Walking With God

How much can we accomplish in the kingdom of God when we function by ourselves? Nothing! How much will be accomplished in this present Church age if we do nothing and expect God to do everything? Nothing! God has committed himself to work through the Church. We have the privilege to water and plant in God’s kingdom, “but God makes it Grow” (1 Cor. 3:6). Nothing grows without God, but nothing grows if we don’t water and plant. God could have chosen to bypass the Church. He has chosen to work through us. It is His kind intention that we walk together and Jesus provided the perfect image for how that works in Matt. 11:28-30.

Jesus was a carpenter in His youth. Carpenters didn’t frame houses in those days. They fashioned doors and yokes out of wood, and His own handiwork became useful metaphors for His ministry. A yoke is a heavy wooden beam that fits over the shoulders of two oxen. The yoke can only work if there are two in it and they are pulling together. For the purpose of training, a young ox is yoked to an older ox, who has “learned obedience from what he suffered” (Heb. 5:8). The young ox will be tempted to stray off to the left or to the right, but the old ox stays on the right path. The young ox may think the pace is a little slow and try running ahead, but all he would get is a sore neck. Hopefully the young ox begins to realize that the old ox knows how to walk. The pace is right and the course is true, so he decides to learn from him. Smart!

Being yoked with Jesus is not sitting around in some holy piety expecting God to do it all. Nor is it running around in endless activities trying to do it all by ourselves. It is a walk with the only One who knows the way, who is the truth and has the life to make it possible. In Him we find rest for our souls, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light. If we walked with Jesus we would learn to take one day at a time, and trust God for tomorrow. We would learn the priority of relationships as taught to Mary and Martha. We would learn to love people and use things instead of love things and use people. We would learn what it means to be compassionate. This passage is the only place in the Bible where Jesus describes Himself, and He said, “I am gentle and humble in heart” (vs. 29). With all the harshness and vulgarity surrounding us in this fallen world, we have been invited to walk with the gentle Jesus. Imagine that!

Dr. Neil

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