Yoke, leash, or noose?
Oswald Chambers writes,
“Our Lord never takes measures to make me do what He wants. Sometimes I wish God would master and control me to make me do what He wants, but He will not. And at other times I wish He would leave me alone, and He does not.”
Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
Christians may have varied images in their minds when it comes to this battle of flesh and Spirit. So far this week we have likened it to Civil War or Chess. But the picture you hold in your mind about this can influence your attitude toward this battle.
Do you See yourself as a dog on a leash being pulled about to places unplanned by you? Is your attention drawn to this or that allure along the way which you would like to stop and sniff, stop to investigate further, but for that yank on your conscience pulling you onward?
Do you See this inner struggle as a noose about your neck… something indicative of death? Are you longing to be free of it to live as you determine, to not let die some of those items of darkness but keep them for personal and private pleasures?
Jesus likened our walk with Him as neither of these. Rather, He likened it to a shared walk, a yoke about our neck is we ourselves wished to don it, but also at the same time a yoke about His own neck. A commitment of sorts that if we wish to go the journey, He will go with us. He will set the pace, avoid the obstacles and dangers along the way for He knows the path.
In this He does not “capture” us, as in a snare, but He calls to us… would you like to come with me? “Follow me?“
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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.” (Matt. 11:28-29)
If we will, He removes the shackles which had held us down and which we had been dragging about – dragging about for so long we had grown used to them, never imagining a life without them. Instead He offers His Yoke, His Burden, and best of all His Strength and promise to pull with us.
Walk in the Spirit… plow on with our Lord… “For,” as He adds, “my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (v. 30).