This past weekend, we had a mini-retreat for our women in Huntsville. Our speaker, Julie Sparkman, came from Birmingham, AL. Her ministry is Restore Ministries. The Conference was titled Unhitching from the Crazy Train.
She is a bit of a character, very frank. She is a counselor by profession. But the kind of person I find to be lovable. She isn’t perfect. It’s obvious. We can all identify with her on that score. So she helps us understand how to move from all that Christian, Biblical information we have in our heads and make it more practical to lessen the gap between what we know and how we live it out.
After she spoke to the large group, sharing a helpful diagram, the conference ended. Most of the conference was truly a meditation on Matthew 11:28-30. Then those of us on the leadership team met with her to discuss help for leading our women. (We started that discussion last year.) She also answered any questions we had regarding the material she had taught or putting it into practice.
As you can imagine, that was a very helpful lunch discussion. She helped us quite a bit as we now have a year under our belts, working together as a group. We have a much better idea of what we need to do and how we need to do it.
It is so easy to forget that in Christ, we are daughters of the King. We forget. As part of our job in the community of believers, we need to remind each other…you are a daughter, not an orphan! It’s another way of reminding each other of the Gospel.
Then I stepped out on a limb to ask a question that I didn’t even know how to put into words. I seem to see failure on every side during this stage of my life and lately it has been overwhelming to me at times. I needed a fresh perspective.
She reminded me that I am a daughter, not an orphan and I need to keep practicing being a daughter…of the King! It is so easy to get into an orphan mentality and live as if I have no resources. That means that when I have a problem, I need to ask my Father for help! If I am in Christ, that is what I have available to me as His daughter. I am not doing life alone at all. I often life as if I am now that Ron is not able to help me in the ways he once did.I am a daughter, not an orphan and I need to keep practicing being a daughter...of the King! It is so easy to get into an orphan mentality and live as if I have no resources. Click To Tweet
I looked up a little more about the use of yoke here. It often was used to refer to the heavy yoke of the Old Testament Law laid on the people by the Pharisees and other spiritual leaders. Jesus was also saying that His yoke was not the heavy yoke of keeping the Law to make yourself desirable to GOD. (The way of the orphan.)
His way is the way of the daughter or son who is brought into His family by grace alone. It is not based on performance. Keeping the Law is impossible. It has nothing to do with you! It is purely based on Jesus and His work. Only Jesus could keep the Law. He did it while He was here on earth. Then He died to pay for our sin on the cross. It is a gift, pure and simple! I know it is difficult to get through our heads and hearts. We are mostly Americans. We are independent. We don’t think that way. But we need to start.
But there is more. I am yoked to Him as I go through life, in Christ.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me,
for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
He is right beside me! All I need to do is turn to Him. He is right beside me helping to carry the load. He will guide me, lead me and carry the load…but I have to ask for help, or I will continue to be stressed, scared and overwhelmed!
This is a paradigm change. Even if I am in Christ, I may be living as if I am a stoic who has to do it all alone. How miserable!
Yes, this is a paradigm change. Does that mean I wasn’t His daughter before? Or that I wasn’t yoked to Him before? No. But if I live as if that isn’t the case, I suffer for it. If I stoically plug along, yoked to Jesus, but live as if I am carrying the load alone, I will suffer much more than is needed.Yes, this is a paradigm change. Does that mean I wasn't His daughter before? Or that I wasn't yoked to Him before? No. But if I live as if that isn't the case, I suffer for it. Click To Tweet
I will feel lonely, not because Jesus isn’t there, but because I’m not talking to Him, I’m especially not listening to Him, I’m not taking advantage of the comfort He can give me as He works out His plan in my life.
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling
and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,
to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord,
be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority,
before all time and now and forever.
Jude 1:24-25 ESV