"Spiritual Bread for the Spirit Bred"
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"To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat." (Revelation 2:17 NKJV)
 
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SPIRIT BREAD WEEKLY
"TURNING IT OVER TO GOD"
PART 4
"TAKE ON THE YOKE OF CHRIST"
By Jerry D. Ousley
 

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            We take a lot on ourselves.  When we were pastors we did that.  We had come from a long line of people who had a heart to work for the Lord and somehow came to believe that the more we did the more successful in ministry we would become.  I loved preaching and teaching the word of God, so in addition to having sermons ready for services I also became the adult Sunday school teacher.  Then I was expected as pastor to visit the sick at home and in hospitals because thatís just what pastors do.

 

           For several years I was the only music in our congregation.  I played the guitar and that was our worship team.  Later when the congregation began growing and more musicians were in our fellowship along with more singers, I felt obligated to be a part of the worship team which meant practicing at least one night per week.  We began a ladies meeting which tied Debbie up once a week and I headed up the menís meeting which was another night of the week for me.

 

           We were always having dinners and fund raisers and since Deb seemed to get the responsibility of  heading up these things I felt an obligation to be there to help and support her (she didnít require that of me and often said that I didnít have to do it, but I felt as pastor that I needed to be there).  Later toward the end of our pastoral service, we began a youth center which obligated me two more nights and Deb three.

 

            By now we were so tied up that we hardly had time for our children, let alone ourselves.  I canít blame anyone but me for taking on all of that and it did take a toll that eventually led to my resignation from pastoral duties.

 

           But I could not live without ministry of some kind.  The Lord began speaking to my heart and we eventually got into Internet ministry by way of a website and a weekly email list.  I began writing more and finally started a broadcast (which we no longer have).  This was enough and frankly I am extremely happy in the work God has led me to do.  Teaching the word of God is the delight of my heart and the avenues into which He has allowed me to do it fit me to the ďT.Ē  In fact, I personally believe that this is what I was supposed to be doing all along.  We have predefined ministry to include a lot of things that some of us just arenít good at.  Thatís why we have congregations; so the Lord can use those He has called to fulfill the various positions. It isnít all supposed to be the Pastorís job.  If only I had realized this sooner.  I just took on more than I could do.

 

           Most of us are like that.  We somehow obligate ourselves until thereís nothing else left.  We take on jobs we really arenít good at and donít want to do so that we can do those things we really enjoy doing.  We wind up putting yokes around our necks that involve loads too heavy for us to bear and impossible to pull.

 

           But Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, ďCome to Me, all you 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.Ē  There are three keys in this passage of scripture and they are essential when we want to turn something over to the Lord.  They are coming to Jesus with all our hard work and heavy burdens, accepting the rest of the Lord, and learning from Him.  We really can give them to Him.  We can turn it over to God in Christ Jesus.  There is a rest we may have never realized.  It isnít being lazy but it is in finding the yoke of Christ Ė the light burden He intended for us to bear. He will teach us what that burden is and it wonít pull us down into the mulygrubs or work us until thereís nothing left.  In fact, in the middle of our burden He will give us rest.  We just need to listen to Him, learn what He really wants us to do and then give up the heavy, impossible load weíve carried around so long and take on His easy yoke, and light burden.