All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”Matthew 11:27-30
You have accepted Christ since your days as a teen. You attended church regularly. You served God well with your participation in group activities. You lived a healthy lifestyle, you played sports, you go to bed early each night and gets up early after every sunrise.
And you recalled you were fully baptized by your pastor several years ago. Your record as a believer is squeaky clean. You had a near perfect score. But two years ago, your world started turning upside down. No, now is not what you anticipated it in the past, how you would have wanted things to be today. Something is not right. And each passing day, the reality of your doubts are becoming unmistakably real. Life has been a good journey. So what went wrong?
If that is how you see yourself today, then join the club, you are not alone. We are entering the phase where bad things are beginning to happen even to supposedly good people. All these sudden change of social norms, restrictions in the public sphere and constant fear peddling brought about by the sudden outburst of a pandemic that seems to refuse to end. And people every where are left to defend the little they have left; be it choice, option or privilege. The more we do, the worse it gets, it seems. It looks more and more like unexpected judgment. And how is it judgment shall be meted on good people like you and me?
But what if I suggest that you never actually followed Christ? What if I said the problem is because, all along most of us were in fact still living in darkness made to appear as though it is light to our sight? Alright, you are free to leave if you disagree.
In Ephesians 5:8-17, the Bible said “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.“
Paul in his letter to the Ephesians, stated that the children of light are those who walk in the fruit of the Spirit; that is goodness, righteousness and truth. He went further saying these are the things that are acceptable to the Lord. What Paul said correlates with Romans 12:1, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
Now dissecting what is holy and acceptable to God brings us back to the fruit of the Spirit; which are visible products of us, the branches abiding in Him, the vine (John 15:5). Therefore a person who walks in the light, does things that are visibly acceptable to God and he produces good fruit in the form of goodness, righteousness and truthfulness. And by the fruit, each person shall be known to the world, who they really are (Matthew 7:20).
On the day we offered ourselves to follow Christ, we have been invited to come to Him, put down and leave all our heavy burdens. Instead we were told to take up the reasonable service of doing His will, which is easy and not heavy. By this, Christ is saying to do what is right and truthful, is much easier than to live a life in sin and wickedness. And in Him, we shall also find rest from all the heavy laden of the dark side. Christ did not suggest that we dump all our past burdens on Him, give it to Him and He will carry it for us, so that you and I can go on sinning while He continue to provide support to hold our iniquities intact. Instead, we were told to specifically “go to Him” and leave our past behind us.
To follow and to believe in Christ is about putting our dark days to rest, leave them and to move on with a change of self and a new heart. Yes, in short, this means to go and sin no more (John 8:11). And to sin no more is not a deed or a work or a burden we do or carry on our own. It just means don’t sin; don’t do it. This is plainly obeying God, and obeying God is not a form of self-righteousness. In fact, practically there is no difference between believing and following Jesus. If we believe in Jesus, that is more than just believing that He existed, then we will follow Him and do His will.
The Bible also taught us that no servant can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). And to find solutions to our existing, uncertain future, first we need to identify what went wrong.