Matt. 11:28 "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 "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. 30 "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
This scripture expresses the heart of Jesus to His followers. It has brought comfort and solace to countless pilgrims throughout history, and continues to inspire and help those in need. Normally, we look at the fact that Jesus was offering us rest and relief from our burdens. But I'd like to concentrate on another part of the scripture having to do with the yoke or being yoked with Jesus. To do that, I need to tell you a story ---.
I spent a number of years of my childhood living with my grandparents on a farm in Colorado. I learned to work at an early age on the farm and at the sawmill which my grandfather also owned. My summer months were spent at a logging camp high in the Colorado Rockies, where I learned to skid logs with tractors and with HORSES. Kind of unusual to use horses, but granddad said that horses didn't disturb the forest floor as much as the tractors, AND it was MUCH safer to skid logs in the steep places (which were many) with the horses. They knew exactly how to pull the logs, sometimes diving off steep hills and beating the logs to the bottom, always matching the exact speed and force to see the logs safely to the decks at the bottom of the mountain. Tractors, on the other hand were very dangerous to use on the steep slopes as they could turn over and roll to the bottom.
Granddad once explained to me how to train a new horse to work in a team. He said that you harness (yoke?) the new guy up to some old pro who has been working for years and hook them up together to a wagon or plow. The old pro just plods along, measuring every step, while the newbie jerks and strains all day long. At the end of the day, the new horse is exhausted, his tongue is hanging out and he's covered with sweat and dust. The old horse is tired, but composed and quietly munches his hay and oats, preparing for tomorrows work.
As the days go by, the upstart learns to walk in step with the old guy. He learns to feel the change in pressure when the pro leans to the right or left and begins to turn with him instead of resisting his lead. When Oldie slows down, he slows, when he speeds up --- you get the picture. Soon they are walking and moving as one. There is NO independent motion. Every move is synchronized and no effort is wasted. They have become ONE!
What a picture of us as we're yoked to Jesus! Think how much energy it takes to resist Him and do our own thing --- and how easy it is when we move precisely WITH him; every move exactly synced to his movement.
When the Lord spoke "walk as one man" to me, this is the picture that I saw in my mind. First, we learn to walk in step with HIM, then we can "walk as one man" with others on the journey. No independent motion, no wasted moves. It is easy, precise, measured, fruitful.
Jesus said in Mark 3:25 that "a house divided against itself cannot stand" Let's say it this way --- if we (the ecclesia) are straining against the movings of the Lord, we are divided and can't stand. When we are perfectly synchronized to the Lord and to His kids, we can not only resist the enemy, but we bring forth the fullness of the witness for Christ into our lives and communities. Embrace His yoke, my friends --- learn of HIM --- it's the place of rest, victory, and glory in HIM.
Let's DO Life!