The “Easy Yoke”

So I have been reading a lot of Dallas WillardDallas Willard lately and there is this concept in his book The Spirit of the Disciplines about the “easy yoke” that Jesus describes in Matthew 11 that is just blowing my mind. The idea that following The Way of Christ, the narrow path, is somehow easy. It’s a nice thought but it frankly bewilders most of us to hear Him say that. How can it be easy?   We rarely experience the ease, lightness, and power of His Way. Instead we make our best attempts at leading a godly life patterned after Christ’s example yet all the while we struggle with ourselves to meet the incredibly high standards he sets for us along the way. 

So what’s the secret? Willard draws a metaphorical link between our efforts to follow Jesus and a child who tries to emulate his favorite baseball star. He tries to be like him by sliding head first the way the star does in the game, wearing  the same shoes and clothes, buying the same bat and glove the, holding the bat the same way. They try anything and everything to emulate their idol. But will they perform to the same level if this is all they do? No. We all know the reason. There is a lot more behind the baseball player’s greatness than the clothes and the few habits described above. There is an entire lifestyle of preparation behind his success. Diet, exercise, training, practice. These are the disciplines that lead to his greatness on the field.   
The Spirit of the Disciplines
“… And in this truth lies the secret of the easy yoke: the secret involves living as he did in the entirety of his life – adopting his overall life-style. Following ‘in his steps’ cannot be equated with behaving as he did when he was ‘on the spot.’ To live as Christ lived is to live as he did all his life.” 

“We have to discover how to enter into his disciplines from where we stand today…” 

As we learn about these disciplines and begin to implement them in our lives we will begin to change from the inside out because we will be living as Christ did, as we were designed to live. It will become more difficult not to do his will.  More posts to come on what these disciplines are and how to apply them… I haven’t got that far yet. I still have a lot to learn! 

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6 Comments »

  1. vince Said:

    Remember the ‘Yoke’ chapter from velvet elvis? look at it again it draws a cool picture.

  2. micahanderica Said:

    you don’t know how happy it makes me that you are reading Dallas Willard. Remember, when you read you should read 3 “old” books for every 1 “new” book. Meaning, you should read 3 books by dead authors for every book written by 1 alive author.

    keep up the good reading

  3. Murph Said:

    “There is an entire lifestyle of preparation behind his success. Diet, exercise, training, practice.” … steroid abuse, illegal gambling.

    I’m stoked you started blogging… it’ll be in my RSS reader for sure. Where’d the wordpress theme come from? It’s awesome.

  4. whawaii Said:

    Great end line – “As we learn about these disciplines and begin to implement them in our lives we will begin to change from the inside out because we will be living as Christ did, as we were designed to live. It will become more difficult not to do his will.”

    I am looking forward to hearing more on this.

  5. jamesmclean Said:

    Dude! you are blogging! welcome! i am loving that you are getting into Spirit of the Disciplines. So glad i’m not the only freak who loves to read.
    I am exactly in that same spot. When I said yes to Jesus I said yes to a lot more than just heaven and church going. I’m gonna link you up at my blog, come on over sometime. http://www.resistembrace.com

  6. I love Willard and hate him at the same time. Spiritual disciplines are really not understood in our culture of American Christianity. This book was a life-changing read for me. His book The Divine Conspiracy took three years for me to really read it correctly. I recommend it highly, if you want to be chewed up inside out.


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