July 4, 2016

The Yoke of Leadership


Leading is hard. 
You might say, "but Amber, I am not a leader." To which I would say that I don't believe you. I think everyone old enough to read this post, and even some that aren't,  carries some type of leadership. You may be a mother leading your new family. You may be the woman everyone looks to at your work place as "that Christian girl". You may serve on a team in church and argue that you don't lead there, but you are actually leading those in the service who are not serving. 

The majority of the people in our world lead in some capacity whether they are aware of it or not.
And let's be real. If you are aware of the leadership you carry, leading can be hard. It can be exhausting, overwhelming, lonely, and downright sucky at times. A blessing? Yes. A blessing with a high cost? Absolutely!
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30
This verse is not actually a breakfast invitation from Jesus. He is not inviting you to eggs and bacon. Although, that could be fun, huh?
The yoke this verse is talking about is the harness oxen wore when they plowed the fields. It would be placed over a pair of oxen's shoulders and around their neck to keep the oxen moving at the same pace. 
To break in a new, young plowing oxen they would yoke the young oxen to a seasoned plow oxen. The seasoned plow oxen knew the pace at which he could sustain himself over the 10-12 hour day of plowing. The young oxen would often be tempted to go too quick right out of the gate, but because it was yoked to the seasoned oxen the yoke would jab into its shoulder. If the new oxen was lazy and took the plowing at too slow of a pace, the seasoned oxen's pace would cause the yoke to pull on the younger oxen's head. 
Friend, Jesus is our seasoned oxen and this world we live in is our field to plow. Jesus is seasoned at this whole leadership thing. He know's the pace that you need to go at to sustain you in this life. He knows the pace you need to be at to fulfill the promise he has given you. Choose to be yoked to him and you too will learn how to walk out this calling of leadership in your life. 

In our humanity and carnality we often want to get through a season too quickly and we feel the sting of Jesus telling us "not yet" or "wait". Sometimes we are hurt and burned out. We can't take the weight of leadership anymore and we are exhausted. That's when we feel the prodding "come on, yes you can. You're with me remember? I am right beside you. Walk with me. Learn with me. Let me teach you how to live and lead through my grace."
To be yoked with Jesus is to live within his grace. I love how the message says it:
  “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Matthew 11:28-30

Are you exhausted? Take on his yoke and learn his unforced rhythms of grace. The yoke of leadership puts you side by side with your King.

Selah.

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