Come with me as we read Isaiah 55: 1-2. This is the first of two invitations that caused me to pause and think about why I was so burdened and worn out in ministry years ago and even now, that I have been walking in the office of the pastorate for five years. Let’s listen to these words:
Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
The other Scripture is found in, Matthew 11:25-30, but I am only going to focus on verse 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 soul.”
When I think of a yoke, my mind does not always think of and “egg yolk.” I usually associate a “yoke,” with something that is not very pleasant, something that exacts pain, usually a constraint around my neck, shoulders, or back. A yoke is a heavy wooden harness that fits over the shoulders of an ox or oxen. It is attached to a piece of equipment the oxen are to pull. It is important right here, to imagine or picture in our mind this beast of burden, and the hard work of carrying and pulling loads they were involved in back in the Bible days. We can liken such strenuous work today as:
- A person carrying heavy burdens of sin.
- Excessive demands of religious leaders.
- Oppression and persecution, or weariness in the search of God.
- The good news is that Jesus frees people from all these burdens. The rest that Jesus promises is love, healing, and peace with God, but not the end of all labor. A relationship with God changes meaningless wearisome toil into spiritual productivity and purpose.
Eugene Peterson paraphrased Jesus’s invitation in this passage. This is how he phrased it:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion...Walk with me and work with me….learn the unforced rhythms of grace” (The Message Bible).
The body of Christ gets into trouble when we take on too much, when we begin to think that church, the ministry God gave us, cannot function without us. I call that, “stinking thinking.” If you and I think that the ministry rest sole upon our shoulders, we are gravely mistaken! When that happens, look out! You are in for a rude awakening. You never want to come across as though God is working for you, instead of the other way around.
The bible says: “Ephesians 2:10 “ For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (ESV).
If I am not walking in the power and grace of God, I am wasting my time and energy. My efforts will leave me frustrated. My spirit will be dry, callous, brittle, annoyed and burdened. People will start to pluck my nerves, dates, assignments and worship experiences will leave me lukewarm and un-enthusiastic.. But this is what happened: I began serving the creation instead of the Creator. Therefore, my religion will be in vain, and begin cursing those whom God created.
Beloved, it is time to lay our burdens and cares down! It is time to walk with Jesus in His unforced, synchronized, rhythms of true grace, and humble submission to Him.
When I use to play for the male chorus at Hopewell, the men use to sing a song entitled:
“Walk with Me Lord.” The lyrics are:
“Walk with me Lord, walk with me. Walk with me Lord, walk with me.
All along this, tedious journey; I want Jesus to walk, with me.”
When Jesus is walking with you, it makes the journey sweeter and less cumbersome. I hope this blog blessed you, if it did; I’d love to hear your comments.
Be Blessed and : Don't forget to say your prayers.