His Yoke is Easy: A tribute to Derek Prince
Matt 11:28-30(KJV): Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Here the Lord Jesus is talking to Christians and not just sinners. He is talking to Christians who are finding their service and labour in the Lord difficult and heavy.
The Lord says this should not be so since His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
Why is it then that sometimes we find His yoke difficult and heavy?
We find His yoke difficult and heavy because many times we are not carrying His yoke but rather a yoke we have assumed is His or we have added to His yoke things He did not ask us to do or are not doing things in His way and by His wisdom.
What then is His yoke?
His yoke basically is:
Ecclesiastes 12:13(KJV): Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
The fear of God is an attitude of reverence based on the knowledge of the certainty of His chastening if we disobey and the security of His mercy when we obey.
The fear of God also includes being meek and lowly in heart which the Lord said we should learn from Him because God gives grace to the humble and resists the proud (1 Peter. 5.5).
The grace or the favour of God releases the life of God (Psalms. 30.5) which as we will see later in this article causes the yoke to be easier and the burden lighter.
The commandments of God are:
I John 3:23(KJV): And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
Believing on the name of Jesus implies regularly receiving His life through promises in His Word by the authority of His name:
John 20:31(KJV): But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
Loving one another as He gave commandment implies loving as He loved, by His divine life, which gives His wisdom, compassion and power.
Now to fear God is a choice (Proverbs. 1.29) of our wills we need to make and reaffirm daily.
To believe on the name of Jesus and love one another as He loved us requires that we as a daily habit pray and walk in the spirit operating the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.
This then basically is His yoke.
Now of course there are physical things God requires us to do in our service of Him: in our families, church and secular work.
It is these other things, if not done with the foundation of the yoke of prayer and walking in the spirit, that cause His yoke to be difficult and heavy.
We see an example of this in the church at Ephesus in Revelation 2. 1-5, who were commended for their labour but were rebuked for leaving their first love: fellowship with God in prayer and the Word.
They were commanded to do the first (Matthew. 6.33) works of labour in prayer (Colossians. 4.12) and the Word (John. 6.35) with an attitude of the fear of God and then labour in the other works would be easier, lighter, and more appreciated by God.
This is so because the grace and the mercy of God that would be released into their lives through prayer and the Word with the attitude of the fear of God would make the yoke easy and the burden light.
The grace and mercy of God are released and multiplied into our lives through the knowledge of God’s Word(2Peter. 1.1-4) by which we partake of His divine nature and through prayer in the spirit, by which the high priestly ministry of Christ (Hebrews 4.14-16) is released into our lives.
So the greater the measure of the life of God (John 10.10) we have flowing in and through us and the more effectively we pray in the spirit (Ephesians. 6.18) the easier we will find His yoke and the lighter His burden.
In this regard we would like to acknowledge and honour the ministry of Derek Prince who died last week on September 24th in Jerusalem.
He was a spiritual father to us because by following (1 Corintians. 4.15-16) his example and teachings, particularly in the area of fasting and prayer, as laid out in his book “Shaping history through fasting and prayer” we became established in the truth that God’s yoke of regular, effective, fasting and prayer is easy and light.