Pages

December 2, 2015

The Secret of the Easy Yoke

In Matthew 11:29-30 Jesus says "Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Willard tells us that this offer is real and is intended for the here and now. Jesus speak this to us "in the midst of this life where we labor and bear impossible burdens and cry out for rest." All we have to do Willard says is to grasp the secret of entering into that easy yoke. What is that secret? 

I'm not sure how you feel, but I've always struggled with this passage. So often I've felt like the path of discipleship and spiritual disciplines is anything but easy and light. Maybe the problem is that we don't like to die to self or release our uncertainly, our fears, and our perceived control in life. This always produces a burden greater that we can bear. Willard says "The general human failing is to want what is right and important, but at the same time not to commit to the kind of life that will produce the action we know to be right and the condition we want to enjoy." In other words we want the life God promises, but we're unwilling to do what it takes to get there. Adherence to spiritual disciplines will help us overcome this struggle and slowly align our lives with Christ. 

For me, the secret to Jesus promise is his invitation to learn from Him. As I empty my self, he fills me with himself. There is no greater source of joy and fulfillment. Willard says the secret is for us to learn from Christ, to allow him to teach us and instruct us to live our lives investing all our time and energies of mind and body as he did. This is only possible if we ask the Holy Spirit for his help. That's the first step to spiritual disciplines.