a believer, and we get angry at God and are no longer in step with Him. I’ve done that too many times. I’m thankful for His available grace that He gives freely. I cannot earn it. Yet as it says in Hebrews 4: 15-16, He can sympathize with our weaknesses and temptations and still says for us “to come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in our time of need.” We can be rightly yoked with Him again.
We had the word for years. It was spoken and written. Jesus didn’t send someone else to deliver a message of new life and salvation. He came. He taught and showed us first hand. He still speaks and performs things of wonder. He showed us how we were to live directly related to God and He in all ways was one with the Father. He walked perfectly yoked with Him. He met every need yet still was only received by a minority. He had to give His all for us to realize who He was. He often tried to get away for just a moment but He could not hide. They followed Him and found Him even when He went out to sea. They were waiting for Him on the other side. Word spread. His compassion would not allow Him to walk away. But today we are in a position of following people that teach a gospel contrary to His. The church will follow after that which promises them what they “believe” is Gods’ will. And then the sheep are enticed by wrong doctrine. You are ONLY to be yoked to Jesus. No other. Quit following those who profess to know God, but in works they deny Him. They are disobedient and disqualified, yet they continue to be given a position that can cause many to fall.
If we have our eyes fixed on anything other than Him, we will stumble and fall. If we try to walk in a different direction or path than that which is laid out for us, we will not only become loosed from the yoke we are in with Him, we will lose our way. We have to walk by faith not by sight. Even when things get bad and the road seems to be rising at an elevation that makes the trek harder, He is with you. Tearing away from a right relationship of being gently yoked to Him can cause a tear in our spiritual fabric. But even in this, we have to know He is with us. He was crucified on a yoke shaped cross and yielded up all for us. Remember that He said He is gentle and humble. When you hear a voice that sounds completely different from that, walk away. He said in John 10 that His sheep know His voice. They will not follow the voice of a stranger and in fact will flee from him. He gives His life for His sheep. What we see too often are just hirelings. They will not lay down their life for you. Pray for these people but do not follow them.
I pray the hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge for you and that you seek to attain a walk pleasing to Him and realize the blessings which come with that. James 1:5 says to ask for wisdom and He will give that to you liberally and without reproach. But ask and expect. I pray you are strengthened with all might according to His glorious power that you would partake of the inheritance that He has reserved for you. It is for right now. And come to Him. Rest is promised to all. The soul distressed and the sick. Those who are lost or just tired and see no answer. He is our ever present help in our time of need. Blessings.