The Yoke – 2

It was never God’s desire that we should place our hope in our own performance.  The message of the gospel is for us to place our hope in His performance!  He is the One who called us.  He is the One who was offered for us.  He is the One who died for us.  He is the One who sets us free.

 
 It shall come to pass in that day that his burden will be taken away from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck, and the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil.  Isaiah 10:27 (NKJV)   

 

Now, I can’t stop there.  I know that many people think that Jesus set us free so that we have a new chance to “do it right”.  They teach that we are saved by His grace, as a gift, but that we are sanctified by our effort/performance.  If we want to keep what He has given and grow in what He has given, then we better get to work.

Jesus knew that we would be susceptible to this.  He knew that the performance lifestyle (or the flesh, if you will) would continue to pull us away from His love and His peace even after salvation.  So He invites us to join Him in His yoke:

 
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 11:29-30 (NKJV)

 

The yoke of Jesus is easy and light, not quite what most Christians have found to be the case in their lives.  They think they have to pull their side of the yoke.  It is still performance to them.  But the truth is that they have never really taken the yoke of Jesus.  If they had, they would have learned that He does all the work.

You see, the yoke Jesus invites us to share is a yoke of intimate relationship.   We are allowed to participate in His work, with no burden of expectation.  We are not responsible for results, just for walking with Him and even that is an easy and joyful part of relationship.

Over the years I have been so amazed at how the Scripture shows all of this to be true.  Once you believe that God honestly loves you, that His only motivation toward you is love, you can begin to see that love everywhere.  Once you believe that we were made to depend on Him and His gifts of grace, you begin to see how active He has been.  Once you believe that all He wants is for us to live in relationship with Him, enjoying the love He has for us, that’s when the whole thing opens up.  Everything is different from that perspective.  You can see that Adam and Eve’s sin was in trying to do for themselves what God wanted to do for them.  You can see that the Law was given to show them that they could never be holy on their own and to pull them back to Him.  You can see that He is never disappointed in His people, never surprised by their sin, and that He never stops loving them.

5 Comments

Filed under Freedom, grace, Legalism

5 responses to “The Yoke – 2

  1. Fellow Survivor

    Thanks David. This is certainly a message I needed to hear this morning.

  2. Tammy

    I needed to hear this too today. Thank you for blessing me and others as always!

  3. prodigalkatherine

    What I like about the idea of the “yoke” is that it leaves no room for narcissistic pridefulness to develop post conversion. Post conversion, we are still the same flawed people we were before with the same sin patterns, personal histories, and character weaknesses. yet we have an “x” factor- kind of like an internal antidote to sin.

    But the only way for us to fully experience the benefits of that “x” factor is to maintain a level of honesty within ourselves that we will still struggle with the temptations that led to bad behaviors in the past. To expect perfect behaviors is unrealistic, because the x factor is targeting the internal motivations that produce those behaviors. If a baby Christian thinks (and is judged by others) that all internal motivations have changed if the conversion is “real” they are in for disappointment.

    Conversion isn’t a magic bullet that instantly transforms a persons mental and spiritual health to where they would be if they hadn’t ever sinned before. Rather- the yoke seems to work in the same way a corrupting agent works- over time it begins to change the way things function internally- the outer behaviors are simply manifestations of the very necessary changes going on underneath.

    When we assume that outer behaviors are the only measure of that change, we are missing the internal processes that lead to sanctification.

    • UnForsaken

      prodigalkatherine, I’ve been numb for words lately but have to thank you especially for your last paragragh. There are many layers of truth in this article, but I love it when people talk about appearances vs. reality, the tangible vs. internal/ intangible, and Pastor Dave’s gentle reminders of our Identity in Christ.

      Oh, and recently I remembered to dig out Streams In The Desert , as you suggested . Thanks for mentioning that gem!

  4. SM

    This past couple of months have been the hardest in my life. I am finally starting to realize that what happened isnt because of my exN, it is because of me. Who I was, who I am, who I need to be to live the way I was intended to. To share the gifts I have been blessed with and to not put another person on the pedestle that is reserved for only One. Perhaps this is why it all happened. That I was looking for salvation and a sense of completeness from a woman. That I gave up who I am to persue this and that He knew that and stopped it all. Its been so hard to endure, the loss of two loved ones at the same time along with all the things in our relationship that occured in the past. What my xN told me face to face when I agreed to meet with her right before new years devastated me. How they can be so purposely hurtful to someone who they claimed ‘would love forever’ and at the same time think they are such good Christians is mind blowing. This hypocrisy has sadly made me step back from my walk thinking why…why Lord? But I am starting to realize why……
    My yoke is heavy, it is burdened and I need You more than ever. I have many faults that I bring and brought to that table. I know there is only One who can take this from me. Only One that I need to make my priority yet I still stumble. I still fall. The desire to have another person to share my time here with distorts what really is and should be the most important, my relationship with Him. I pray that the clouds clear and whatever happens remember and know that I am in good hands, The only hands I can rest assured will NEVER betray or abandon me and for this I am so thankful. My yoke is at Your feet, do with me as You will. My trust is in You.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s