I know for some it might be hard to believe that the Lord could speak through a classic rock song, but it happens to me all the time.  In fact, I believe that there was a very powerful anointing that rested on many of the bands from the 60s and 70s.  Even though most of the artists probably had no idea that the Lord was using them to speak truth, He often did just that with or without their intent or acknowledgment.  Recently, while driving home after a long day of work, I decided to pick up my cell phone and call my friend about a business start up we were working on together.  Knowing that we had both come from a very similar performance oriented background, we were encouraging one another with the truth that many times it’s not about us having to work harder or to strive to make something happen.  Instead, the Lord was teaching us that our forward progress is usually more about being willing to trust in his goodness and sovereignty so that we can enter into His rest.  The Lord was trying to help us get the revelation that when our soul is at rest, and the peace of Christ is ruling in our heart, then we can just sit back and enjoy the ride.  As soon as I hung up the phone, I hit the radio button and the song “Free Ride” by Edgar Winter started up as if perfectly cued. Being the closet rock and roll devote that I am, I cranked it up as loud as it would go.  A very powerful encounter with the Lord ensued.

In the formative stages of my spiritual development, I was internally driven by the belief that, “If it’s gonna be, than it’s up to me.”  Oh sure I could quote any number of scriptures that were contrary to that mindset, but when it came down to how I was actually living… I was just as self motivated and clueless about the Lord’s leadings as I was before I became a believer.  Although lordship starts with making a decision, that is most certainly not where it stops.  In fact, learning how to truly depend on the Lord may involve a long and humiliating process.  At least it has for me, and I’m fairly confident that I’m not the only one who’s had a little trouble practicing this principle.  Most of us, and this is especially true of we American Christians, have been trained from a very early age to be self reliant and self oriented in thought and lifestyle.  Think about it, the very formation of our country was due largely to our unwillingness to submit ourselves to a ruler.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a gun toting republican who thoroughly enjoys his freedoms.  But learning how to be more lead and less driven has not been easy for me.  I don’t know how many times over the course of my Christian journey, my soul has exclaimed, “Stand aside God and watch how much I can DO for you.

It’s taken many years to even begin to comprehend how arrogant that thought pattern must be to the Lord.   Whether we admit it or not, we often live as if our Heavenly Father’s interest in us and/or his approval of us is somehow affected by something we might do or not do “for” Him.  Granted, we all have things we’re called, gifted, and anointed to do.  But believe it or not, he really doesn’t need us to do anything.  “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Prov 19:21) Regardless of our theology, it is shamefully egocentric to deny the fact that His plans and purposes will prevail with or without our human efforts.  This revelation is doubly needful for those of us who’ve committed ourselves to leading and serving in the church.  As one who was once the textbook example of a Messiah Complex, I can tell you from experience that much of our need to “serve” may be improperly motivated.  Remember, “the poor you will always have with you”.   In other words, there’s always more that needs to be done.  Our job is to do only what the Lord himself asks us to do.  Anything beyond that is a yoke we need not wear.  Obedience truly is better than sacrifice, that hasn’t changed.  In fact, I’ve come to believe that one of God’s primary intentions for us is that we simply learn how to relax and enjoy the life He’s given us.

If you’re feeling the burden of a heavy yoke, maybe it’s time to inquire of the Lord about what you’re carrying that’s not really your responsibility.  If you’re an intercessor, maybe you need to stop watching the news for a while.  I’m pretty sure the oil spill in the gulf and that situation in the middle-east that you’re so concerned about will get solved without you losing any sleep over it.  No offense, but sometimes we overestimate the significance of the role we play in the grand scheme of things.  Go for a walk, enjoy a nap, eat a cheeseburger without feeling guilty for the love of God!  It’s gonna be OK.  He’ll keep the universe from imploding on itself.  Our job is to cease from our striving and enter into his rest.  The Lord God Jehovah is on the throne.  He loves us and He’s got this whole thing figured out and under control.  We need only to listen and obey, listen and obey, listen and obey.  Let Him deal with the rest.  Come on and take a free ride.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  (Matt 11:28-30)

The mountain is high   The valley is low
and you’re confused on which way to go
so I’ve come here to give you a hand
and lead you into the promised land so…

come on and take a free ride
come on and sit here by my side
come on and take a free ride

all over the country I’ve seen it the same
nobody’s winning at this kind of game
we’ve got to do better it’s time to begin
you know all the answers must come from within so…
come on and take a free ride
come on and sit here by my side
come on and take a free ride.

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