Principal 3 Choosing to Submit My Life and Will to Christ

Posted: August 9, 2014 in beatitudes, Bible Verses, Devotional, Jesus, Slogans
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Rest in Submission

Three times I have started this post (… ok now four five….)

but I am going to keep moving forward. After all, my job is

to do the writing …not judge the writing.

Yesterday, I think that God was trying to get my attention. I started my morning reading a lesson (devotional) in my Life Recovery Bible. I read where Jesus says:

“Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear and the burden I give you is light.” –Mathew 11:28 (NLV)

The commentary was called Submission and Rest. I see now that the lesson was reminding me that there was rest in submission. But at the time I was thinking about how in recovery I do not have to be alone. I have discovered how God brings healing when I am safe to share with another person what I may have otherwise censored as too personal, silly, petty, dumb, ridiculous, or embarrassing. It is no wonder why the Bible says:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1John 1:9 (NASB)
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The second time I read about Jesus’ yoke was on my daughter’s Facebook status. I wondered if she was feeling overwhelmed. She had expressed that no one seemed to be helping her with her wedding plans. Was she appealing for help? Then, I thought about how the Bible says we are to not be unequally yoked, was she wondering about who she was yoking up with? Turns out most yokes are set up for two oxen. The yoke keeps the oxen on the right path, side by side. It is comical to think of how the yoke actually keeps them from getting in each other’s way (or gouging each other with their horns).

Then Strike three I heard about Jesus’ yoke again. I had to laugh. Ok God I was listening, there must be more. I was co-teaching a Celebrate Recovery Lesson about Principal 3 “Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control”.

“Happy are the meek” –Matthew 5:5.

At the end of the lesson about ACTION was that yoke business. This time in the context of “Let Go and Let God”.

So, today I thought I would take ACTION and, I started to write about this verse. God must have wanted me to learn the rest of this lesson from experience. After hours..of researching the web finding all sorts of ideas opinions, purposes, definitions, symbolic references and cultural relativism on Yokes. I was overwhelmed. I realized that I had slipped into an old familiar yoke. And it was proving itself ineffective. Simply put the ultimate purpose of the yoke was to accomplish a task or purpose. ACTION. As a follower of Jesus that purpose was to follow Jesus.

Without going into a long narrative of my have to get it all, get it right, etc…yoke here is what I figured out:

The familiar but Ineffective Yoke:                            Jesus’ Yoke
-familiar yoke: do it alone                                                             Jesus:  -share the load
-familiar: my will power                                                           Jesus: -God’s will; God’s power
-familiar: be perfect,                                                                Jesus- accept humanity; accept forgiveness
-Familiar: if you can’t do it right don’t do it at all                         Jesus- My best today is good enough
-Familiar: hide the silly doubts                                                   – Jesus: accept doubt as a prerequisite of faith
-Familiar: figure it out first                                                        Jesus -step out in trust
– Familiar: put on a happy face                                                    Jesus -be the man in the mirror
-Familiar: don’t make waves                                                      Jesus -take action, God can still the waves
-Familiar: be certain , Be above criticism                                  Jesus  -trust God’s certainty, accept his Grace
 
 

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So I confess my unspoken question seemed to be …

“Why would I anyone want to consciously be under any yoke?”

God is kind in showing me today that, clearly I unconsciously slip into a yoke on a regular basis. In fact often, I do not even realize that I had slipped until I encounter, the lack of control, harsh criticism, confusion, or strife. But when I actively choose to submit even the smallest part of me to God I encounter His acceptance, peace, and rest. This is evident because I am not busy watching what everyone else is doing or not doing. I am not trying to prod, or convince anyone into action. I don’t need to give advice, be an authority, or direct other people’s path. I am confident in knowing that God will direct and redirect me onto the right path if I let Him, and that He will do the same for everyone. In essence I can choose to free myself from trying to be God, and choose to free myself from letting others play God. So the yoke I enter under is not contrary to freedom. I actually choose to let God be God in my life, so that I am free to me (flawed and imperfect) and I am free to let other be themselves too. So to paraphrase my beginning statement, “Why would I spend time judging my worthiness, my abilities, my work, my talents, my writing, …that is God’s job. My job is to use my talents…. not judge my talents.

I’d love to hear what you have experienced in this area.

For some more excellent thoughts on yokes and faith check out “Faith Shall be My Eyes” by Jana click here

Creative Commons License 2011 by
  licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at “Breaking Free“.

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