The third foundational lie that satan told Eve may be the most insidious. It’s definitely the one that has caused the most havoc down through history. After telling her that God couldn’t be trusted, and that she wasn’t worthy, the serpent told her that she held the solution in her own hand – eating the fruit would solve those ‘problems’.
And so begins humankind’s fascination with DIY religion.
The Bible clearly tells us that God had a plan even before He began creating this universe.
Before satan ever showed up in the Garden, before there even was a planet for the Garden to grow on, God had our salvation all figured out.
He had it covered. Jesus had already accepted the task of dying sinless to redeem us all. Of becoming sin so that we became His righteousness. Of conquering death and hell, so we have eternal life.
We are saved ‘by grace, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it’s the gift of God’. What are we supposed to do in that? Where’s the DIY here?
So why do we cling to “do it myself” as Christians?
Could be because we don’t know any better.
Could be because we’ve been taught that’s what He wants.
Or it could be that we still believe the third great lie satan told Eve, “The solution is to eat the apple – to do something yourself – without waiting for God.”
Liar! Such a liar! Nowhere, at no time, did God plan for us to be or do anything alone! We were created to be with Him. Period.
Yet this one lie has caused more heartache, more hardship – in the church, and in the world – than any other. Even when people understand and know that God is good; even when they know that they are a new creation in Christ; this lie trips them up – ruining lives, ministries, families and churches.
The truth is that whenever we depend on our own strength, we will ultimately fail. And we do not please God.
Jesus said His yoke was easy, and His burden light, and we can quote that verse, but most of us believe that His burdens are really heavy, and very few of us even think about the yoke part.
A closer look at the burdens we carry might just show us, though, that they are not His burdens – we took them up ourselves. Whether out of love or duty or fear, we allow others (or our own self) to persuade us that we must do more than we are already doing, in order to ‘be a good Christian’.
Like the Galatians, we start in grace, but think we have to maintain our spiritual lives by works, instead of resting in His work.
How many of us think we have to read our Bibles and pray every day?
How many think we have to tithe?
How many think we must witness to the lost?
How many of us think we must … teach Sunday School … give to missions … dress or talk or act a certain way … run our family according to specific rules … avoid movies or cards or …
The list of ‘musts’ can be endless – all with the intent of pleasing God, or keeping our salvation, or proving we are good enough to be Christians, or …
What is your lie? Which particular variation has got you bound?
The second part of Matthew 11:30 says that His yoke is light.
A yoke … how many of us have even seen one? The closest we’ve come is in a museum, or an illustration in a dictionary or encyclopedia.
The key point of a yoke is that it is designed for two animals pulling together. If only one animal is pulling the plow or wagon, it wears a harness, not a yoke. And together is key! One animal does not lead the other. They walk side-by-side.
So we are hooked into a yoke with Christ. What does that mean, exactly? Pulling together, keeping step with each other. God doesn’t race ahead of us, and we shouldn’t try to race ahead of Him.
It means we are working together, side by side with God. Letting Him direct our paths, carrying only our own share of the task, and allowing Him to carry His share.
It means that we don’t feel the need to improve on what He has already completed – our salvation, healing, freedom, destiny (more on this next time).
It means learning that we can do nothing without Him; that the kingdom of God is within each of us; that we are in Him and He is in us.
It means going with Him, in His direction, regarding our Bible reading/praying/tithing/serving/dressing/acting/etc.
His rules, not mine, or yours, or even a church’s.
And the really cool thing is that when you stop trying to do it yourself, and just go with Him, none of these things are burdens any more!
Your life just flows from one minute to the next, from one scripture or prayer or act to the next, all in His perfect timing and His strength.
No striving for something we already have!
Just peace and joy, and being together with Him! Very cool!
May you find His truth in your inward man regarding your work and place in Him, in His body, and in the world.
May He break in you every lie of the enemy, and every habit and pattern of behavior, that is counter to His truth.
And may His church rise up and take her place at His side, with the full knowledge that God is good, that we are a new creation, and that we do nothing alone.