Gardendale Nazarene

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Yoked to the Father | Pastor's Blog | Gardendale Nazarene

Yoked to the Father

After last week’s email, I received some great questions. If you missed last week’s email, you can read it here .

One question that has been with me all week is this, “What does ‘being yoked to the Father’ look like?” This a great question. I believe the answer is subtly found in the text itself.

Look at Matthew 11:29. “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."

Jesus tells us to take His yoke upon us and then do something– “Learn from me.” Jesus is calling us to learn from Him.

Many times, we approach our faith as strictly academic. We read. We study. We learn. Though Jesus studied the Law, His relationship was deeper than a knowledge of the Law. Jesus approached His Father the way a child learns from a parent. He lived in His presence. He listened for His voice. He learned from Him the way an apprentice would learn.

How do you approach your faith? Does your relationship with our Father look like the relationship of a parent/child or a student/professor?

Think about the stories in the Gospels. Who are the ones that connect with Jesus’ message? Do the Pharisees, with years of education in their faith, connect with the message of Jesus? Or do the common people (the fishermen, the tax-collectors, the broken and needy) connect with His message?

The people who connected are the ones who came as apprentices. They came hungry for the life-giving message of Christ. I believe this is the answer to the question from last week- “What does ‘being yoked to the Father’ look like?”

In 2003, Heather and I moved from seminary in Kansas City back to Nashville. We bought a home less than a mile from my childhood home. This house was a fixer-upper. We stripped wallpaper, rearranged the kitchen, gutted bathrooms. My mom would come over on many of those late nights for dinner and to keep us company as we worked. I would be building a cabinet or moving plumbing and my mother would ask, “How did you learn to do this?”

The simple answer is- my father-in-law and men from the church on mission trips. But there is a more complex answer. There are few times those men said, “Do this, now do this.” They taught me by doing it themselves and I watched. I was their apprentice.

Christlikeness is to approach Christ as the One whom we imitate. We are the apprentices. Being yoked to the Father is to approach Him as Jesus did- out of love, obedience, and a desire to live in His presence.

May God bless you as you seek Him,

Pastor John