13 дек. 2007 г.

Chapter1 - "The Spirit of the Disciplines" by Dallas Willard

The secret of the easy yoke

“Take My yoke on you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest to your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30

His commandments are not burdensome. 1 John 5:3b

The “cost of discipleship” is often emphasized. But the cost of non-discipleship is also to be explored.

Most Christians take the words of Jesus and their repetition by John as a mere wish, an expression of hope. ... The ease, lightness and power of his Way we rarely enjoy, much less see, as a pervasive and enduring quality of our street-level human existence. We do not have the strength we should have, and Jesus’ commandments become burdensome to us. Many do not even believe Jesus actually intended us to carry them out. => His teachings are treated as mere ideal.

Jesus called us to follow him now, not after death. We have only to grasp the secret of entering that easy yoke.

What is the secret?

An illustration: some young folks try to imitate an outstanding baseball player. When they are playing a baseball game, they are trying to imitate their idol. ... Yet they do not share his whole lifestyle - total preparation of mind and body to provide body's automatic responses and strength for his conscious responses during the game.

The general principal: a successful performance at the moment of crisis rests largely and essentially upon the depth of a self wisely and rigorously prepared in the totality of its being - mind and body.

In our relationship with God: we are saved by grace alone. But grace does not mean that sufficient strength and insight will be automatically "infused" into our being in the moment of need. A baseball player who expects to excel in the  game without adequate exercise of his body is no more ridiculous than the Christian, who hopes to be able to act in the manner of Christ when put to the test without the appropriate exercise in godly living. Jesus understood this fact and lived accordingly.

The secret of the easy yoke involves living as he lived in the entirely of his life - adopting his overall life-style. To live as Christ lived is to live as he did all his life. ... Otherwise instead of an easy yoke we will experience frustration.

There is a widespread erroneous approach - "an effort-at-the-moment-of-action" kind of life, completely ignoring the need of the character change in our lives as a whole.
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