Yoked to Jesus

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, 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 light.” †  Mathew 11: 28-30  What is the labour and burden that Jesus is asking me to deal with? Perhaps I have to let go of the compulsive burden (or is it a sort of entitlement?) that my spouse and children should choose a spiritual path that I know to be right. Jesus accompanied Judas Iscariot to the very end but never deprived him of his freedom to choose his own destiny. Jesus on the other hand, uninterrupted by Judas's choice to reject him, continues to accomplish his mission. He does become a victim of Judas's betrayal but he seldom takes on the victim's identity. In divine wisdom, Jesus chooses to die in our place (and that of Judas) in a redeeming act of love. Rather than being compelled to fix those whom God has entrusted to my headship by m

Not without a fight

God promised the Israelites who were slaves in Egypt, Canaan, a land flowing with milk and honey. This land was not as we might think an unoccupied single piece of land, full of trees and cows and honey combs waiting to welcome God's people but a land occupied by corrupt, immoral people who were hardly good to mingle with let alone to live with.

Taking procession of the promised land was not a cake walk. God's people had to wage a series of wars to wipe the opposition out. Yes, God was with the Israelites yet the victory was not without a fight.

Jesus redeemed us from sin and promised the Kingdom of God for all those who believe in him yet it is not without a fight. The signs God did for the Israelites were merely foreshadows the greater works Christ would do during his time. Like the Israelites, people of the new Jerusalem - the Church would also have to fight battles to enter the promised kingdom. Jesus taught us to believe in Him and trust him. He promised to never leave us alone. He has promised us sure victory.

Our strong faith in Jesus Christ and the hope of salvation should drive us to the battle field daily to counter the enemy. Like David before Goliath we should remain valiant knowing God is fighting the battle for us. God delivered to the Israelites nations after nations until they occupied the entire promised land. Similarly those who have been called to become the children of God through baptism, received the faith through the word of God, received the Holy Spirit, will not enter the kingdom God has promised unless we wage a war on the enemy taking over from him one by one all that we have lost.

If nothing note worthy is happening is our lives right now it is because we are not at the forefront fighting the war but lazily waiting for the promise to fall from the sky. How can God give you victory for a war that is not fought?. Indeed God has reserved the victory for us but only those who fight is entitled to receive it. This fight is against our own sinful nature and the evil schemes of satan entrap us. This battle is for purity. This battle is to shun sin. Gods grace makes this possible for those who sincerely desire victory.

It is significant that God warns the Israelites not keep any spoils from the war but to destroy everything leaving no trace of it behind. This is because God knows these objects will lead his people to commit the same sins the pagans committed. When we advance in our spiritual life it is necessary that we wipe out every remains of the old sinful habits be it objects, books, devices or friendships.

All the good work that God has done in and though our lives was God's work. It was his mercy and grace at work. We know very well our true nature. We have grown too big to keep falling. Any compromise will have disastrous consequences. Today is the day to change. There may not be a tomorrow.

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!. No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Don't you hear Jesus is calling you?


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