When a person who professes to be a Christian and continues in their sin and to love the world they are in pride. Pride is when self is placed on the throne. I will do, I will have, I will seek – for me. We are our worst enemy for we, as believers in Christ who allow this to be true in our lives, will be stunted and lack as a witness for God. In fact, we hurt His testimony. Our issue is not necessarily sin, but is more about our flesh. Sin needs our flesh to participate with it for it to be effective (to create bondage) and because we do not lay down our flesh we cannot pick up Christ (at the same time) to learn from Him (to walk in His freedom) and why we remain in our blinded bound state. Jesus gives us this promise in Matthew 11; ‘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. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.’ Notice though, there are conditions to this promise. We must take His yoke and we must watch Him and learn from Him. What is a yoke? A yoke is a fitting for a so-called beast of burden that would be placed around the neck of one or more animals like an ox for example. This fitting was placed around the neck in order to allow the animal or animals for the purpose of pulling loads and typically consisted of a curved piece of wood with leather straps as a binding which would allow them to draw a plough or a cart or any other type of weight. So the yoke was a tool placed upon the animal in order for them to do the work to be done. In the same way, Jesus is instructing us, that we must place the yoke of God upon us, so we may do the work that He desires for us – which in turn gives us rest for our souls. The large part of the work that we are to do, is lay aside self and in fact we are to reckon ourselves no longer to be alive, but dead. Romans 6:11-12. In other words we are to stop living to please our flesh and all its desires, insecurities, needs, hopes and dreams. No longer to serve our love for pleasure. We can do this – ONLY in the power of Jesus, which means we must walk in how He instructs us to, which is also considered part of the yoke we wear. What I see more often than not, is people taking the first of this scripture and leaving the rest which is ‘Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest,’ they come to Jesus but continue to love sin and the world, expecting God to give rest! Where in reality we will never experience freedom that Christ has bought for us when we approach in this haphazard way. But rather we are to understand that we are in the battle of our lives with our very own flesh, and must persist to not live for it any longer, no matter how loud it screams at us! Luke 9:23. This is not a prayer request we make, or ask others to pray about, it is a command. It is the only entry into the narrow way that Jesus has told us is our road. Matt 7:13-14.
“Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” John 8:36
Related: Stop Digging in the Dirt! To the Stumbling Christian Submission- It’s a Good thing! The Eye of a Needle
“and you will find rest for your souls” ~ what a wonderful promise! Let’s indeed make sure to meet the conditions!