Back in 2003 after having spent the year before reading Sarah Ban Breathnach's book "Simple Abundance" I took her suggestion to heart and wrote my own daily devotional. Each day I took a line or two from one of the various spiritual authors from the last three centuries I was reading and wrote my own thoughts on the subject. I then looked for a scripture that illustrated the truth that had been revealed to me. What follows is the result.

"Our greatest bondage is to have our own way; our greatest freedom is to let God have His way." Warren Wiersbe

Saturday, November 19, 2011

November 19

“Learn to take the yoke upon you.  Do not wait for it to be forced on you; but bow your neck to it willingly and take it.  Say ‘Yes, Lord’ to each expression of his will in all the circumstances of your life....Take each yoke as it comes, and in the taking you will find rest.”  Hannah Whitall Smith, Daily Secrets, 10/25

I realize I’ve not done the added step of “bow your neck” when it comes to taking Christ’s yoke.  It’s only after He’s placed it on me because He knows what’s best for me that I finally accept it--usually after much chafing.  It only makes sense that, if that is the only time I accept it, I would equate the pain resulting from the struggle with the yoke itself.  But by bowing my neck and gladly accepting His yoke immediately, I will experience His rest instead.  It reminds me of the childbirth classes I took.  The instructor told us if we were tense during labor we would cause pain.  In addition, muscles need oxygen to work properly.  By teaching us how to breathe we were shown how to work with our muscles as they contracted rather than against them.  This is the same principle for taking Christ’s yoke.  The more we “breathe” the Holy Spirit’s life-giving force and trust His will for us, the more we will relax and find rest.  Just as our bodies do the work of pushing out the baby, the Holy Spirit in us carries the burden of whatever circumstance we are in.  Our job is to “go with the flow”!

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  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.”  Matthew 11:28-30

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