“Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me: For I am meek and lowly in heart—and you shall find rest unto your souls.”

Matthew 11:29

There can only be one Driver or Master; the question is “Who’s that in our lives?”

The very word “disciple” (Grk. “mathetes”) means “learner, pupil, etc.” Or, maybe “understudy” would be a better word, for it means to “study under” a great master or teacher.

Thus, today’s Manna reminds us of this important truth in its use of “and learn of Me.”

That’s likely what prompted Thomas a‘Kempis to write his classic, Imitation of Christ, in the 15th century. Considered one of the greatest pre-Reformation manuals of devotion in the Catholic Church, reformers like John Wesley and John Newton listed it as instrumental in their conversions. Filipino national hero, Jose Rizal, reportedly read this book while in prison in Manila prior to his execution by a Spanish squad of soldiers.

Why was the book held in such high esteem by so many believers both then and now?

Simply because it reminds us of the importance of “learning of Christ” and what it means “to be meek and lowly in heart.”

Now, assuredly, none of us can perfectly walk in Christ’s footsteps. His stride is too straight and his steps too far apart for our weak, wobbling feet (Heb. 12:12-15). But, by being “yoked to Christ” in “communion-union” (Jn. 15:1-7; Rom. 8:1). . .through daily “denial of self, taking up our cross and following Him” (Lk. 9:23). . .we begin learning what it means to be “crucified with Christ” (Gal. 2:20) and “living sacrifices” (Rom. 12:1-2).

It was no accident that Jesus chose the words “meek and lowly in heart” to describe this “yoked” relationship.

The Greek word “praus” is used for “meek” and basically means “mild, humble, gentle, etc.,” while “tapeinos” is used for “lowly” and also means “abased, cast down, of low degree or estate, etc.” Interestingly, it also means “depressed, pushed down” or “humiliated.”

Simply put, our Lord-Master knew the original sin was pride and how “knowledge (which produces pride) puffs up” (I Cor. 8:1). He knew by nature we are self-seeking. . .loving to feel self-sufficient. . .self-centered (“It’s all about me and what I want”), not Christ-centered, self-sacrificing and self-giving.

Only in “taking His yoke upon us and learning of Him” are we able to “find rest unto our souls.” Only then.

Thus, as the ‘ole saying goes, “Uptight is not upright.” Or, another way to put it is: When we’re feeling exasperated, not invigorated, we’re touching self, not Him. When we’re fretting, fussing and fuming, we’re touching death, not life. When we’re laboring under guilt, we’re under condemnation, not “Christ-cleansing” (Heb. 9:24). When we’re disappointed or disillusioned, it’s because we’ve placed our hope and trust in the wrong things. Let Him lead today, Pilgrim. Follow Him. Read His Word and how He acted in given situations; then respond accordingly. His Rest is reserved for those who rely on Him. Stay yoked to Him.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated May 10, 2010

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