Yoked To Christ

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Yoked To Christ

Mat 11:28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Mat 11:29 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.
Mat 11:30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

The Lord has always been concerned about how healthy we are on the inside. He is our Creator, He is tender hearted toward us and understands that to be the people He has called us to be, and to live the life we are called to live, we must be healthy on the inside. All through His Word He prioritizes the condition of our inner person.

Jesus Gives Peace
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Jesus ministers words of comfort to those who follow Him knowing, in this life, we will experience troubles.

Jesus Gives Abundant Life
Abundant life refers not only to eternal life but also to the life we live on Earth. And, more importantly, the life that is on the inside, i.e., the condition of our inner man. We all know that a person can be prosperous on the outside but poor on the inside. The abundance Jesus gives makes his people rich on the inside; the internal meeting the Eternal.

Don't Worry About Anything
The Apostle Paul, in Philippians 4:6-7, tells us to not worry about anything but to pray about everything, and the peace of God would keep us, meaning God's peace is greater than any problem we will ever face. God's peace does not mean we will not suffer problems, of all kinds, but it does mean, if we stop worrying and start praying, we will be strengthened on the inside, by the peace of God. Again, the priority is our inner person.

Who Can Bear a Broken Spirit
Pro 18:14 The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, But who can bear a broken spirit? This scripture is telling us that if we are healthy on the inside then we can bear up under the problems we will face on the outside. But, if we're not healthy on the inside, if we are broken, then we will not be able to stand when the hard times come.

Jesus Speaks to Broken People
For many, life is about the heaviness of their load. They are burdened down, finding no rest. Everyday, every night, their life is the same - difficult, hard, even oppressive. Often, the person with this kind of life, will quit; on the inside they no longer participate. Jesus speak to this person. He has an answer for their hopelessness, He says "Come unto me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

Jesus does not condemn people who find themselves wounded. There are many reasons for a person's woundedness, but in this passage Jesus does not point out our mistakes. He simply, and unequivocally, states - if you will come unto me, I will freshen and restore you on the inside, I will give you rest.

Take My Yoke Upon You
He says to "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me." Being yoked to Jesus describes the kind of relationship that heals. Being yoked to Jesus is more than a 45 minute counseling session, more than a bible study. Being yoked to Jesus is a permanent, all day, everyday, relationship with Him where we listen, and internalize what He says. He is the Teacher, we are the student. We learn to think like Him, act like Him, we learn to look at life the way He looks at life, and we learn His wisdom. To learn from Him means we agree to let Him lead.

When two oxen are yoked together there is always a lead ox, otherwise they would be working against one another. Usually, a younger ox was yoked to an older ox, the younger learning from the older. Being yoked to Christ is a relationship of learning and following.

Pride works against meekness, they're opposites and cannot work together for pride demands to be the lead ox. To find rest, we have to turn from pride and allow meekness to lead.

Jesus states that meekness, on the inside, is the secret of finding rest. He said, He is "meek and lowly". One would think that Jesus, when giving instruction to the weary, would emphasize strength. But no, He says the secret of finding rest is through finding meekness.

Meekness has to do with how we see life. Do we see ourselves as rich and blessed, or has life become dreary, grey, and lifeless. When life is not going our way, meekness allows one to quiet themselves, to see God. Meekness sees the big picture. When faced with failure, meekness understands God's eternal blessings have not failed, but continue to direct our lives. When faced with tragedy, divorce, sickness, or the unthinkable, meekness endures because of the joy that awaits us. That's the way Jesus lived. Meekness sees the eternal goodness of God, and then counts the blessings of His goodness to be greater than all the sufferings we will ever experience. When hard times come, the meek person will continue to stand, for their eyes are fixed on the eternal. They do not see their life as negative, but blessed. We do not deny sufferings, but rejoice that the sufferings we face are dwarfed by the blessings of Salvation. The meek see their life on Earth as a vapor; here only for a moment, then to the eternal glory of God. The meek see their sufferings as a small part of a much larger picture.

Human pride has many faces and a song for every occasion. It's melody is seductive turning our thinking inward while meekness brings freedom by turning the heart upward. If we continue listening to pride, then eventually we will become drunk on its message, its intoxicating effect will capture our heart. Once filled with pride, then meekness has no voice.

Pride leaves one empty for it cannot reconcile the problems we all face. Pride leads to hopelessness for it's foundation is not Christ, but self. Pride, bitterness, hatred, anger, anxiety, depression, and such things, are members of the same family, and usually travel together. Meekness, seeing the mercies of God to be greater than any suffering, brings sanity to this family. For the proud, life is about their self interest, their opinions, their desires, what they see as important. Nothing burdens a life more than being filled with one's own ways. Nothing liberates more than being freed from the heaviness of a demanding, and self-centered life. Nothing quiets the soul more than the humility of Christ.

Hebrews 12:2 tells us that Jesus endured the Cross because of the joy that was set before Him. Like Jesus, if we keep our eyes on the joy set before us, we can endure life when difficult.

Job, when family, house, and riches were lost in one day, he worshipped and said "the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord. When in the midst of his suffering Job's words were "even if I die, I shall yet see God in my flesh." In the midst of great suffering, he saw the eternal blessings of God as being greater than his temporary  sufferings. This is meekness.

Joseph, rejected by family, sold into slavery, falsely accused, feet injured in prison, but always responding in meekness, for he knew God was with Him.

Paul said "if only in this life we have hope in Christ then of all men we are most miserable." The inward health of the righteous is not dependent upon an easy life, but from the hope they find in Christ.

Like a wild animal, the fleshly man has self-destructive instincts; fleshly pride, if allowed to run, will destroy our faith. But if we will yoke ourselves to Christ, then meekness, being a fruit of the Spirit, will tame pride, and we will find rest for our souls.

Jesus said His yoke was easy and His burden light. Being yoked to Christ removes the burden, the unbearable heaviness of living for ourselves. His yoke will never burden us, and if we plow with Him, our burden will be light. If we will learn meekness, we can live again; life can once again become about living, rather than slowly dying on the inside.

Jesus is meek and lowly, He knows how to live, and He says if we will learn from Him then we will also learn how to live.

God bless you,

Jim

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