Today I heard something on t.v. It’s a common enough thought, and many of us probably believe it. It was, “If something is worth doing it is going to take hard work, and it’s going to be difficult”.
Now I’m all for doing our best, and putting in our full effort. God says He blesses the work of our hands. (Psalm 90:17) However I have had the revelation that God doesn’t want our efforts and work to be toil. The definition of toil is “extremely hard and incessant work. To work one’s fingers to the bone; to work like a Trojan. To struggle with difficulty, to trudge, slog and knock oneself out; t to work one’s guts out. To toil means not to rest or relax.”
Doesn’t sound that great does it? But how many of us actually expect that if something is worth doing, it’s going to be difficult and “hard” work? Many of us have spent far too much toiling and relying on ourselves and what we can do and achieve, and not enough time relying on God and allowing Him to lead and guide us. When He leads we are able to achieve, but the load is ‘lighter and easier”, than if we do it alone.
Jesus said, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and “humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light”. (Matthew 11:29-30)
The world constantly tries to dictate to us how we should live and what it takes to be successful and the “best” way to live. I’ve heard some interesting comments over the years as people try to achieve what they envisage to be the ultimate life. Being a wife and mother with six children, plus pastoring a church I have learnt; often the hard way, that it’s very easy to take on the world’s concept of success and expectations. When in actual fact, God doesn’t expect half of what we put ourselves under and through. However if we are not aware and familiar with what the Bible says, we won’t know that, and will live feeling pressured and toiling. However when we know the truth found in God’s word it has the ability to set us free! Jesus said, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)
That’s why regular reading and study of the Bible is like a breath of fresh air. Reading it protects us from false teaching, unrealistic expectations, and a skewed worldview. The Bible gives us the measuring stick by which we can distinguish truth from error. It tells us what God is like. To have a wrong impression of God can cause us to come under rules, unhealthy mindsets, and “religion”, when God’s word often reveals the exact opposite of what we are struggling and toiling under.
“For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” (Proverbs 2:6)
The Bible tells us how to live, how to have a relationship with a loving God, and how to have loving, fulfilling relationships with others. It reveals how we can experience heavenly amazing things now, and how to live joyful, “toil free” lives. It tells us how much God loves us, and how much He is for us, and not against us, and that He wants us to have dreams because He really wants to help us fulfil them. (John 14:6; Ephesians 2:1-10; Ephesians 3:20).
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32)
Today, shake off the toil and the thought that everything has to be hard. God wants there to ease in your day. Let His word be your measuring stick, and not the world or anyone else’s expectations of what and who you are. Ask Him to help you understand the bible and how to apply it to your everyday life, and let Him lighten your load.
Prayer: Lord thank you for your word that brings revelation and truth where perhaps I have been carrying loads and mindsets I didn’t need to. Help me to understand that you want my life and work to be light and easy because you want to help me to learn to rely on you. In Jesus Name Amen