Need peace of mind? Look to Jesus!
In Matthew 11:29 Jesus is reminding us that He (Jesus) is the key to understanding who the Father God really is.
And He goes on to say that as we achieve that understanding, we will find rest or peace for our soul (mind). Sounds like he is saying that we need to renew our mind or thinking; so letís get started.
The Father God has demonstrated in His creation the relationship He intends for us to have in Him and Christ...
Jesus said, "take my yoke upon you".... and "you will find rest for your soul". The Greek word for "yoke" is zygos; it means to couple together. Often when we read this scripture we immediately think of being yoked to Jesus as a yoke of oxen are attached side by side. Today, letís look at a different model.
The word zygote also comes from the Greek word zygos. A zygote is the cell produced by the union of two gametes (sperm and egg). The union between the sperm and the egg is slightly different from that of hitching up a yoke of oxen. The picture to the right depicts the sperm and egg nuclei (2 small circles) that will join together to make one nucleus. This is what a zygote looks like; it is the beginning of a new life. In a few hours, the two smaller circles will become one.
Jesus speaks of this very scenario in John 17. Picture the larger circle as the Father, God; and now, picture one of the two smaller circles as you and the other as Jesus. This is what it is like for you spiritually right after salvation. You are a new creature in Christ; you have begun a new life. You are being transformed into His image; you are becoming one with Jesus. Both of you are hidden and protected in the Fatherís presence as you are learning from the inside (first hand) what He is really like.
Well, letís get back to the picture of the three circles. Remember you are in Christ; He is in you. You are both in the Father as He is in you. Now, on the outside of the larger circle (on all sides) there are thousands of sperm attacking, but bouncing off the surface of the larger circle. In biology that would be other sperm trying to enter the outer membrane. It is impossible for that to take place because the stronger, faster sperm has already entered the sphere and new life has begun protected by the outer membrane.
That is how it is for us spiritually. We have been yoked with Jesus Christ; we have begun a new life. We have begun to take on His life with His DNA; we are being transformed into His image in the safe and protected sphere of the Fatherís love and life. Remember that the Greek and Hebrew definition of the word "salvation" is deliverance, defense, Divine health and eternal life (the life of the Eternal One). We have been delivered from the darkness which is outside the sphere into the light of the new life within the sphere. There we are protected from the enemyís continual bombardment by the Fatherís eternal love and omnipotence. There is no one - nothing more powerful or able to accomplish the job. We can never be removed from this position by an outside force. With that knowledge, we should have complete peace of mind. It is only when we take our eyes off of Jesus (our new love, our new life) that we become focused on the arrows that bombard the outer sphere. When we stop seeking to learn the nature of the Father, when we fail to remain focused on the goal, we often become paralyzed by unnecessary fear produced by the attacks of a defeated foe. Sadly, we may begin to doubt our secure position; and then, we lose our peace.
All right, letís consider our position in Christ for a minute. Look at the picture of the zygote once again and notice all the space surrounding the two small circles that are held within the larger circle. Contained within this space is all the nutrition necessary for the healthy development and survival of the new life which is being formed by the two combining smaller circles (gametes). Total provision for life is contained within the sphere; it is not necessary for the gametes to seek sustenance outside of the sphere until it is implanted in the wall of the uterus.
And so it is for us spiritually; the Lord and His realm provide our total provision. As we are in Him and are being transformed by Him (His Word), all of our needs are supplied by the Father, God. (Philippians 4:19) He teaches us all things (John 14:26) and forgives all our sins(1 John 1:9). He teaches us to prosper and blesses the work of our hands (Deuter 28-29:9). He is our healing (Isaiah 53:5); His Divine health is ours (1Peter 2:24). His Spirit quickens our mortal bodies (Romans 8:11) and renews our youth daily (Psalms 103:5). It is in Him that we live and move and have our being. Within Him, our provision is complete; it is supplied daily; and it will be supplied by the Father from the moment of salvation unto eternity.
Yes, in Christ, the old man has died, and the new man is being formed inside the protective sphere of the Fatherís love. He is being transformed and nourished by the love and grace of God that he might show forth the very likeness of Jesus in the world today. Are you getting the picture?
Now letís consider a team of oxen as they are yoked together by the heavy unyielding wooden yoke. Immediately the mental picture comes to mind of two beasts that have been forced to walk together because they are bound by a heavy immovable force, the yoke. Neither can turn to the right or the left because they are held to the task by the driver who exerts his will absolutely. This picture certainly belies the image that Jesus projects in Matthew 11:29 when He says, "My yoke is easy, my burden is light." Or how about Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane when He said, "Not my will, but your will be done."?
When the Father created Adam (male and female) in the Garden of Eden, He wanted a family. Long before He lovingly knelt down and scooped up the dust of the ground to form His children, He had planned their intricate make up and the inter-dependent cycles of the earth. So, when all of creation was set in place by the power of His spoken word, He gently formed man and breathed the breath of life into Adam with the hope that Adam would choose to love Him above all others. Yes, the Father, God gave Adam the freedom and ability to choose from whom he would seek counsel. It was not the Fatherís intention to force Adam to love Him, to serve Him, to walk in His ways.
And so it is today. The Father has not changed; he cannot change (Malachi 3:6). He still desires us to willingly choose Him and His ways. The choice is ours each day, each minute of the day. The Father does not force us to stay within the protective sphere of His love and counsel. We can step back into the world and worldly ways at any time.
So, letís think about that for a minute. If the outer edge of the zygote were colored red, this would represent the blood of Jesus for us. It is His blood that forms the protective barrier around us, cleanses us from sin, and imparts His righteousness to us. The new person forming within has been justified by the Lord; he has been declared not guilty.
But what if doubt and unbelief enter our thoughts? You say impossible?!? Well, Adam probably felt that way too, before the fall. The truth is, however, that every day we have the opportunity of our own free will to choose the Father and His ways or to go the way of the world. We do that when we exhibit the works of the flesh and not the fruit of the Spirit. If you donít know what they are, check out Galatians 5:19-24. In the 22 chapter of Ezekiel, the Holy Spirit explains that we actually shed the protective blood of the Lord from our life when we choose to walk in the ways of the world. The New Testament puts it this way in Romans 8:5-8: The Spirit tells us that those who set their mind on the works of the flesh are hostile to God and cannot please Him. In other words, whether we realize it or not, when we choose to operate in the works of the flesh we have chosen to step outside of the Lordís protective realm. Remember, no one can forcibly take us from that realm, but we can choose to step outside of it ourselves.
In the first chapter of the book of James the Holy Spirit calls the condition of vacillating between the life of the Spirit and the life of the flesh, "double mindedness". At our house we call it "doin the two step". We canít quite make up our mind. Which is true - the Word of God? or our past experience? Who do we really trust to bring the results in our life - the Father God? or the world? Well, when we are being "double minded", when we are outside the presence of the Lord, according to James, we can expect to receive nothing from God. And so, we spend our time dancing in and out of the Fatherís protective life wondering why we are not really prospering, why we are not experiencing His marvelous miracles each day. Selah