A Spirit Set Free Matthew 11:28-30
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me–watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Message Bible)
There is a difference between a “free spirit” and a spirit that has been set free. One wants to do whatever they want without consequence. The other understands that while we may make certain choices, there will be negative consequences for the wrong choice.
Jesus ministry was all about living free. He used the picture of oxen yoked together to do their work. They could not go in any direction they wanted. They were forced to walk in step with each other at the command of the one driving the cart or plow! If one ox was larger than the other or had a different gait, the rhythm was forced and considerably more work! This was meant to illustrate the pharisaical bondage to the letter of the law.
“The unforced rhythm of grace” is the perfect phrase to show what it is like to walk with Jesus. Instead of a heavy yoke bringing bondage, He puts his gentle arms around us and teaches us to walk with Him. He won’t take us faster than we can handle nor will He try to make us do something that is “ill-fitting”.
The Apostle Paul takes up this thought in Galatians 5:1. The reason Christ set us free is SO WE CAN BE FREE! So don’t do things that are going to place you back in that heavy yoke. True freedom starts with the miracle of a transformed heart. A heart that is made pure through the blood of Jesus Christ cannot be bound because the things that condemn it to bondage have been washed away!
You have the choice to live enslaved to religion or free in Christ. The Pharisees kept people entangled by a set of laws – all but 10 of them were man made! Christ came to reverse that. The ability to live free in Him and for His purposes is not a difficult place to find and in which to live.