Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV)
“Come 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.”
How Are You Burdened?
When we are only trying to fill needs within the church, our service can feel burdensome, because it may not be designed for us. This is not because what we are doing lacks value, but because we are simply filling needs rather than serving God’s purpose.
By contrast, Christ says that service for Him is “easy” and His “burden is light.” The Greek word used for easy is Chrestos whose definition is “fit for use.” Through the use of that word in reference to His yoke, we can interpret that Christ has tasks designed for us that will fit us perfectly. Tasks that we are designed to do. That makes sense too. After all, who knows us better than God? When we serve God’s desires, which are fit perfectly for us, the tasks will not feel burdensome.
Now please don’t take this the wrong way. This is not a call for us to quit all ministries and cease to fill needs. There are needs that we simply must fill, whether or not they are our life’s mission. Some are just too important to allow them to drift along unmet. A problem occurs though when we are only meeting needs and deny God’s true calling for our lives.
What do you think would happen if we all listened to God’s call and served in our uniquely designed ways? I believe in my heart that all the needs of the Christian community would be filled. God did not make a mistake and fail to provide a worker for a missions trip or a server for the food line at a homeless kitchen. It is we who made the mistake by not answering His call.
Christ’s message in Matthew 11:28-30 is a cry to this generation of men. He does not absolve us from the responsibility of serving, but He tells us that we are made for a specific God designed purpose. When we are serving in the way that He would have us serve, our work will fit us well and will not heavily burden us. We will still encounter opposition to His work, and go through struggles, but the tasks themselves will fit us well and bring us joy. That is the fundamental difference between working only to fill needs and being a man on his unique mission from God.
Don’t labor through life only doing what you think should be pleasing to God. Trying to make these decisions based on what we think is pleasing to Him actually takes the focus off of God and places it on ourselves. When we do this we are not pleasing Him or bringing the joy into our life that He has planned for us.
God uniquely designed you to perform your task and He desires that you use your skills for His glory. Be receptive and obedient to your calling and He will ensure that you are fulfilled even as you fulfill your purpose.
Talk to God about your service. Ask Him if where you are investing your time reflects His purpose. Pray for wisdom and discernment in areas of service.
How heavy is your burden? Does your service feel like it “fits”? Are your talents being used in a way that brings glory to God? Are you serving only needs or are you open to how God wants you to serve Him?
Read Matt 11:28-30 each day this week and think about the importance of being a part of God’s plan rather than trying to make God a part of your plan.
©2011 Out of the Wild