Say No To Yokes
Last Sunday we received a powerful message by Pastor Fatima Sibanda on various yokes and how they can be identified in our lives and their effect on us.
Yoke: A device for joining together a pair of draft animals, especially oxen, usually consisting of a crosspiece with two bow-shaped pieces, each enclosing the head of an animal. To oppress, burden, or enslave.
This yoke that we are talking about oppresses the shoulders and takes away the strength of a person. When you are yoked you cannot move around freely and are forced to look down continuously. Your progress is limited as you are attached to another person or situation.
In Galatians 5:1 we are told “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery”. The scripture says, “Do not let yourself,” this therefore means that we can actually let ourselves be yoked by allowing sin and other certain things in life to hinder us. It is our responsibility to refuse to be yoked.
There are various ways in which we can be yoked. Yokes can come through words that are negatively spoken over us or physically by health issues. We can be yoked mentally by what we believe about ourselves and others. We are responsible for the mentality that we have so we must check the things that we think. When we are yoked mentally all things are determined by that mental yoke, Paul says we are to continually renew our minds. We should look into the fullness that Christ has given us and not be restricted by circumstances.
In 1 Kings 12:11 Satan, through bad advice given to Rehoboam, made sure that the children of Israel were yoked so that they wouldn’t make any progress or worship God freely, “My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.” This is Satan’s plan for us, he wants us to carry these heavier yokes so that we are not productive, able to serve the Lord freely, or to achieve, or to spread the gospel. Satan comes into our lives through our minds and our negative circumstances and also our perceptions of things. He seeks to devour us through our ignorance of God`s Word. Satan uses hardships to sting us and dig his claws into us as scorpions do. But that is not God`s plan for us. God does not want us to submit to the yoke of slavery because slaves hold no rights, they are dragged away from their homes and are powerless. Jesus Christ came to set us free from yokes of slavery
Some things that can yoke us are:
- Disappointments in life. Satan wants to upset us and to disrupt our world so that we are not effective. When we expect something and it doesn’t happen we can get yoked through the disappointment.
- Failed relationships or in marriages. Challenging relationships at work with our colleagues and in our various spheres of influence.
- Covenants that our parents or ancestors made.
- Financial yokes that hinder us from giving to God and to others.
- Unequal yoke in relationships where the man or woman you are with is not saved.
- The yoke of worry. Jesus himself says “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life” we must learn to take these worries to the Lord in prayer.
- Unforgiveness , bitterness and resentment.
- Depression and suicidal tendencies.
- Our backgrounds. These can put certain yokes on us so much so that we have some mind-sets that we don’t know where we picked them up from although they seem so natural to us. It then becomes natural for us to think ‘I’m not good enough’ or ‘nobody likes me’.
- Complexes of either inferiority or superiority.
- National yokes. Some governments have put these yokes on us by decreeing and legislating on our behalf. This now affects our children as we see that a child can have two mums especially with the case of women marrying women and men who claim to be women. Schools are teaching our kids that they must tolerate sexual preferences of sinners.
- The yoke of corrupt governments and politicians who manipulate and misuse people’s money. They put nations into debt by their greed and poor financial decisions. This then results in countries being poor and the citizens struggling .The result of these struggles can be crime yoking people even more.
- The yokes of people who are into drugs due to hopelessness.
- Sinful living is the quickest door to yokes!
So we see that there are many dimensions and scales of yokes that are on people. But we should not yield to any of those yokes because the power is in us to say ‘NO!’ to yokes.
Let us look at what Jesus says about these yokes in Matthew 11:28-30
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
This is Jesus’ response to all of this. Sometimes when we are yoked we don’t want to go to Jesus. He is our last resort after trying our own ways. We must learn to daily come to Jesus to get the rest that He promised us.
There is another type of yoke that is brought to our attention in this scripture “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” this means that there is a good and bad yoke depending on who or what you are yoked to. To be yoked means that you are attached to that thing. So you need to look into your life and see what you are attached to that does not allow you to make any progress. What are you attached to in your heart? Whatever or whoever you are attached to will determine how far you will go in life.
Jesus wants you to be attached to Him, He wants His presence to always be near you. Jesus is telling us that He wants to be the only yoke in our lives because His yoke is light. It is light because He cares about you and He will not let you carry more that you can bear. David says in Psalm 3:3 “But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.”
Jesus’ yoke is a yoke of love. It’s a yoke of you being patient and caring and it is light because He works with us and helps us through His Spirit. Walk in step with Jesus daily. Don’t let circumstances come between you and Jesus. When you allow yourself to be yoked to anything other than Jesus, you become pressured and start struggling.
Scriptures To Meditate On
“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.” (Leviticus 26:13)
“I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.” (Exodus 6:7)
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.” (Isaiah 10:27)
“For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor.” (Isaiah 9:4)
God does not want us to be yoked by anyone or anything. His anointing and presence in our lives destroys any yokes. His word promises freedom from yokes. God wants us to walk with our heads held up high and not looking down because we are yoked. He removes burdens from our shoulders as we yield to him and refuse any yokes.
We have the power to say NO to yokes! In the name of Jesus we can be free from yokes. Therefore let us walk in our authority and say no to yokes!
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15 June 2014 – Fathers Arise
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