I feel very sad when I hear a fellow Christian saying that serving God is difficult or complicated.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
He then went on to say:
“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. My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30)
Yokes are pieces of wood that a person would place across their shoulders enabling them to carry heavy loads evenly balanced. (Not so very long ago, my mother-in-law would use one to carry two buckets of water when there was a drought.) Jesus tells us that his yoke is easy and his burden is light. When we learn to trust him we find that he speaks the simple truth.
What God wants is simple. He wants his human children to be happy in the love relationship with him that we were made for and that he has always wanted us to have. God has already done everything that needs to be done to make this possible. He certainly doesn’t want to make it complicated for us.
We are called to be God’s servants and the role of a servant is not difficult. A servant’s job is only to be obedient. All the servant has to do is obey orders. It is not a servant’s job to make plans or set goals – the servant’s master or mistress does that. To take another example, soldiers taking part in a great campaign don’t plan the grand strategy. They don’t even know what the grand strategy is. They don’t need to know it. The soldiers’ job is to obey orders. Of course, throughout history many soldiers have questioned the grand strategy they are part of, but we do not have that problem. God’s grand strategy is perfect. We can trust our grand strategist completely. (If you want to know what our orders are, you will find a list of them on the homepage.)
So, God has made things simple and uncomplicated for us. Jesus warns us against making things complicated. He warns us not to be like teachers of religion who make life complicated for people who want to serve God
“…do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.” (Matthew 23:3-4).
And he was brutal in his criticism of those same religious teachers.
“…woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You lock people out of the kingdom of heaven. You do not enter yourselves and, when others are trying to enter, you stop them.” (Matthew 23:13)
We need to be very sure that we do not pretend that serving God is difficult or complicated, especially if we are teachers.