You and I are relational. We crave connectedness. So, we will always attach to someone or something . . . maybe even several someones or somethings. Jesus called it being yoked.
And once we become followers of Jesus, it’s up to us whether we are yoked to slavery or freedom.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
Jesus offers a yoke of freedom but like Pharisees you and I can continue to be bound to hundreds of laws, a superior attitude, and critical spirit.
We can also be yoked to self-destructive habits that are hard to stop.
Overeating, procrastinating (one of my personal favorites), gossiping, lying, laziness, pride, greed, or envy? Or a relationship where temptation looms large.
You and I have been set free for freedom and yet, it’s so easy to become slaves to things that eat away at our hearts and minds.
Maybe I listed your burden, maybe not, but I want to tell you, you’re not alone! I’m burdened too. Everyone is yoked to something from which they’d like to be free.
And FREEDOM IS POSSIBLE!
Jesus knew we would be yoked. He created us. He made us relational with an empty place we need to fill. And He offered freedom and rest. An easy yoke and a light burden.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28–30
When two animals are yoked together, the stronger of the two always carries the burden.
God told the Israelites – Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together. Deuteronomy 22:10
If you yoke an ox and a donkey, the ox will do all the work and the donkey none. The ox may as well be plowing alone and overburdened they can become exhausted or injured.
When Jesus says His yoke is easy, He’s saying He is strong enough to do the work and carry the burden. He has the strength to carry all the weight. We don’t even have to carry our share. We can rest and trust to carry our burdens.
How can we know the truth?
1. Jesus carried our sins to the cross to give us forgiveness and freedom.
He carried our sins in His own body when He died on a cross. In doing this, we may be dead to sin and alive to all that is right and good. His wounds have healed you! 1 Peter 2:24
2. Jesus carries our fear and anxiety and replaces them with His courage and strength.
Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you. 1 Peter 5:7
So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord, your God, will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you. Deuteronomy 31:6
3. He carries our burdens and gives us hope.
Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken. Psalm 55:22
4. He carries our painful pasts and turns our lives around.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20
5. He can take our uncertain future pave the way and fill it with promise.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Being yoked to Jesus is good!
When I stop to think about it, I often wonder why I would want to cling to old habits when I can surrender my life to Jesus and trust Him to lighten the load I carry.
Why would I choose…
- to live with guilt and I can trust Him to forgive?
- to struggle with fear and anxiety when He wants to give me courage and strength?
- to carry the weight of the world when He can give me hope?
- to dwell on the past when He can help me move forward?
- to worry about the future when He is going before me?
- to fight my self-destructive habits alone when He can help me change?
We’re yoked . . . that’s truth.
Slavery or freedom.
To what or whom are you yoked?
Is your yoke dragging you down or giving you courage, hope, peace, and strength?
Today is the day! Cast our burdens on Jesus, take His yoke and find rest for our soul.
The yoke can’t be avoided.
Jesus yoke comes with promise!
“How good is God! How sweet His yoke!” ~ Jean Rosine
The promise that you don’t have to do your burden alone. You have the good strength and power of God to carry it for you.
“Christianity takes for granted the absence of any self-help and offers a power which is nothing less than the power of God.” ~ A.W.Tozer
Nothing outside of the love of God found in and through being yoked to Christ Jesus will give us what we crave.
That my dear friends is the goodness of being yoked to Jesus.
“The burden that I ask you to accept is easy; the load I give you to carry is light.” Matthew 11:30
The good burden of perfect love.
Thank you so much for joining me today.
And a thank you to BibleGateway.com for sources.
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