The Great Exchange: Have You Traded Your Yoke for God’s?
But I Don’t Want To…
I love this picture. I see myself standing there, holding onto all my desires and the plans for life and my family, hanging onto hopes for the future. Christ is asking me to let go, exchange my plans for His, and I’m thinking… But I don’t want to.
I am looking at the Creator of the Universe- the creator of me and my husband,
our perfect Provider,
the Giver of all good things,
our Refuge in any storm,
the Promise of rest,
our Strength and source of peace
the ultimate Lover of our souls…
and not fully trusting that He has something better for me.
He says, “Come to me and I will give you rest,” I say, “Oh really? Does Your rest involve a cozy cabin in quiet woods where I can relax peacefully? Because unless it’s better than this 20-minute nap I have planned right now, I’m not sure I want it. I know what I need.” He says, “I can heal your marriage, comfort your broken heart, and love you back to life.” I say, “But how do I KNOW that?”
It all boils down to trust.
Who do you trust?
Luke… I am your father.
Star Wars fans know that line well. Darth Vader says it in revealing the truth of his relationship to Luke Skywalker.
A good father loves and provides for his children (unlike Darth Vader). He knows what they need and how to help them. If we have put our faith in Christ, we come to Him with our worries and desires, our brokenness and fear, and like a good Father, He provides exactly what we need.
And in Him, we find rest.
Not just one, but two!
Matthew 11:28-30 shows us TWO kinds of rest we will receive when we come to Christ.
In verse 28 Jesus says, Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
This type of rest is an eternal rest: a call to come to faith and salvation through Christ’s work on the cross. It’s Christ saying, “Come to me. Bring your baggage and brokenness, the heavy weight of your sin, and leave it at the foot of the cross. I’ll take care of it.”
We exchange our yoke of sinful self-indulgence for His yoke of grace.
Here is where the little girl hands over her tiny teddy bear and believes the words Jesus says: “Trust me, I have something better for you.”
He has something better for all of us.
In the next two verses (v. 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.
This type of rest is a soul rest; a rest that submits and surrenders to Christ, allowing HIM to be our Master and Teacher, rather than wearily toiling under our own expectations. It’s exchanging our yoke for His, our kingdom for His kingdom.
It’s as if Christ is saying, “Okay (insert your name here), come here. Give Me all that baggage; let Me get rid of it for you (eternal salvation). Now, let Me train and teach you My way of doing things. After all, you are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), so life is going to look a lot different now (soul rest).”
We come to Him and make the Great Exchange: our yoke for His. Our will for His. Our kingdom for His.
And if you ask me, we receive an unbelievable deal!
Vow to change: an encouraging call to action
Let’s get real.
It is possible to receive the first type of rest (salvation), but still hold onto our own way of doing things. It’s kind of like saying, Hey Jesus, thanks for the gift of grace! Now please leave me alone so I can do what I want with it.
This was me for over 15 years. And, if I’m honest, it still is some days.
But Galatians 5:13-14 says, For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Let’s get real and take an honest look at our lives. Think through the following questions. Take a moment and say God, please talk to me. Then humbly receive what He has to say. When we listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, He tells us our true heart’s condition.
Am I using my freedom to serve my spouse and others? Or am I self-indulgent and self-serving, being self-led instead of Spirit-led? (Being Spirit-led begins with a simple reminder: we are never alone. Click HERE for more encouragement.)
Do I love my spouse as I love myself? Do I love others as I love myself?
Remember the MOST important commandments. Jesus says in Mark 12:30-31, “’And you shall love the Lord your God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and with ALL your mind and with ALL your strength.’ And ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other greater commandment than these.”
ALL your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Not just some. ALL. Have you surrendered all to Him?
Love your neighbor as yourself.
Philippians 2:3-4 reminds us: Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interest, but also to the interests of others.
Be Spirit-led, not self-led. Get rid of the me-first mentality.
Have you made the Great Exchange? Your yoke for His yoke? Your will for His will? Your kingdom for His kingdom? You can right now. It’s that simple. Come before God and tell Him: Lord not my will, but Yours be done.
Check it out
You may be wondering how you’ll ever survive in God’s kingdom. A new yoke? Kingdom work? These are new habits, new ways of living; that can be scary and intimidating.
But our sweet Lord does not leave us alone to do His kingdom work.
To learn more, check out the next post: Never Alone: Being Spirit-Led Instead of Self-Led