“The Yoke-Breaker” Message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2011
–He breaks the yoke, the oppression, the rod, that which keeps us bound rather than free.
–A yoke is like a double-collar that connects two animals. It keeps an animal from moving any way but where the animal harnessed in the other side goes.
–If you are yoked with one of the things I’m about to describe, you must move with it, you cannot escape from it, you are captive to it, just as those two animals that are yoked together. You must go the way it goes, even if you want to go another way. Oh, Jesus is here to break that yoke!
As I looked at the Scriptures sung in today’s portion of Handel’s Messiah, I said, “Lord, what links these? What are they really about?” He said to my heart, “They are all the different yokes that are on mankind.”
–The NATIONS were being invited to the same salvation as the Jews. This was blasphemy to the Jews, for they were the chosen people of God!
–The nations worshiped false gods
–So this first yoke is the yoke of false gods whom the nations worshiped. There are many different false gods, but all of them have something in common, something Satan knows will draw people: greed and sensuality/lust. All false gods play on these things. And these false gods exist today. Allah is a false god who promises suicide bombers that they will have sex with many virgins in his “heaven.” Hindu gods are usually fertility gods that promise if you have sex with children, you will prosper, among other things (they have millions of false gods in that country). These promises play both on sex and greed.
–How true this is in America! How we worship prosperity. I had one preacher say, “They’ll know God has blessed me when they see the three Bentleys in my driveway.” That’s not what Jesus teaches! Do not store up for yourselves earthly treasures, but heavenly ones (see Matthew 6:19-20)!
–We are yoked with false gods, and we become like the gods we worship (Psalm 115:8). We become greedy and lust-filled.
–When you see Jesus, the falseness of these “gods” becomes clear in comparison to Him (like counterfeit money vs. the real thing). He’ll break your yoke so you’ll no longer be controlled by false gods.
—The yoke of disease (spiritual as well as physical). Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped, the lame will leap like deer, the tongue of the mute will shout for joy! He did all these things when He was on the earth, and He is still doing them. He is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8)! And it wasn’t only the yoke of natural disease or demon possession that He broke. Jesus Christ breaks the yoke of spiritual blindness, deafness, lameness, and muteness. When He breaks our yoke, we see and hear! We shout for joy! We leap!
—The yoke of addictions (to drugs, pornography, etc.) One noontime, I sat in a living room with a man who had just awakened and had his first joint of the day. His friend came in, desperate for a beer. The man got one for his friend and himself. The man looked at me and said, “We have to have a little fun, don’t we?” I looked at them as they reached for their beers, their hands shaking because their bodies craved alcohol. It didn’t look like fun to me. I know what it was like. I was in their shoes, a drug addict from ages 17-20. It seemed like fun to me, but I was in a yoke that was going to destroy me. Praise God that I cried out in the night, “God, I don’t have the strength for this (to deal with divorce from my drug-dealer husband and to kick the drugs). He said to my heart, “You have My strength.” The next day, I was clear-headed and my personality, lost amidst the drugs, returned.
–When you see Jesus, you see how bound you are in the light of His freedom.
–He will break your yoke and you’ll no longer have those burdens on you, no longer be controlled by addictions.
— I said to the Lord, “I see the yoke in all the other passages. Where is the yoke here?” This Scripture speaks of the Shepherd feeding His flock, gathering the lambs to His bosom, a place of intimacy. It speaks of His gently leading the nursing ewes.
–It is the yoke of false teaching, for there are many false shepherds out there, ones who do not feed you that which is good, but feed you evil doctrines that will kill you. Death’s gates yawn open for those who listen to such ones!
–Jesus will break that yoke when you go to His Word and begin to learn it. You will never know if you are being falsely taught unless you know the truth. Go to the Bible, pray for the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth to you. He will! You will know the truth and the truth will set you free (John 8:31)!
—The yoke of religiosity. What is it? Having a form of religion but denying its power to deliver rom sin (2 Timothy 3:5). It was what Jesus fought while He walked the earth in Israel. The Pharisees, legalists i-dotters and t-crossers, did not have the love of God in them. They hated God the Son who stood before them. How blind! The blind lead the blind, and both fall into a pit!
–When you see Jesus, you realize that you have claimed Him and maybe you have even marveled at Him, but you never repented and turned from your life of sin. Never has any pastor asked me to repent, except the one who led me to healing from MS. “Repent” and “sin” are rarely heard from America’s pulpits. I tell you that unless I am speaking about sin, righteousness and the coming judgment, I am not speaking by the Spirit of God!
–You see that you denied that God has the power to sever you from sin’s yoke. In John 8:31-36, Jesus speaks of freedom, speaks of the yoke of sin, and then says, “Therefore if the Son sets you free, you shall be free, indeed!” He will break that yoke!
–Or perhaps you see that you ignored and rejected Him as He stood before you, until now. Come to Him! He will break the yoke of religiosity that jerks you around and keeps you from having a holy love relationship with Him! He wants you to be spiritually united with Him!
WHAT YOKE WOULD HE BREAK FROM YOU?
–He says, “I’ll break it,” but you must take on Mine
–One yoke must be broken before another can be put on
—If He breaks your yoke and then you refuse His, another will appear on you, seven times more powerful and burdensome as the one from which He just freed you. Satan will see to that, if you refuse the Yoke-Breaker’s own yoke.
— His yoke is easy, pleasant. What is it? He says, “Do as I ask you to do. Serve Me.”
–Remember, we become like the gods we worship (Psalm 115:8). He says, “Become like Me!”
IN HIS YOKE:
–You are yoked with Almighty God! Do you think you have anything to fear? Do you think He will lead you toward destruction? Will He lead you in a wrong path? Will you have to pull very hard, considering the strength of His might?
— The burden is light! Rest!!
–The first rest: Verse 28 intermission from labor, a refreshment to strengthen.
–The second rest: Verse 29 refreshment, cessation, re-creation (the old is gone, the new is come, we are new creatures!). When we have taken His yoke and learned from Him, when we become meek and lowly of heart, we have this second rest. We cease from our own works, and let Him work in and through us.
–False gods, spiritual and physical disease, addictions, religiosity no longer hold you. Instead, “Whom have I in heaven but You . . . (Psalm 73:25)
–You are empowered not to sin
–1 John 1:6-7
–1 John 2:6
COME TO THE YOKE BREAKER!
–He’ll break your yoke
–You’ll see Jesus Christ’s freedom because you’ll see Him. He will set you free from the power of sin!
–You’ll take His pleasant yoke; He pulls with you, He does all the work.
–He’ll live His life through you
–Jesus’ life in you will draw others to Him and their yokes will be broken, too!