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. (Matt 11:29-30)
Compared to the old testament law, the new covenant in Christ was easy. He asked us to do away with following the law that lead to death and to follow Him to eternal life.
In this new covenant we have:
- grace (Yes!!!)
- forgiveness of sins
- no condemnation
- adoption as sons (and daughters)
- freedom from bondage
- joy instead of mourning,
- healing and restoration of our souls
- an intimate relationship with God the father
- the knowledge that He chose us from the earth’s founding
- redemption because Christ shed His blood
- faith in the almighty God and access to all His promises
- healing through His suffering
- freedom to come boldly before His throne of grace and mercy
And so much more. It’s definitely not an exhaustive list.
What I had to realise for myself, is that even though His promises are freely given, there is still a yoke that I have to choose to take. Even though the yoke is easy, it’s still a yoke. It will, once I surrender, provide direction, restrict what I can and cannot do, require my obedience and cooperation, lead me in a preordained path and lead me away from my previous life. With it, God can pull me away from danger and cause me to learn His ways and grow.
How does this look in everyday life?
- Adherence to His word
- Being silent when we would want to speak
- Putting others before ourselves
- Being open to His correction and discipline
- Loving when we would rather not
- Forgiving when someone has wronged you, hurt you and disregarded you; whether intentionally or unintentionally
- Choosing not to live by the standards of the world but making sure Jesus is at the center of all our decisions
- Waiting when we would rather go and listening even when we think we know the answer
- Relying on faith when all we see before us is unknown, scary looking stuff
- Holding onto His promises knowing that His word will never change
This list is also not exhaustive.
When we make the decision to put our lives in His hands, we can’t take it back when it suits us or ignore the things we don’t like and accept the things which we do like. God will not force His yoke on us but He encourages us to take it.
Picture Him with the yoke in His out stretched hand, saying “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.” Then he tells us about Himself, “I am gentle and lowly in heart.” Not a harsh task master. Then comes His promise to us, “You will find rest for your souls.” A place of total surrender and peace. Our future is assured.
Thank you Lord that You determine my path and the stages and seasons of my life. Thank you that in You I am home and experience overwhelming peace. You have been my guide and my teacher and I desire to be continually shaped and moulded by You. Thank you for joy that bubbles up when I consider Your ways and the rest that comes from knowing that You are in charge. May all that You have given me cause me to give back to others and to showcase Your amazing love. In the name of Jesus, amen.
By Marisse Cropper