Matthew 11:28-30 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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 souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Why be yoked to Christ? You’re going to be yoked to something. You might not realize it, but you are going to be connected to something that has pull and persuasion over you as you travel through life. If Jesus isn’t controlling your life, I guarantee something else is.
Jesus says if we are yoked with Him, He will give us rest. He says His yoke is easy. He says His burden, that which He asks us to do, is light. It is light, not in the sense that it is never difficult or that it is inconsequential, but it is life in that it won’t take joy and peace from us. The yoke of Jesus is a blessing, not a burden.
How do we know if we are yoked to Jesus? If we are working and straining and staying anxious about not being good enough or worried that things won’t work out for our benefit, or if we are continually stressed and without strength, peace, joy or hope, we have allowed someone or something else to place a yoke on us that isn’t from God because being yoked with Jesus will transforms our lives into an experience with joy, fulfillment, strength, peace and productivity and not stress, strain, and constant worry.
Also, when we are yoked with Christ, We will be on the right PATH. A yoke doesn’t allow one animal to go in the opposite direction from the other one. A yoke doesn’t allow an animal to go rogue. Where the two animals go, they go together. When we are yoked with Christ, we can be guaranteed to stay moving in the right direction and on the right path. There is a right way, a morally straight way Christians can live as we follow Jesus, the Shepherd. He will never lead us astray, and following in the groove or path He sets before us will enable us to accomplish His will and to live our best possible life. I want that.
Not only will we stay on the right path if we are yoked to Jesus, but also, we will move at the right pace. If you are yoked with Jesus and He takes off running, you are gonna find yourself running. If He begins to slow the pace or even rest, you are going to do the same. Listen, Jesus doesn’t yoke up with us for His benefit. He offers for us to join Him for our benefit. He doesn’t need to rest. He doesn’t tire from running, but He knows we do. He knows how to help us pace ourselves so that we don’t get discouraged and quit.
He can tell when we need to be challenged, motivated, and encouraged to pick up the pace. He can hear when our breathing gets heavy or our steps become unsteady from fatigue, and He can force us to rest. When you are yoked with Jesus, you will avoid burnout.
We are warned several times in Scripture to not be over-extended in friendships, in partnerships, with the world. Oh, we know we are to reach out and connect with people who aren’t believers, but we aren’t supposed to go deep in fellowship with people who don’t walk in the light. Why? They are wearing a different yoke. They are running a different race altogether and they are going at the pace that seems right to them. You can’t keep up with them when you are yoked with Jesus because He is moving at a different speed and direction than the speed and direction of the world.
We’re told in Galatians 5:25 to keep in step with the Spirit. This is possible when we stay yoked with Jesus. And, as we stay in step with Him, it will keep us from getting ahead of Him. Sometimes we struggle to wait on God’s perfect timing in our lives, but if we pray, “Jesus, keep me yoked up with you, don’t let me get ahead of what You have for me, let me move at Your speed at all times,” we’ll make sure that we aren’t the ones trying to lead or make something happen. If you run ahead of Jesus, you will slip out of the yoke and you will be forced to carry the load that is ahead all on your own.
Finally, being yoked with Jesus will enable us to live a productive life. The yoke is used for work. It is used to help a pair of animals be productive. Jesus doesn’t invite us to yoke up with Him and then tell us to just to kick back and relax. He calls us to a life of Kingdom work.
If you aren’t yoked with Jesus, when you work, you can accomplish what you can accomplish, but if you are yoked with Christ, tethered to His power, you can literally accomplish what God can accomplish. We can be involved in the supernatural works of the Kingdom because we have access to His power when we are yoked to Him. When we walk with Him, we have power. When we move in concert with Him, we have power. When we plow in the fields where He is leading us to work, we will have a great and powerful harvest.
Do you find yourself on the right path or have you slipped out of the yoke and taken a wrong turn? You can get back on the right path by being yoked again with Jesus. Get back in the yoke!
Are you moving at the right pace or have you slipped out of the yoke and taken control of when you walk, when you run and when you rest, if you do? Is there a sense of rest in your work or do you fear you might be on the brink of burnout? If you aren’t moving at the right pace, you can yoke yourself again with Jesus and find rest even in your work.
Is your life productive in the ways a Christian disciple’s life should be productive? Is your life bearing fruit or have you slipped out of the yoke and begun to sort of walk aimlessly about? If you have lost your sense of purpose, that sense of satisfaction that comes from living a productive Christian life, you can partner up with Jesus again, and access His power to make a true Kingdom impact on the people around you.
Jesus ushered an invitation here in Matthew 11:28-30. The invitation was to come to Him and be yoked to Him. He isn’t going to put a yoke on you. It’s something you would have to desire to submit to. It is an invitation you would have to accept. Just know, you will be partnered or yoked to something or someone. Get on the right path. Live to enjoy the right pace. Live to be a productive disciple because you stay partnered with Christ. Stay in the yoke!