“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30)
For anyone to be told, that if they become a Christian, they will no longer have any burdens, they would be told a great lie. There is no doubt that after we become a Christian God helps is in our troubles and cares of life, for Peter said:
“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (I Peter 5:7)
However, in this life we will have much tribulation. God will comfort us in it, but mark it down, you will have it. Trials, tribulations and temptations come to every true born again believer. Then add to that, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (II Timothy 3:12), you can see the Christian is under a lot of pressure. However, as hard as it may all seem to be to walk after the Lord at times, Jesus did say, “My burden is light.”
When we think of burdens we tend to think of the pressures that come from the devil, this world and just life in general; But according to our opening text, there is a yoke and burden that comes from God Himself. He has a burden for each of us to carry. His burden is different than the burdens we face. His burden doesn’t come from the pressure of being overwhelmed with something, His burden comes from the love He has for his fallen creation. He has such a great desire to see them restored to Himself that he sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die and purchase men’s souls. This desire that God has for restoration is what I call the Lord’s burden. For example, when God calls someone to go to the mission field in another country, the person who is called will feel and share the burden the Lord has for the lost souls in that country. They will share in the burden to such a point that they will give up their life back home to go and labor amongst the people. They will labor with the hope of seeing them come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
As I mentioned before, God has a burden for each of us to bear. Some burdens may be heavier than others, but we all share in the Lord’s burden in some way. I want to share a burden the Lord has put on my heart. This burden is real and I especially feel it the most when I am in my morning prayer time, though that is not the only time. Most days when I get into serious prayer, I feel that burden. As the months go by, I feel the burden grow even stronger. What is that burden? It is a burden that God has for His church here in Wisconsin. God doesn’t just have a burden for the lost, but He also has a great burden for His church. I tell my church often that there are two main works of God toward mankind. The first is to see fallen man restored to Him. The second is for his born again children be conformed to the image of Christ. Much of what God does is working toward these ends. When souls are lost, the Lord has a burden toward them for repentance. When souls get saved, the Lord has a burden toward them for conformity to Christ.
The burden that is so ever pressing on me from the Lord has to do with His church. So many Christians are willing to settle for a church lacking life and having a low impact on society. Many Christians would just as soon get in and get out of a church meeting as quickly as possible, so they can get on with other things they feel are more important. You can hardly blame some of them that attend a dead church, for if the Lord is not present when the church meets then it will be a very boring religious meeting.
The burden the Lord has put on my heart is for his church to once again have the life that she had back when she was first established. It is important that you understand that the Lord holds us accountable for the condition of His church. The ministers that He has called are the ones that are the most responsible for the condition of the church. If the pastor of a church is not spiritual, for the most part the church won’t be either. Yet no believer can stand before the Lord and blame their spiritual shortcomings on the pastor. Here in Wisconsin, I am sure every believer has a Bible and they can have access to the Holy Spirit who will teach them all truth.
Every one of you believers have the ability to rise above the prevailing attitude of the church today. This is what the Lord desires to see. He wants to see his church be totally devoted to Him, to repent of unbelief and rise up and be the church that God has intended for His church to be.
Do you believe the church can be like the church we read about in the book of Acts? I do. We can never be that if we don’t believe this is God’s will for us. God ordained His church to go forth with unity and power. So many believers have given up on unity. They figure there are so many denominations as well as many independent churches, all having their special doctrinal beliefs, that they don’t see how the church could possibly be like-minded again. Well I want to tell you, I am sincere as can be when I say this, I am convinced that the Lord is going to bring many of us believers together that will be like-minded. It will because we have allowed the Holy Spirit to correct or strengthen everything we believe. If we believe wrong then the Holy Spirit will correct what’s wrong, and the humble saint will receive that and make that correction in his heart. The proud stubborn believers will go on to believe what they want to believe.
For the church to be like the church in the book of Acts, we need to have the power and authority of God like they had. The early church had brought fear on their society.
“And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things” (Acts 5:11).
However, we are such a self-sufficient and creative people that we have come up with our own soul winning techniques. We rarely see miracles today because so much of the church doesn’t even believe in them anymore.
Today the church at best is a nuisance to our society, and often times a laughing stock as the lost of this world see ministers fall into immorality or be nothing but money grubbers. I ask you to share this burden for the church here in Wisconsin with me, and diligently and fervently pray that we would all yield to the Holy Spirit and give Him complete control of Christ’s church again? I ask you to believe with me that we really can have true spiritual unity. Believe with me for a return of power and authority that the church can do more than preach, THAT WE CAN DEMONSTRATE WITH SPIRIT AND POWER THAT OUR GOD LIVES AND REIGNS.