Don’t Worry… Be Happy
Choose Your Yoke – Part XV
Scripture Reading: 1 Kings 11:1-8
Key Verse: 1 Kings 11:4
As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been.
Carefully read these words of Oswald Chambers:
“It is in the middle that human choices are made; the beginning and the end remain with God. The decrees of God are birth and death, and in between those limits man makes his own distress or joy.” (from Shade of His Hand, 1223 L, quoted in “My Utmost for His Highest”, Nov 12 Daily Devotional).
In plain lingo, God controls our birth and death, but in-between these two events we make choices that result in distress or joy! Certainly, Chambers was not saying that God is unavailable in-between those two events, but he is saying we have choices to make, and those choices have consequences.
Our subtitle for this last series of devotionals is “Choose Your Yoke”. If you have not sensed the bottom line of these devotionals, here it is: you make choices that have consequences that God allows to happen.
If we choose to learn from our poor choices, then we grow in our relationship with God. If we justify and excuse our poor choices, then we soon lose touch with God.
Solomon’s consequence was:
Now the Spirit of the LORD had left Saul, and the LORD sent a tormenting spirit that filled him with depression and fear. (1 Samuel 16:14 NLT)
I could have added to the month’s title, “Choose Your Yoke Carefully”. Your choices have consequences and some of them are lifelong.
Here is Esau’s story:
Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal. You know that afterward, when He wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears. (Hebrews 12:16-17)
Do not let this story of Esau give the idea that our bad choices necessarily lead to us losing our souls. However, let this story remind us that our bad choices might lead to losing things in this life that are very precious to us.
I dealt with a man who with great sorrow and tears was repentant of his infidelity, however the damage to his marriage and his children was a permanent consequence.
Bad choices with finances have led many to tearful and sometimes permanent consequences.
These two examples are ways that people choose a yoke that becomes very heavy and rubs them raw.
I hope Jesus’s invitation rings clear in your mind:
“Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30)
Father, I choose Jesus’s yoke. Teach me Your ways! In Jesus’s Name, amen.