Episode 65: Accessing Mental and Physical Strength Beyond Your OwnJul 18, 2022
Have you ever had those days where you just felt like you couldn’t go on anymore physically or mentally? Or maybe even both? But you had to just keep going because more often than not that is how life is. You are not alone in those feelings. I have felt that too. There is a way to overcome that and have access to mental and physical strength beyond what you could possibly do on your own. The way to do that is to yoke to the Savior.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. ~ Mathew 11:29-30
The yoke being referenced here is the same as the one that it is used for a team of oxen to pull a load. The purpose of a yoke is to harness a pair of animals so that they can drag a load together as efficiently as possible. Now, a yoke is not used very much these days because we have tractors and cars by they were used back in the day especially with oxen for plowing soil.
If you’ve never seen a yoke, it’s a beam carved from a single piece of wood that is fitted to a ox’s shoulders. Then coming down from this beam are straps or bows that go around the neck and are attached to pegs to secure the yoke. Then there is a hitch point that connects the yoke to what’s being pulled. The beam rests in front of the shoulder hump (or withers), distributing weight and enabling natural and comfortable movement.
If you were to google a yoke you could come up with 50 different types. It’s kind of like cars, you get the basic concept but there are so many different ways to build one they all end up looking slightly different. But there is one yoke that is the best, a custom fitting yoke. The lamborghini of all yokes. It was designed for each oxen’s size and specifically built for their bodies. Having a lamborghini yoke allowed each oxen of unequal size or strength to pull together without one being dragged by the other.
This was important because farmers used to train young oxen to plow by partnering them with stronger and more mature oxen. The job of the younger ox was simply to follow in the same direction and keep pace with the teacher ox. The older ox pulled most of the weight and understood the commands of the plow driver. As long as the young ox followed the older ox, everything was fine.
However, if the younger ox decided to speed up or lag behind, the work became much more difficult. Only by keeping pace with the older ox could the younger ox complete the day’s work without collapsing from exhaustion.
You are probably thinking you are fully versed in oxen yokes and wondering what it has to do with spirituality? Let me explain. In Mathew 11:29-30 it says, Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
You are carrying many loads in your life that are causing you to feel an extra burden mentally and physically. Jesus is offering you a yoke to help carry those burdens. A yoke to help make those burdens easier and lighter. His yoke is designed specifically to carry your burdens. It is intended to help you get work done that you couldn’t possibly do on your own. It is custom fitted to you and your specific circumstances. This is the lamborghini of yokes, just for you. It is custom fit for you because the Savior has already atoned for everything that is placed on your shoulders. He knows exactly how heavy they are. This is how He gets you through and teaches you.
Just as the farmer was able to teach the less mature oxen by yoking a learning ox, with a teacher ox who already understood all of his commands. They were yoked together to accomplish more. You and Savior can by yoked together as well. Our Heavenly Parents are yoking us with someone who understands the direction and all of Their commands. A learner and a teacher, yoked together as one. When we step into this yoke we are able to humbly do His will and allow Him to guide and direct our lives.
“You come unto Christ to be yoked with Him and with His power, so that you’re not pulling life’s load alone. You’re pulling life’s load yoked with the Savior and Redeemer of the world, and suddenly your problems, no matter how serious they are, become lighter.” ~ Russell M Nelson
The idea of yoking to the Savior is certainly not a new teaching but many ask how it works in real life to be yoked to the Savior? What are applicable concepts and steps to do that? I have practiced stepping into this yoke with the Savior and I want to share with you what I have learned. I have noticed common themes and principles as I have been feeling God guiding me in expressing them to you. I know that because God is much more clever than me and gave me this pattern in the form of what I will call the 4 A’s of yoking. I absolutely know that I could not have come up with that on my own. To help you apply them I have also created a handout with these 4 A’s on it so you can work on developing them more.
You’ve probably read in the scriptures many times the phrase, "ask and it shall be given unto you." There is power in asking. Remember, we have agency and God can’t interfere with our agency and push us into that yoke. We have to choose it.
Think about asking as a way of showing God that you are ready to step into the yoke. I like to use this concept with my Seeking Personal Revelation Journal. I like to sit down before I pray and think about what parts of my day could use strength beyond my own. Then, I write those down and in my prayer I talk to God about how I would like help with those specific things.
When I do that I am essentially practicing stepping into the yoke everyday. You might be thinking, but I can’t just ask for anything and get it. And you’re right. This isn’t a drive thru order. You can’t simply put in what you want and expect to get back what you ordered. This is where the next step comes in.
What we are asking for must be in alignment with what God as He knows what will be best for us. It can be easy to know what is and what isn't God's will. For example, it you're thinking about asking to win the lottery, God probably isn’t going to help you with that. However, this can be harder when we are righteously seeking something and it’s still not in alignment with God.
With this it is important to remember a few things when aligning our will with God. God wants to give you strength, healing, focus, energy, love, compassion, guidance, peace, comfort, motivation etc. When you are aligning your will and adjusting you can see what other thing God might be able to offer you for the challenge you are facing. It may not come in the time frame we are hoping for but when the desire is there, the clarity will come and we will know what to do next.
James 1:22 reads, "Be a doer of the word, and not just hearers only." We receive better information and confirmation when we act. In last weeks episode I dove a lot more into this concept with decision making. In that I spoke of the idea that we can take two steps forward and one step back if we need to when we act. Acting is how we access the power.
Think about it, if the inexperienced oxen in the yoke with the veteran oxen does not move forward than the veteran oxen can’t help it with the load. Remember, that oxen ends up being even more exhausted in the end from not acting. It can be difficult to act when we do not have all the answers and are unable to see the future. Luckily, the Plan of Happiness allows for such changes even after we have begun to act.
The scriptures teach us about experimenting on the word. That means to act, then assess what that action produces and make necessary adjustments. When you act and you don’t get what you asked for go back and reassess. See if there is something else God can help you with in regards to that situation.
It could be that what you wanted is not what you needed. For example, can God help you rest instead of pushing forward so hard? Perhaps God can help you accept your circumstances rather than changing them. Can God give you compassion for yourself rather than energy to get everything done?
God is there ready to give us power. We just need to be in alignment with THE power He is giving us. Otherwise we can’t receive what we are not acting on. If I ask for strength to push forward with something and it’s God’s will that I actually rest, then I am not going to get that strength because I am acting on the wrong thing.
If I were to assess my situation the next day and speak with God I could then see if God wants me to do something else like rest. I then I act on that and am given the power I need if it is not what I thought was needed. God can provide what I am really in need of.
This can take some time and practice in making these steps a reality. Especially if we have some thoughts that really push us into wanting to do things our own way. The natural man is an expert in convincing us that we know better. These thoughts can keep us from accessing the power that God is wanting to give us.
These mental roadblocks caused by the natural man can be difficult to bypass. That skill is one of the principles I teach in my Removing Roadblocks to Revelation Group Coaching Program. I will be opening it up at the end of August so if you’re wanting to join us for this next round and learn to remove those mental barriers to accessing God’s power jump on the waitlist so I can notify you when it opens.
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