A Good Yoke

2 Corinthians 6:14-7:16

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”

But I have friends that are unbelievers… I even have family members who are unbelievers. Paul had some problems with the Corinthians and while Paul loved the Corinthians he was not afraid to point out, even harshly, his concerns.

What Harmony is there between Christ and Belial (Satan)? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of GOD and idols?”

Paul lays it out harshly and we read into this that we must only be around believers. But this isn’t what Paul or GOD want for or from us. It’s simple and yet it’s hard. Simple when we look at others… hard when we look at ourselves. Simple when I read about a meth house busted. Those unbelievers should have the book thrown at them. Harder when a friend of mine had some drinks and got into an accident.

Paul asks, “What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?” Are we that different? We are all human, all born all have had parents… and we all sin. Believer or unbeliever we all sin. Jesus didn’t hang around the “believers” of his time. During his time the “believers” were thought to be the Pharisees and Sadducees. Jesus hung with the tax collectors, the “sinners” of his day. It may be that Jesus knew he could change the sinners, but the “believers” of his time were a different matter.

What Paul is saying is we have to be careful to whom we yoke ourselves to. A yoke doesn’t have good connotations to me. Whoever is yoked together does what the other wants. If I am yoked to someone of this world then chances are I will do the things of this world. As Jesus says in Luke 6:39, “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?” Paul says it differently in Romans 12:12, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what GOD’s will is – his pleasing and perfect will.”

As I said, a yoke does not have good connotations to me, but Jesus yoked himself to GOD, not to the established believers of his time, but to GOD. Jesus gave me the example of a good yoke. A yoke that doesn’t take power from me, but gives me ultimate power, a power to love the unloved, the unlovable, the power to love myself, my family, my friends, my enemies! A power to let go of this world and be in the Kingdom of GOD.

As I have thought this passage over by Paul I have come to realize we are all yoked to something. It may be drugs, alcohol, sex, work, even I struggle with the yokes of this world. They take me out of love of GOD, out of love for my wife and children… they take me out of love. There may be some short term fun or enjoyment, excitement, suspense, but nothing like the love or joy I have when I am yoked to GOD, when I drop my fears, my concerns, my worries and just love what GOD has given me, what GOD wants for me.

Precious Father, Loving God, Holy Spirit help me to see and grow my yoke with you. I pray with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength that you help me to lose the yoke I have to this world. Help me to lose the yoke and throw it aside for your loving, open, yoke of freedom, strength, and love beyond anything I can imagine! AMEN!

Jim Dietvorst

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