Weariness getting you down? Time to grab your yoke…
Jan 1st, 2012 | By Deborah McCarragher | Category: Women of Faith, Words of Wisdom
By Deborah McCarragher –
Are you weary and disillusioned about a promise God made to you? Are you burdened for a loved one or a situation beyond your control? Often we begin to lose hope, and holding onto your promise can be difficult. Time continues to go by with little or no confirmation of what you were sure of in your spirit. Those are the days when you cry out to God and ask Him for more grace and more faith. His Word breathes life back into us as He gently lifts our head.
If you are tired and worn out, submit to Jesus and get under His Yoke of direction. Let Him properly place it on you so that you may come along side Him in your life’s journey. Ready yourself for a new path forward that is free from struggle and missteps. Have a mindset of being equally yoked.
So, what exactly is a yoke and how does it pertain to us in our relationship with Jesus?
A yoke, also known as an oxbow, is a bar of wood so constructed as to unite two animals, usually oxen, enabling them to work in the fields together – side by side. It is often custom fitted for comfort.
In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul often said he was a bondservant to the Lord Jesus, implying he was yoked to Him in service. Paul also admonishes believers not to be yoked with unbelievers in marriage– as it is a picture of the spiritual struggle that will ensue. Two cannot walk as one when they are spiritually mismatched.
A yoke was also used figuratively in the sense of servitude or bondage. After He reproached the cities in which He was rejected, Jesus extended an invitation to any and all who would respond, saying, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden [weary], and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For, My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
There are four (4) action verbs in Matthew 11:28-30 – come, take, learn, and find.
- Come implies an invitation – a bidding to move away from your previous position.
- Take implies a voluntary decision to receive something.
- Learn implies the beginning of a new mindset or way of doing things.
- Find implies the discovery of something unknown or previously unrecognized.
The Pharisees had put unnecessary burdens on men that were “impossible” to bear.
I John 5:3 says “…His commandments are not burdensome.” Being yoked to our Lord in submission relieves the burden of having to choose which path to follow. His yoke is “easy” because He and the Father are One. He invites us to take up His yoke and join Him in His divine purpose, which in turn relieves our striving and struggle. Learning from the Master prepares us to come along side Him and work in perfect unison. We no longer stumble under a load that is unbearable.
In the classic book The Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan says this in his first chapter: “So I saw in my dream, that just as Christian came up with the Cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back… Then was Christian glad and lightsome…”
When we let go of our burdens and take up Christ’s yoke, it is easier and not cumbersome. It gives us a sigh of relief and a soulful rest like none other. Christ’s example of endurance in the face of hostility from a lost world is our hope. Hebrews 12:3 declares, “For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.”
Yoke yourself to Christ and let Him lead you in the paths of righteousness and peaceful submission. He is gentle and loving and trustworthy. Our souls will prosper when we are conformed to His perfect will.
Deborah is the author of a Christian inspirational book for women titled “Mission Possible”. The book addresses living in a spiritually-uneven household. You can visit her website at http://www.spirituallyunevenmarriage.com for more information about her book.