If you were enjoying a good time with your friends and Christ walked in the room, what would He say to you?
1) Nice to meet you. And your name is?
2) Good to see you. How have you been?
3) (No words) A holy kiss with an knowing expression of intimacy with you?
We must examine our relationship with Him as it is now because it will be brought to light eventually. We want the truth about our relationship with Him revealed now so that we can deal with it appropriately and live in truth with Him.
Reading the Scriptures, attending services, saying prayers are all fine and good but they are only activities. External habits. Works. Without knowing Christ they count for nothing (Matt. 7:23).
Religious people will perish.
Moral people will persish.
Pagan people will perish.
Are you religious ? Are you moral? Are you pagan?
Or do you know Christ?
The Latin root word for obedience is “to listen, to hear.” Obedience is not a strict, burdensome whip hanging over your head. It is walking in step with the God of the Universe. Unthinkable, but totally posssible. In the yoke of Christ you listen and hear just as the Latin root word denotes. As a sheep hears the voice of the Shepherd, the sheep naturally follows.
Spiritual life? Deception. All of life is spiritual. Jehovah Shammah means “The Lord is there.” Where? Right where you are! He is not there just to be spiritual. He wants to be your whole life because your whole life has been purchased by Him if you have experienced the new birth. Get it? He’s not just a category of your life. He is literally the only source of life you will ever experience. He lives inside you right now and wants you to experience oneness with Him (1 Cor. 6:17).
Keep asking. Keep seeking. Keep knocking. Be willing to lay down your life and human understanding to take on His yoke. Submit to it. Ask Him to teach you to walk in it with Him. When you give Him your full attention, He will.
Yoke means submission to a burden or to join/unite. You must submit to His yoke, take it voluntarily. His yoke is a light burden, and an easy yoke…more pleasant than anything else in your life because it carries His presence. Unbelievable that He is available to us right now.
In His yoke, you unite yourself with Him in His purposes for you. In His yoke you demonstrate that you leave “your” life (what you think your life should be, your agenda) to follow Him and His plans for you. In His yoke, He manages “your” life while you listen to and follow Him. Eventually He becomes your life and you don’t want “your” life back.
You begin your journey submitting to His yoke and end your journey in surrendering to it as your own because the two of you have become one in the yoke. You are familiar with His path and pace, and feel at home in His yoke.
That’s when real Life begins…walking and living in step with the Creator just as you were created to do. He takes a step; you take a step. He pauses; you pause. He stops; you stop. After a while walking this way becomes very natural. Then you start wondering how you ever lived outside the yoke without losing your mind. But wait, you did. No wonder.
John 10:14 I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me
John 10:26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.
John 10:27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me
Matthew 11:29-30 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Come to me. Learn of Me. Learn to rest. Prove that you are my disciples. Listen and follow Me. My yoke is what you were made for. Throw off everything that hinders. Keep your eyes on Me.
In his book, Revolution, George Barna effectively points out the difference between the the big C Church and the little c church. The big C Church is the true Body of Christ, the abiders. The little c church is the buildings and organizations. There is a huge difference between the two, namely the sheep and the goats. The sheep abide in the yoke. The goats are just hanging out with the sheep (Matt. 25:32).
Much Spirit-led activity takes place outside the church building (John 3:8), Barna reports, because many have left the buildings and organizations as they were not fed there. God led them outside of many of the establishments to start ministries so that Christ’s sheep would be fed. Christ said, “Feed My sheep” (John 21:17).
Remember that we individual members (2 Pet. 2:5) of the Body of Christ comprise the Church, the Holy Temple of God, one stone upon another, Christ being the Cornerstone. Buildings and organizations do not contain or possess Christ. Confusing it is because I still hear that greeting in some services, “Welcome to the house of God.” This greeting gives the unspoken message that when you come to that building, you can find God. And by the way, it suggests too, that He is not outside of the building. Thus, your necessary compulsion to attend their services to find Him… Blasphemy!– He is alive! He is here! Jehovah Shamma is right where you are this second! The omnipresent God will be found by anyone – anywhere who will seek Him with a whole heart.
That begs two questions:
1) Are you seeking Him?
2) And with your whole heart?
Matthew 10:13-15 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
The part of us that stays covered trying to be proper, formal, busy and in control is the enemy of God. For that very barrier will keep us from receiving the kingdom of God as a little child. Just as Jesus corrected the disciples (Matt. 10:13-15) for preventing the little children from coming to Him, He corrects us today for preventing the little child within us from coming to Him. We must lay aside our pretense, defenses, excuses and human understanding and assume a spirit of humility and authenticity (Heb. 4:9). Only then can we receive what He offers us. Only then can we take His yoke upon ourselves. Only then can we learn of Him and find the rest He calls us to experience for ourselves (Heb. 4:11).
Theo means “God” and ology means “the study of.” So many people study all about God yet never know Him. They run with the ology and forget the Theo. We can study about God to know His characteristics (Matt. 7:23). But knowing Him personally and intimately is altogether different.
When you seek Him with your whole heart, that’s when you seek to take on His yoke and learn of Him. That’s when you leave behind your comfort zones and your life transforms. That’s when you learn to delight in Him and your desires become His. That’s when your prayers are answered always…sometimes in days, weeks, months, years, and sometimes in seconds.
He said to them, But who do you [yourselves] say that I am?
Isaiah 55:3 Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
2 Peter 2:5
[Come] and, like living stones, be yourselves built [into] a spiritual house, for a holy (dedicated, consecrated) priesthood, to offer up [those] spiritual sacrifices [that are] acceptable and pleasing to God through Jesus Christ.
The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit
All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.”
The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack.
2 He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters.
3 He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him—not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake.
4 Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with [a]oil; my [brimming] cup runs over.
6 Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days the house of the Lord [and His presence] shall be my dwelling place.
So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.
Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], that no one may fall or perish by the same kind of unbelief and disobedience [into which those in the wilderness fell].
Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
1 Corinthians 6:17
But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.