On Wednesday, my wife, Frances had an angiogram on her legs. Subsequently, they ran the test on her entire circulatory system. The doctor suspected she had blockages. Praise the Lord, she did not have any!
Now back to the subject of getting yoked with Jesus. The yoke represents so many things that pertain to our relationship with the Lord. One thing it represents is trust. I won’t get hooked up with Jesus if I don’t trust Him and I won’t trust Him if I don’t know Him. And if I trust Him I will not resist the direction in which He is leading me.
He may lead in a direction that is unfamiliar to me; but I can trust Him because He has already traveled that road before. He knows every temptation I will face because He has already faced them and overcame them. He knows every trick of the devil for He experienced them in the wilderness and won! I can trust Him to deliver me, to guide me and to help me as I stay yoked (connected) to Him.
Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. "Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest." (Matthew 9:37-38 NKJV)
Question: Are Jesus' words about the harvest relevant for today? Is there a harvest that is great waiting to be harvested? Surely the Lord of the harvest knew what He was talking about and He knew that the church would read those words in our culture today.
Jesus, was worried about the harvest. He didn't ask us to pray for the harvest, but that the Lord of the harvest might call workers into the harvest. Why? Because the workers are few. What is needed are more workers. Workers who see the harvest and are willing to engage in the activity of bringing it in. Methods, programs, movements will not accomplish anything without workers.
So how do we get more workers? We pray for them. Simple, yet profound, because this strategy is recommended by the Lord and will be recognized by the Lord of the harvest.
Recently I have been meditating and studying on Jesus’ words found in Matt. 11:28-29. Jesus invites us to: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. “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.
Our next few posts will deal with what God is teaching us through these verses. First, we want to say that Jesus is giving us a great invitation. “Come unto Me” is an invitation giving to those who are laboring and heavy laden. That is those who are trying to minister or work and finding it difficult, and wearisome. All of us have been here at one time or other. We feel the responsibility and duty of the tasks lying before us and we strain to complete our assignments with no joy and no rest.
The yoke was a device placed upon the neck of an ox to facilitate pulling a plow or cart. It was always placed on two oxen. It represents a burden. At first glance one would wonder how in the world can one get rest when there is a heavy yoke around your neck. Before we jump off the deep end, let’s take into account what Jesus is saying.
First, He is inviting you who are tired and weary, beat down by life to come to Him. He is the Lord of rest, seeing that He created a day of rest for Himself and for us. And even though He was very busy Jesus often took time for reflection and rest during His earthly ministry. Jesus is saying He wants to help us bear our burden. He is saying He doesn’t want us to bear the burden alone but He wants to add His strength to ours to enable us to labor without being depleted by it. He is present with us when we are loaded down and wants to help us pull the load.
Often the landowner would put a young inexperienced ox with an older more experience one. The older ox would know how to respond to the commands given, know how to pull the plow or cart and would help the younger animal respond correctly. When the younger animal would try to pull away or go in the wrong direction, the older animal would hold it in place and gently guide it into the right path.
When we get into the yoke with Christ, and learn how to be responsive to the Father’s commands, we can rest, knowing that Jesus knows the way.