Thursday, September 17, 2009

Take Up the Easy Yoke

I mentioned in a previous post that I am reading the Joyce Meyer book - "Enjoying Where You Are On the Way to Where You Are Going." I also read a nightly (or I at least try, just being realistic) devotional by Joyce Meyer called "Ending Your Day Right" which was given to me by my mother several years ago. Tuesday night, I tucked myself in bed read my nightly devotional then began reading my other Joyce Meyer book.

I opened my devotional to September 15 and the headline reads "Take Up the Easy Yoke" and the scripture reads: "Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls." Matthew 11:29

In the "Enjoying Where You Are...", I am still on the subject of simplicity - this particular topic was "The Simple Approach" and essentially Joyce discusses how Jesus is not controlled by circumstances and by the demands of other people, but instead He takes the simple approach. As I am reading, the scripture Joyce uses in this lesson is also Matthew 11:28-30 - I sat up and said WOW!!!! Coincidence?? Allen looked at me and said what? Ha! I am so amazed how God is showing His sweet, sweet face to me & clearly, without doubt!

Joyce uses Jesus' words as recorded in Matthew 11:28-30 (Amplified Bible)

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]

29Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.

30For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good--not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.

In verse 29, He says "learn of Me" as in learn how I do things. He says "for I am gentle, humble in heart" and how often are we "gentle or humble in heart" when it comes to something we want, hoped for, or prayed for. In our society, it seems to be okay when we want something in life, to get it no matter what the cost or consequences (and I'm not talking about just monetary). We seek OUR will but not HIS will and then soon realize we have missed out on something.

In the last few weeks, I could have easily decided to use my sorrow as a tool to help me or as a crutch. While it is so easy to dwell on our problems or to rationalize them, what if we took the simple approach - Jesus' approach? Being able to completely surrender my will as been no easy task but it as been one of the most rewarding. It also has made me seek His will rather than my own, which His will is why we are here in the first place. I believe the trials we face are not because of anything we have done wrong (while we often think so) but simply because God is a merciful and sovereign God - He gives and He takes. Trials & sorrow also allows us to put things in perceptive - what really is most important to us?

This particular verse spoke to me in so many ways! And is still speaking to me. What an amazing God we serve...He tells us to allow Him to do the work and He wants us to have rested souls. After all, He did fight the good fight for His. There are SO many things I have learned and am learning through the trials and sorrow I have dealt with over the past few months. I am almost giddy inside because I am so thankful that God is using those sorrows to draw me closer to Him. While I do not know lots of things in this life/world, I do know that the ONE thing I can hold on too and the ONE thing I know that is never-changing and that is my Savior, Jesus! And because of that I know...I can carry on...I do not have to be tired, sad, depressed, or worried for I know Jesus has taken care of ALL of those things for me! I encourage you to let Him take up your heavy-laden and overburdened heart, seek His ways and how He would handle your situation or circumstances - allow Him to do the work He has already done for you so many years ago when He died on the cross for YOU! His ways and thoughts are so much greater than ours and we must be willing to surrender ourselves to Him so we can discover His will for our lives - not our own.

"Lord, I give You my heart, I give You my soul, I live for You alone
Every Breath I take, Every moment I'm awake
Lord, have Your way in me"

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