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THE EASY YOKE
“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”—Matt. 11:28-30
To take Christ’s yoke upon us is to become a yoke-fellow with him, and to patiently walk with him. The yoke is a symbol of servitude, and he who submits to the yoke thereby submits to the will and directing of another and quietly plods on for the accomplishment of an appointed task. This our Lord Jesus did in willingly submitting his will to the will of the Heavenly Father. God did not impose the yoke upon him, nor does he upon any; but he cheerfully took it and patiently bore it, not esteeming it a menial service, though it cost him the deepest humiliation, but delighting to do God’s will.
The invitation to us, then, is to be yoked in together with Christ in the same service and under the same Master. The yoke, he says, is an easy one, and the burden light. But we cannot be yoked in with Christ unless we have his spirit. Two that are yoked together must of necessity be of one mind; and that which makes the yoke set lightly upon us is the fixedness of purpose which does not chafe under it or try to get away from it, but which delights to bear it in view of the end to be gained, as well as in the communion and fellowship of a kindred mind, a true yoke-fellow.
What a blessed invitation, to come under the same yoke with Christ! and what an excellent opportunity to learn the way in which our Heavenly Father would have us walk! How, indeed, could we miss the way when yoked in with such a leader? From him we learn the way; in company with him we catch his blessed spirit; we learn of that meekness which despises no humiliation, however great; which is not only contented and happy in any situation, but which is always rejoicing in the privilege of treading the way, as well as in hope of the glorious end to which it tends. And thus we find rest unto our souls—rest from the vain ambitions and fruitless works and plans which other task-masters would force upon us. O! that all who labor under other yokes and are heavily burdened would cast them off and learn with what ease and delight they can wear the yoke of Christ.
All of the greatest toilers in God’s service gave the same testimony. Jesus said, It is easy and light; Paul said, “These light afflictions, which are but for a moment, work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” James said, “Brethren, count it all joy, for the trying of your faith [under this yoke] worketh patience,” etc.; Peter said, “We rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” And all the true yoke-fellows of the Lord in the present day also bear the same testimony. They can rejoice in all circumstances, and in everything give thanks. MRS. C. T. RUSSELL.
— December, 1890 —