Monday, April 11, 2016

Identity in Christ - 67 (Yoked with Christ)

In this passage, Jesus invokes the image of a yoke of oxen. The yoke is a wooden "collar" that a team of oxen wear while working.

A team of oxen can accomplish an extraordinary amount of work, when joined to together. Much more than two oxen separately. The trick is: they need to move and work together. A yoke is constructed so if one ox moves on its own, it twists the yoke, choking both oxen, and they both stop. To make any sort of progress, the oxen have to move together.

Jesus invites us to take his yoke. We are on one side; he is on the other. We are partners with Jesus. We move together with him. But he is the lead. He moves, and we need to move with him. As the lead, he teaches us how to work within the yoke. He a gentle and kind teacher.

He promises us rest as we work with him. The yoke is easy to wear, and all burdens easy to pull, because he pulls with us.

God's Perspective

God's plan is to create a family, and the family will demonstrate his character, and proclaim his glory. He has a lot riding on that family. He has bound his reputation, his mission and the destiny of the world tightly to that family.

He wants their success. He wants fruit and growth. He has designed the destiny of his children, and he want each one to walk in it. He is willing to go to extreme lengths to assure that success. He is willing to walk with each one, sharing their loads, to ensure that success. He encourages each willing heart.

What he gets is: fear, sin, failure, and hard hearts. What he wants is a nation of priests and ambassadors. What he gets are televangelists.

NOTE: I am not against churches using television. I am against God's children living out their relationship with God through Christian celebrities. I am against God's children believing that sitting in front of their tV is sufficient to reveal God to them, and not prayer, his word, and meditation.

Living My Life

We are yoked with Christ. We are a team. We are connected. We are directed, empowered and provisioned to complete God's mission, demonstrate God's glory. All while walking with him.

And it is really much more complicated. He is yoked with each individual. He is yoked with each local family of God. He is yoked to the entire family of God. It is like the way each cell of the human body is synchronized to the brain. Each cell is coordinated to achieving the overall purposes of the person directing the body. But it reduces down to each cell, each part, obeying its directives.

How do we walk in step with him> How do we walk "yoked" … knowing that getting out of step robs us of our strength, and cuts us off from life? Looking at modern day Christianity, with its many different directions, emphases, interpretations, bright lights and clamoring voices, is God's family not following him? Is he directing them in an almost insane manner? Or is it simply to complicated for us to see?

Scripture plainly promises that if we live in relationship with God, we will experience abundance: abundant life, abundant love, abundant joy, and abundant peace.

It is walking in this yoked arrangement that is the main step toward personal success in living, as well as growth for churches, for movements, and for God's kingdom.

So, the first step toward abundance is learning to detect and understand God's voice. And once it is detected and understood, to act on this information. Since, there are scores of books, lectures and YouTube videos about this subject, I will refrain from further comment. Except to underline, that this is the first step to bring God's life into the world. And it is the first step in establishing his kingdom.

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