This week I was having a discussion with our youngest daughter about what it means to be a girl in Australia. We chatted about life for girls in other countries, and how often they simply don’t have the freedom of choice due to cultural, religious or economical factors. Our daughter came to the conclusion that she is very blessed to have the ability and freedom to choose her path in life, when so many other girls around the world don’t have the same opportunities. It certainly does give us a reason to pause for thought, and caused my ten year old daughter to decide that we need to keep praying for girls everywhere, and also for our freedom and choice to continue to be valued and protected.
I continued to consider the importance of our freedom and the ability to choose.The bible says “that if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed”, and teaches that freedom is a gift from God, which we are to protect. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage”. (Galatians 5:1)
If God therefore gives freedom, who would want to bring a yoke of bondage and oppression on us? The devil. Why? Because he is after our freedom, it has always been his plan. From the beginning he has always been trying to to limit and steal our freedom and choices. (John 10:10) But Jesus came to set us free! “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” ( 1 John 3:8)
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free” (Luke 4:18)
“Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil.” (Acts 10:38)
Think about it. If you were walking fully in the freedom Jesus has given you, and enjoyed the ability to choose in every area of your life, how different would your life be? You are no longer hemmed in with any narrow horizons, but instead have room and breathing space; you have freedom and abundance.
If some things are not right in our lives, it can feel like a yoke is on our necks and we are limited. A yoke is a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plough or cart that they are to pull. They are bound to that yoke, and must carry its weight in servitude.
God however is into breaking off of yokes and weights we were never meant to carry. He says, “In that day their burden will be lifted from your shoulders, their yoke from your neck; the yoke will be broken because you have grown so fat.”
The original Hebrew text actually uses the shamen (pronounced SHA-MEYN), meaning “fatness”. “The yoke will be destroyed because of the fat.” But what does that mean?
Imagine this picture: Here is an ox with a yoke on its neck, enslaving it to the will of its master, forcing it to a life of servitude. But eventually, it gets so healthy and fat that the yoke simply bursts from off its neck. That ox is now free!
It is the same for us when we find ourselves bound, oppressed or beaten into submission by the enemy. To break the yoke off we must feed our spirits God’s Word day and night. We research what God’s word says, and take hold of its truth and apply it to our life. Whether it be a financial yoke, sickness, relationships, failure, depression, worry, the past. In doing so we get strong and “fat” so to speak, eventually breaking off the yoke the devil has oppressed us by.
Today consider what has you under a weight? Do you have yokes that need lifting and breaking off? When you feel it, when you think about it, see that thing for what it is – a yoke, and that it needs to break off! There is a breaking through, a breaking loose needed, and God’s word is what will break you loose. Don’t back off! Little by little, you’ll get so healthy and strong—so “fat”—that suddenly the yoke of oppression has to burst. For the fatness destroys the yoke!
Prayer: Lord thankyou for your word which has the power to break every yoke, every burden and every bondage off my life. I know that you and your word are one. Help me to get healthy, strong and so “fat” that it busts off any yoke of oppression. In Jesus name amen