The Bare Soul - May 16, 2010
The Burden of the Lord

Matthew 11:30 - For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

Often in our 21st century living, we may tend to believe that our society is more harried and stressful than at any any other time in history. I'm not so sure about that. The human condition divorced of God's life will always seek to strive and struggle for peaceful preeminence no matter what generation or century one might live. The truth is that humans can often feel overwhelmed and see life's burdens as too heavy to bear. That is why so many in this generation as well as others preceding have turned to alcohol, drugs, or any other diversion of sin to help them escape what they feel is the tortuous weight of life itself. How often have some said, "If only I had his or her life, then everything would be okay. Look how they sail through their days without a care!". No man knows what load a man bears except that man alone. However, we can know one thing for certain -- we need not bear our loads in a solitary manner. There is One who came before us to bear the weight of sin and who also seeks to help us with our daily burdens. He desires that our burdens become His burdens as we yoke together with Him.

Yoking animals is not an arbitrary exercise. Neither is it with our Lord. As with yoked oxen, one is the lead and is usually the stronger animal and the weaker will submit and follow as the other leads. It is no different with the Lord and the believer. He requires that we be yoked to Him but He is not unreasonable and demanding. He knows that we cannot carry the load of sin that has weighed us down all our lives, so He lovingly takes it when we accept Him as our Savior. And, it is the same regarding our daily cares, concerns, and yes -- sins! He patiently takes all that is not of Him and not borne from His Spirit (e.g. the fruit of the Spirit [Galatians 5:22-23]), and takes it upon His shoulders never to give it back. Unless, however we desire it back! This is often the dilemma. For we gladly accept that Christ died for our sin and we begin to move toward Him in sanctification, surrendering our old nature with gratitude that He wishes to carry it. However, oftentimes when we begin to feel good about ourselves (in a self-righteous way) we are apt to want to take back our "old man" and grieve the Spirit of Jesus within. If only we would allow Him to carry not only our sin but also our cares and anxieties each and every day. What freedom we would possess!

Many confess a child-like "lightness" after giving their burden of sin to God and walking in that new found freedom of giving up their sins daily to the Almighty. Some have expressed that they feel like an adolescent again without a care in the world! That is what Jesus desires us all to experience when we first come to Him. He wants us never to be burdened again with the weight of sin. However, he does still desire us to bear a load, albeit a light one!  As aforementioned, Jesus has taken on not only the burden of sin but also the burden of the Father's heart for a dying world. We as frail humans can never know the heartache that the Lord of Heaven experiences as he aches for the souls of humankind. However, He does desire to share a portion -- a small measure of His heart with any believer that would take up the yoke of Jesus. Any burden that God desires to impart to us is miniscule in comparison to what He bore on Calvary. Furthermore, his burden of prayer is slight that He wishes us to bear in comparison to his unceasing intercession for His beloved (Hebrews 7:25).  It is incomprehensible that our loving Father has sent His Son to be yoked with us in any other way. Even as a spiritual yoke determines suitable partners in achieving the righteousness of God upon this earth, so Jesus Christ's burdens should generate awe and humility in us as we submit to him as the Suffering Servant that overcame darkness and overwhelmingly conquerors as we submit to His awesome power (Romans 8:37).

The yoke of the Lord can never be borne alone, nor was it ever intended to be so. Only as we partner with the Lord and understand the enormous burden that He carried and still carries for us, can we then understand the brevity that we are meant to endure our relatively light loads upon this earth. We should count it a privilege and honor to be counted worthy to endure life's day to day troubles. Jesus said that if we are in the world that we will have heartaches and tribulations, but that He had overcome all that is not of God (John 16:33). Beloved, let us not struggle with the yoke the Lord has given to all who call on His name. We may believe that we are carrying our burden alone. However, if we will but look closely next to us we will see that our Lord Jesus has never abandoned us to carry His yoke by ourselves. We must not struggle but submit to the power of His will and allow Him to take the burden He is so willing to carry. For the load He gives us is not too heavy. It will never drag us down to despair, but it will always be light enough to remind us that He will continue to lead us through this life until we come to our final rest. For only as He leads, can we truly follow as we are bound to Him in love.

Lord Jesus, I submit to You and to Your yoke of love. Bind Your light burden upon my shoulders with Your loving care and ever remind me that You are the All Powerful One, bearing burdens much too heavy for me to bear. Lead and guide me to glory, Lord Jesus. In Your Name, Amen!

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

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