Friday, August 29, 2014
August 29 – Joining God in the fight
I will break Assyria in my land, I will trample them underfoot on my hills. Their yoke will be removed from my people, the burden will be lifted from their shoulders. This is the plan I have devised for the whole earth; my hand is ready to strike all the nations.” (Isaiah 14:25,26 NET)
If you have suffered under the yoke or burden of the devil, God’s will is for you to be set free. This type of suffering is not God’s will for your life. Following God does involve a yoke and a burden, but they are beneficial to us; they help to keep us on the right path. God’s yoke is easy, and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). Living by faith, denying the flesh, living in obedience to Him, living by reason and not feelings, are all hard and can be called yokes, but they are completely different from the burdens the devil places on us. The large majority of people in this world are suffering under the yoke and burden of “Assyria” or the devil, but unless they identify their problems as conflicting with God’s will and originating from Satan, they will continue to suffer without any hope of relief.
God is speaking to His people who are suffering under the yoke and burden of evil. Though they believe in Him and know Him to be God, somehow evil has made its way into their lives and they are suffering. A yoke creates pictures in our minds of people who feel forced into doing what they do not want to do, who feel that their strength and energy is being sucked out of them, depleted by demonic forces and situations that they feel tied down to.
God is speaking to His people who feel burdened, who feel a heaviness on their shoulders. Though they sleep, they do not feel rested. Though they work, have families, own houses, have health, nothing makes them happy. Life is a burden. They don’t look forward to the future; the future seems to be a burden to be endured. Some have suicidal thoughts because the fatigue that comes from carrying around this burden 24/7, 365 days a year, is too much. It is painful simply to think of continuing one more day.
For others, the yoke or burden may not be unbearable or drive them to thoughts of suicide and depression, but if they are honest, they will admit that they are being severely held back in life. These people could be doing much more, could be much better testimonies of the power and greatness of God, but instead their lives are mediocre and plain. They are good people, they are not involved in any great sins, but they are clearly not sold out for God either.
Whatever our yokes and burdens, “the plan that God has devised” is to strike with His hand and break the yokes and throw off the burdens of His people. In fact, the next verse in this chapter uses God’s title of “Lord of Hosts”, or “the Lord who commands armies.” In others words, when it comes to yokes and burdens from the devil, God becomes a god of war, the Commander of His army of angels. When we join God in this fight, this revolt against yokes and burdens, we are guaranteed to win!