Jesus said: “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” -note it s still a yoke and. Burden, but not a heavy one we can’t carry-.
Jesus said “I have come so that you may have life and have it to the full”. -Note not an easy or cushy life, but a life that won’t be boring, pointless and dull.
Jesus said “If anyone wants to follow me, they must forget self and carry their cross and following me” -A dangerous challenge, a surrender of absolutely everything in our pursuit of Christ and his call on our lives.
These are massive promises from the mouth of Christ himself, and yet the question I have wondered as I try to follow Jesus in my life, is how do these three promises work together in my life?
Its a promise that (although stretching and challenging) what God calls us to is not too much to carry, yet in living his way he is promising it won’t be dull or purposeless possibly even a ‘white knuckle ride’. Yet the challenge we need to ask, who are we living for, ourselves or Christ? Are prepared to give up everything in our call to be faithful to Christ as we walk where he leads us.
God knows we need and want purpose in our lives, he chooses to partner with us in his Kingdom not because he needs our help, but because partnership with him gives us encouragement and joy. His way of living is the best way for us, and life as it should be lived, and the best way for those around us, a call of a life that blesses other people, a chance to build with gold, silver and costly stones not wood, hay and straw which is burned up in the fire.
Yet sometimes the Christian life feels so overwhelming and the call so tough and difficult, and I wonder how Jesus can call this a easy yoke or a light burden?
Yet as I began to think about this more, I began to ask myself, is the heavy and weighty burdens Christ’s yoke or a yoke I have put on myself?
Am I weighing myself down with my expectations of myself which God isn’t asking me to do? Or live up to the expectations of others (both real and imaginary)?
Am I trying to please people in a way that ties me down rather than sets me free (the “fear of man”. as some Christians call it, is real and difficult)….
Am I trying to wear the Yoke of Christ, without taking of the Yoke of this world?
Have I double yoke on my shoulders? -God’s Yoke and Mine, clashing together never meant to co-exist on our shoulders.
If so, lets claim the promise of Christ, to liberate us from the Yoke that Christ never meant for us, for “those the Son sets free will be free in deed”.
Let Christ lift from your shoulders any Yoke that is not from him.
Or perhaps the Yoke is right, but you are meant to have other partners shouldering some of the weight if so “ask the Lord of the Harvest to send more workers” and pray we may have the humility and grace to allow someone else to help and bless us.
Maybe too, this Yoke needs to strengthen our faith and relationship with Christ, perhaps we need to ask him to help us, to say “God unless you help me I cannot carry this Yoke”.
Often in our points of desperation often become points of breakthrough in our Christian life”.
So, lets think of our lives, and the Yokes we are carrying, give it to the liberate, share it with the family of the Church and lay it before the Holy Spirit our Helper and equipper.