Giving It Up
What a precious wonderful experience that is just to let go of the burden and say, “Lord, you carry it.”
Alright, thank you very much, and hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing all right? Well, yes, of course, I wait for you to answer. Why not? All across the country, there are people who talk back to me and I’m delighted. I trust everything is going alright at your place. God bless you and if perhaps you’ve struck a rough day as all of us do sometimes, look up and say, “Lord Jesus, I’m yours. See me through.” “When thou passest through the waters, they shall not overflow thee.” The key word is “through.” “Yea though I walk through the valley, I will fear no evil.” God brings you through if you’ll let Him. So look up and trust Him today.
You and I were talking about this verse in Romans 15 where he said, “I want to come to you there at Rome with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed,” and that word translated “refreshed” actually means “get some rest together with you.” And we talked about the fact that there’s rest in the presence of God — practicing the presence of God. If you want really to be refreshed, get alone with the Lord.
“They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength,” the prophet said. If you want to be refreshed, get alone with the Lord. I think the key illustration of this truth is found over in Kings where we have the story of Elijah, God’s great prophet, who after having been through the experience on Mount Carmel and after that had prayed through until the showers of rain came and after that had run, mind you. I looked it up on the map in my Bible, it looks to be about 27 miles had run down the mountain and unto the nearest town ahead of the King’s chariot.
It says, “The hand of the Lord was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.” Well, Jezebel, Mrs. Ahab, was told all about what Elijah had done and she sent a messenger to him and so said, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as one as the life of one of those prophets that were executed by the brook. And when he saw that, he arose and went for his life, came to Beersheba, left his servant there. He himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die.
He said, ‘O, Lord, take away my life; for I’m not better than my fathers.’ And he lay down and slept. Behold, then, an angel touched him, and said, Arise and eat, and he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baking on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head and he did eat and drink and laid down again and the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee. And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.”
And then he heard the still small voice of God speaking to him and he got a new touch of blessing and a new commission for a work that he was yet to do. Elijah found rest when he got alone with God. Yes, he was tired; yes, he was discouraged and yes, he was afraid because his life had been threatened by the queen. But now God touched him and God refreshed him. Oh, small thought here; If you get the blues and you’re discouraged and you’re down, remember, oftentimes, it’s the result of physical exhaustion. Take a nap.
Second, oftentimes, your depression and your blues and your discouragement is the result of improper eating — get some vitamins. And third, oftentimes, your depression and discouragement and getting the blues is the result of a lack of contact with God — wait on the Lord. Three things will help you cure the blues. Number one, get some rest. Number two, take some vitamins and good food. Number three, wait on the Lord until He gives you a new touch and a new commission and a new outlook.
I’ve done this many times in my life. I know that it works. There’s rest in the presence of the Lord. And there’s rest, we reminded ourselves the last time we got together, there’s rest in taking up His yoke, that is to say “pulling together with Him.” Paul says to the people at Corinth, “You are laborers together with God. You’re God’s husband.” If you think of the work of the Lord as something having to do with the harvest, our Lord Jesus said “The field is the world and the seed is the word of God.”
If you think of Christian work as working in the harvest, then the Bible actually says, “Hey, you’re working together with God. You are God’s workers.” And our Lord Jesus then uses a far more intimate term and He says, “I want you to work so close with Me that we’re just like a team of oxen pulling in the same direction.” He says, “My yoke,” “Take My yoke upon you.” What he’s actually saying is “I want you pulling with Me.” Now, let me ask you this question, beloved, could you say this minute that you’re really working with Jesus?
Oh, I find myself praying oftentimes “Jesus be with me,” don’t you? I find myself praying oftentimes, “Oh, Lord, help me. Guide me. Direct me, Meet my need,” I find myself praying that way. But maybe we need to go a step farther, what do you think? Maybe we need to concern ourselves in our thinking and in our praying about this question, “Am I pulling the same direction as my Blessed Lord? Am I really working with Him? Well, Paul said, “The things which you’ve both seen, heard, and received and learned, seen in me do, and the God of peace shall be with you.”
God deigns to take time off from running the universe to work with one of His children who wants His will. In the story of the infant church there at Jerusalem, it said, “The Lord working with them.” Whenever you endeavor to do the will of God and endeavor to go God’s way, He goes with you. Jesus our Blessed Lord said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel,” and He said, “lo, I am with you all the way.” And so the truth of the matter is this; if you want to pull with Christ, if you want to take His yoke upon you, start doing the things He says to do and He says, “I’ll be with you.”
Somebody today listening to me faces a very difficult day and you think “It’s all very well, Brother Cook but you don’t know what I’m up against. You don’t know that family I have to live with. You don’t know the office in which I have to work. You don’t know the school room full of pupils that I have to cope with. You don’t know the supervisor that I have to serve under. You don’t know how weary my body is and how sick I am most of the time. You don’t know, Brother Cook the circumstances.”
Well, you’re right. I don’t know. I couldn’t possibly know. But Jesus knows and He says, “I’m going to be with you.” You start doing today what you understand to be the will of God and I can promise you that you will be pulling together with the Savior and you’ll sense His presence and He says, “My yoke is easy.” When I was a boy on the farm, I noticed some marks on the shoulders of one of the horses. And I said to my Uncle Frank, I said, “Say, this horse has some sores here. What about this?”
He said, “Yeah, we gotta do something about that.” He said, “There’s something in the collar of the harness that chafing against the hide of the horse. Let’s look at it.” And so he took the collar and opened it up and looked at it and sure enough, there was a place there where the leather had worn through and the wooden frame of that collar that the horse wore to pull the plow, the wooden frame was working through and it was actually wearing through the hide of the horse. And so he had to patch it up with some padding and then some piece of leather around that side of the collar and put some ointment of some sort on the animal and the problem was resolved.
Yoke is easy. You’ll never have any sores, let us say, on your hide, to use a homely expression. God’s yoke isn’t going to wear you down. “No,” He says, “My yoke is easy.” It fits. It’s not going to wear you down. It’s not going to chafe you. It’s not going to produce blisters and sores on your soul. When you decide to do the will of God, you take the easiest way. See, the devil says it a lie. He says that the will of God isn’t good, it isn’t easy. And the job of the Christian according to Romans 12:2 is to prove what is good and what is acceptable and what is perfect, namely the will of God.
The devil says the will of God isn’t good. And he says the will of God isn’t acceptable. It means it’s hard to take. And he says the will of God isn’t perfect. It means it isn’t the best possible deal in life. And when you do God’s will, you prove the devil a liar and you find out that doing the will of God is the best possible way, the easiest possible road in life. Well, I’m talking to some folk who can say, “Amen, brother. I found it out the hard way.” Some of us can look back and see where we decided we wanted our own way and it turned out to be a very hard road. Do you remember that?
Well, of course. All of us can remember sometimes where disobedient children that we were, we had to come back to our heavenly Father and say, “Forgive me.” When you want to do God’s will, you are choosing the easiest way in life. He says, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Have you ever been so burdened that you though you couldn’t take another minute of it? I know I’m talking to many folk who’ve been through experiences like that and a prodigal son or a wayward daughter or a straying husband or an erring wife or impossible in-laws or financial troubles or whatever it was, had just gotten you down and you thought to yourself, “I simply can’t take one more ounce of burden.”
Have you discovered, my friend, that you can turn it over to Jesus? Oh, what a precious wonderful experience that is just to let go of the burden and say, “Lord, you carry it.” He says, “My burden is light.” Why? “Cast thy burden on the Lord and He shall sustain thee.” There’s the picture you see. He picks up you with the burden and carries you both. Hallelujah. Let Him do that today, will you? I know He will if you’ll ask Him to and trust Him for it. “Ye shall find rest,” the Savior said, “unto your souls.” The only true place of rest is found when I’ve got His yoke on my shoulders and when I’ve turned my burdens over to Him. There’s where you’ll find rest.
Dear Father, today, I pray that we may know the joy and the delight of putting on Thy yoke, the yoke of the Lord Jesus and serving Him, I pray in His name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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