In Matthew 28, Jesus speaks to those who labor. He says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you . . .” Think about that for a moment. Take God’s yoke on you. Yoke up with God. Imagine the God of the universe bending his back to lower the yoke for you. Imagine Him doing mindless menial labor- with you.
That’s the challenge- the command- that Jesus gives.
Paul illustrates this idea in Colossians 1. In verse 27 he says, “Whom [Christ] we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:” Then he continues, “Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.”
Paul was working to teach every man. But he wasn’t alone. God was working in him mightily to accomplish the work that was necessary. Notice also that Paul was working according to God’s working. It wasn’t the other way around. Paul didn’t strike out with his own ideas. God worked something inside of Paul, and then Paul operated in the area that God had mightily worked in.
There’s something amazing about the thought of being co-laborers with God. It’s one of the most beautiful things of the Christian life. If you look closely, you can see that God works in us, so He can work through us, so we can work in others, in whom God is working. In reality, it would be simpler if God just did everything. It’s like having a little child in the kitchen who wants to help. It’s easier just to tell them to go play. It’s more work to invest in them and teach them.
But that’s the heart of God. He chooses to allow us to take His yoke. He chooses to work with us, through us, and in us. Aren’t you thankful that God allows you to be a part of his awesome and majestic creation?
Going back to the scripture, think about the specific task mentioned. Spreading the gospel throughout the world. I’ve known people who have, and I myself have, stressed about the great work that needs to be done. So many that haven’t heard. So much to share. It is easy for us to become anxious and worried about our own insufficiency and faults.
Remember God’s words in another part of Scripture, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” – Philippians 4:6 It’s not your responsibility to save the world. It is your job to be sensitive to the leading of the Lord, and obey His will. This is not an excuse to do nothing, but a challenge to do all you can. Not out of fear and anxiety, but out of a calm and faithful heart, filled with dedication to the Father.
When you consider all that must be done, don’t stress, you have a pretty capable coworker. Just ask Him to do what He does best. Work with you, in you, and through you. If you will allow Him, He always will.