Becoming Accustomed to the Yoke

Michael Beck

“I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God.” (Jeremiah 31:18)

True godly sorrow takes stock of how we’ve been living before God. Worldly sorrow is only full of self-pity. It may appear to be broken and contrite, but there is no real repentance, it’s only bemoaning the loss of worldly goods. Every child of God needs chastisement in order to grow into the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. That chastisement is designed to correct any lingering self-will in our life. After coming to Christ, we are called to take upon ourselves the yoke He wore, and learn of Him. (Matt. 11:28,29) What was His yoke? His willingness to do and say nothing of Himself, but what He saw and heard from His Father.

The life that Christ lived is diametrically opposed to the life we lived in the flesh. That life was one of complete independence from God. We were “free” to do what we wanted. But that kind of freedom ended when Jesus became our Lord, and we were no longer our own person to do as we pleased. So many who profess Christ as Lord, still think they can “call the shots,” but the Lord says to them: “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46)

If we have come to repentance and truly surrendered to God, we are now positioned to live a completely different type of life through the Spirit of Christ within us. It is a life of submission to another, learning to walk as He walked, and becoming accustomed to the yoke He wore. Many depart from the faith because they cannot tolerate this yoke. They don’t like having to answer to God for the decisions they make. They cast off His yoke and return to their former “freedom.”

The Lord’s chastisement upon us is designed to form in us the heart of the Son. It is where the Lord sees and proves whether we will walk in obedience or return to our former lifted up spirit. The greatest decisions we will make as a new believer will be those in which we submit to His leadership. The more we are willing to do so the more accustomed we will be to walking in the Spirit of Christ.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.