Are you wearing the yoke of Christ or Man? Are your behaviors, actions, performances and thoughts led by the Spirit, or is your yoke man made? Not to compare you with a bull, or an oxen, but Jesus made the reference when He said “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” in Matthew 11:30.
In my journey from legalism I had this revelation/thought and a question formed in my heart. I voiced it to a Christian friend to try the spirit of it, and I got an amen. This question that came to me as I considered the balance between the authority of a man of God and when it crosses the line into dictatorship was this;
“Am I really a Christian, if everything I do is because Pastor told me I had to or I’d be removed from the Church and suffer damnation?”
If my behavior is legislated by another human, and not from my desire to please God, am I really being led by the Spirit? The Legalist would argue yes, because the Spirit was supposedly leading the law giver. If we obey the modern day Pharisee, we are being led by the Spirit. Yet, Scripture tells us that this act of being led by the Spirit would be a very personal interaction, and that God’s disciples should not sit in the Seat of Moses.
One person said in an interview recently (a person I don’t follow and finding the article was pretty random) “It’s no wonder that a lot of people lose their way and lose who they really are because they always have people telling them who to be.”
Referencing my article Are Spiritual Leaders Requiring Too Much? I must again come back to the decision of the Church Fathers after the Jerusalem council dealing with the separation of legalism (Judaic Law) and grace:
“For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; Acts 15:28”
Just a brief clarification here friends, when I speak of legalism, I’m speaking of a pastor, independent organization or denomination that takes granular control over your life, in an out of balance (if there ever could be a balance) dictatorial, fear mongering way. Commandments (made up rules) are taught as necessary for salvation, yet the necessary things referenced in Acts 15:29 were fornication, meat sacrificed to idols and drinking the blood of animals. – that’s it.
So who’s yoke are we wearing? Who holds the reins to your heart, mind and behavior?
“Whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus [and in dependence on Him], giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” – Colossians 3:17, AMP
How encouraging is the Word of God when it tells us that He gave US power to become the Sons of God (John 1:12) by believing on His name. He is our father, our leader, our yoke, and his yoke is a burden of love that is easy to bear!
Jesus said His yoke was accepted by believing on him, and in that belief lifting up our own cross [ministry, sacrificing for others] and following him [imitating his behavior] and offering peace, mercy, grace, love, hope, charity and faith to all of those around you. A yoke is a tool to steer and control a beast of burden. While we bear one another’s burdens, we must be led by His Spirit so that the fruit of our efforts, being done in His name will offer the world hope, that the light shining would be one of grace and mercy, not a burden of hate and control.
Let yourself be led by God, our yoke is His love and example. Let it lead you into loving others – we are one human family, and our Father wants to be reunited with all his children!