Thursday, September 4, 2014

He's the Leader, not you. And His yoke of Lordship never bruses, hurts or even chafes at the neck.

Has it been too heavy to carry? Why not off-load? 

What Christ has for you easy. He asked...

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you'll recover.. walk with Me and work with Me—watch how I do it.  Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.  I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.... with Me you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

"Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest.  Accept my teachings and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives. The burden that I ask you to accept is easy; the load I give you to carry is light" (see the context and Matt. 11/28-30 msg, ncv).

The Fisher of all fishers is gentle and tenderhearted. Jesus has never once been pushy, mean-spirited, unreasonable, weirdly in the flesh all blowin' up at people or wrongly angry. Nope! He's never been brow-beating, selfish, condemning, or some workaholic "for the Father." And He won't lead you astray either. The Bible says...

"Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it" (Heb.4:1 kjv).

"So let us do our best to enter that rest.  But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall" (nlt).. "For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.  Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience" (vv. 10-11).

Say it.. Doin' my best, I commit the rest. If we each are abiding in the Vine and unified, instead of religiously striving in the flesh we are going to produce fruit and subsequently have a harvest for His glory. Sweetness!

Sure you and I have an ole fleshly nature inside that we are to mortify, but if we're daily walking in the Spirit, living with Christ's easy yoke (yeah, that's an old farming term, you know with two oxen unified and pulling in the same direction for the crop's sake).. then guess what. You and I are not going to get inordinately uptight, fearful, selfishly ambitious, big-boss-prideful, or pushy with ourselves or with other believers that we serve with or meet.

We won't place unrealistic expectations on people or have hidden wrong expectations on others "Perform and produce for God!" We won't pressure em, exploit em, or manipulate them to "Do more work or giving than is actually good for them or for the Kingdom." 

You've heard it before. They say "We do our fair share and commit to this (heavy)  yoke because we all owe it to Him who gave it all, and you know we can commit to doin' more than any reasonable amount, cuz God's supernatural ability will kick in and then when we accomplish it all everyone will see that God get's the glory." No! That's just spiritual abuse flat-out. We Christians are to force things. We aren't perfect but we won't contantly try to make things happen when and how we want. We won't hurry people. Instead of pushing, pushing, pushing, we'll be kind and pulled along (led step by step) gently by the Spirit of Jesus the good and Chief Shepherd of the flock.

Taking up the easy yoke is about us being diligent instead of lazy for sure, but it's also about laying down all those heavy projects that were laid on you by yourself while trying to perhaps earn favor, earn acceptance, or gain a guilt-free-conscience inside (or liberty from false guilt even).. or earn whatever. 

 You know what I'm talkin' about, projects that were laid on your neck by the verbalized bogus expectations or influence of others.. vain yokes that the Lord never even intended for you to pick up in the first place.  

Okay, so you understand that personal and corporate worship of God comes first. Worship before working. The Old Testament priest's garb was of linen - no sweat. And you know that God will indeed have soul-winning and discipleship tasks or projects ahead for each of us believers if we'll stop and first inquire of Him about each one, but other projects can become crushing and bad for your family and health.. especially if your leader's expectations for you grow bigger each month. Often times we presume to take up Gods projects cuz we fail to simply pray over those so called opportunities, or we "fear man" along with saying no to him or her.

Have you been in the driver's seat of your life and haven't been listening to Christ who you have religated to inside the trunk, or to riding shotgun? Quite acting like you're Lord of Him. Repent. Let Him take the wheel. 

Listen, believer, if we are too busy for time alone with the Lord in His word and in prayer...too busy to enjoy His presence and listen to His voice, to thank, and to honestly vent with Him who understands.. or too busy for time with your family.. then we are just too busy. 

It's the cults, false teachers, and respected but stiff religious leaders that are known for getting their devotees too busy and cut off from family members. No local church, para-church ministry, or genuine Christian minister should be like that at all. Instead they should encourage and facilitate the proper prioritization of one's time. 

Being busy out of the will of God is so grievous; it stinks though it might look good to some religious folk. It's time to do better in taking a day off per week; it's time to lay down the bad yoke(s) and idols. Memorize Matthew 6:33. We reproduce what we are spiritually. Have you been a brow-beater of friends, a workaholic, or an enabler helping others to be busy in sin..all "for Jesus Christ?" Stop that. Learn to rep Him right not as a fool. You'll glorify the Lord and be more effective in life and ministry when you maintain wise boundaries of respect; yes, when Christ is Lord of all and you've entered that wonderful rest in the Love of God.  
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