Bossing Jesus Around!

Posted: 15/12/2011 in God
Tags: , , , ,

Jesus said “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. 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. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matt 11:28-30)

It occurred to me this morning that he has been saying that to me for a while, a long while. I thought I had been coming to him. I thought I had been getting away with him. I thought I had been walking and working with him. And yet I haven’t experienced the full promise of his rest. It should be simple shouldn’t it? Come to me, I’ll give you rest. Either Jesus doesn’t mean what he says or I’m going about it the wrong way and if I’m to take the promises of God as rock solid, unarguable truth then where am I going wrong? God is faithful, he does not withdraw his promises (Numbers 23:19, Psalm 145:13b, 2 Corinthians 1:20, Hebrews 10:23b). So if not God, then me, where is my role in this relationship?

Human nature instinctively says “I need to be in control” because God has given us free will; the ability to choose. It seems unnatural to surrender our lives in entirety – body, mind, spirit and soul – over to one we can’t see but believe in by faith. The last few months God has shown me how much I have lived a life of control. I am independent, strong willed and I think. And about spiritual things I think a lot. Some may call it analytical but I now see it as an intellectual attempt at trying to figure out a supernatural God. In doing so I am unwilling to surrender completely my entire will and life over to my creator. So when Jesus says come to me, get away with me, walk and work with me, I have only come a little, have only stood in his presence when it suits me, have walked and worked with him at my discretion. My conversation, though not literal, may go something like this.

“Jesus, I’m going through some stuff right now. I’m struggling and I really need your help. I don’t know what to do or how to get through this situation but you have said that if I come to you, you will give me rest. Now, I’ve thought about it a lot and in all my wisdom here’s how I think we should do it”!

Imagine telling God who knows me better than myself (Psalm 139:1-18), who created the world (Colossians 1:15-16), who has amazing plans for my life (Jeremiah 29:11), who cares passionately about me and what happens to me (Luke 12:6-7, 22-31) how he ought to give me rest. In the NIV translation of Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says to “…take my yoke upon you…” A yoke is an old fashioned method of joining together draft animals such as oxen. It is a wooden beam that stretches across their necks making it difficult for the animals to act independently.  Therefore as a pair they act in unison and are able to pull heavy loads. If I am to take on the yoke of Jesus I work with him not independently. I listen for his direction and I walk with him. As soon as I pull away in my own direction, as I have done so often, I am in a sense fighting his help. Jesus won’t fight me; my Father in heaven has given me free will. If I chose to ignore my saviours voice, if I chose to do things my way, if I chose to dictate to Jesus how things ought to be, even to the point of trying to analyse what “rest” according to Jesus might equate to, then I as good as take off the yoke and walk away from the very rest he is offering. It’s time for me to put the yoke back on, stop trying to figure it all out and ask him “Lord how do you want to do this”?

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Comments
  1. Sue Nicholls says:

    Hi Mel – enjoying your insights. Lots to ponder. Thanks, Sue

  2. mels33 says:

    Thanks Sue, bless you 🙂

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the timely reminder; especially at this time of year. I love the way that God is not talking about physical rest. Bless you sweet, beautiful lady!! 🙂

  4. Anonymous says:

    Interesting! I was wrestling with the Yoke meaning just the other day & now you have filled in the gaps. Thanks. OME.

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