July 8th 2016 – Don’t be Unequally Yoked

 2016-07-08-05-23-59-1974575507

“Do not be mismated with unbelievers. For what partnership have righteousness and iniquity? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14),

Mismated is literally a term that means unequally yoked. A yoke is a wooden frame or bar with loops at either end, fitted around the necks of two animals, which tied them together and forced them to function as one. That is what Paul speaks of here. He is referring to the Old Testament scripture in (Deuteronomy 22:10) where the Law says, “Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together.” That may seem strange to us, but God was concerned that the Israelites not tie together two animals of a different nature.

A friend was sharing his testimony, He stated he had became a Christian as a young teenager, his life changed dramatically. However, his faith was put to a difficult test when he fell in love with a non-Christian some years later. She was very preety, adventurous, engaging, and intelligent

As the relationship became more and more serious, He was faced with the most difficult decision of his life. Should he ignore the Holy Spirit’s nudging to break off the relationship with her? Or should he obey and break his own heart in the process?

He made the right decision. He broke up with her and left for college in tears. He shared that he never felt so lonely. But he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he had done the right thing.

This is a fairly common scenario—A Christian dates a non-Christian. They fall in love. If the other person is not willing to make a real commitment to Jesus, then the Christian must make a choice: go through the pain of a breakup, or be “unequally yoked” with an unbeliever. Unfortunately, many choose the latter—and later regret it.

The Bible warns against being unequally yoked in (2 Corinthians 6:14) “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?”.

Because the phrase “unequally yoked” can be a bit difficult to understand, I like to read this verse from The Message, a paraphrase of the Bible. These verses read, “Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil?”

God gives us this command for our own protection and joy. He knows that we can’t have the best possible marriage if we have different beliefs, values, and priorities from our spouse. And even though obedience to God can be difficult, especially in a situation like this, it’s always worth it.

Some Christians may find themselves saying, “But this person will change.” Maybe so. God has the power to change someone, and we should never give up on praying for those we care about. But the verse in 2 Corinthians doesn’t say, “Do not be unequally yoked … unless you think the person will change.” It says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers”

Furthermore, (1 Corinthians 7:16) says, “How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?” It’s our responsibility as followers of Christ to be obedient to God’s command and to trust Him for the best possible plan for our lives, even if that means our lives will go in a new direction.

This issue was even a concern in the Old Testament. When God was leading the Israelites into the Promised Land, He gave them strong commands about how they should deal with the pagan nations.

(Deuteronomy 7:3-6)  says: Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, for they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods, and the LORD’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you. This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols in the fire. For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.

If you are a follower of Christ, you are a chosen child of God. He doesn’t want you to settle for less than His very best.

It’s worth noting that a Christian who finds himself in an unequally yoked marriage should not use this issue as grounds for divorce. God has the power to turn around the most desperate situations and use them for good. Even so, a Christian can save himself a lot

The Law reflects that it is cruel to yoke together two things of incompatible natures. This is what Paul has in mind here. What he is saying is there are certain associations that Christians have with unbelievers that constitute a yoke, and these associations are a cause for misery and shame in a Christian’s life. We are to avoid them. They will hinder us, limit us, bind us, and keep us from enjoying the fullness God has in mind for us. They are like trying to mix oil and water. It is impossible. You can see this by the illustrations he uses.

The great unanswered question is, What is a yoke? Is a business partnership a yoke? Is a union membership a yoke? Is marriage a yoke? Is a date with a non-Christian a yoke? Not all associations are yokes, but yokes have two characteristics by which we can always identify them. The first one is that a yoke is not easily broken. It is a kind of permanent relationship. When you yoke two animals together they are bound together; they do not have any choice. Uncomfortable as it may be, they must do things together.

The second mark of a yoke is that it constrains someone; it does not permit independent action. There is something that forces you to comply with what the other one wants to do, whether you like it or not. Any kind of relationship that does not permit a believer to follow his or her Lord in all things is a yoke. Even a friendship can be a yoke. If it is the kind of possessive friendship in which you feel you cannot do what God wants you to do because you will offend your friend, then that is a yoke, and it must be broken.

Prayer:

Thank You Jesus that You love me and want to see me wholesome and complete, free and confident and able to function as I was intended. Grant to me that I will glory in the fact that I am the temple of the living God and that You dwell in me. Continue to guide my footsteps on the right path and correct me with your written word and through your Holy Spirit that dwells within me. May I not seek my own understanding but trust that you will make all things right. In Jesus’ name Amen.

If you are in need of prayer for yourself or others, please Click Here

If you are seeking Jesus in your life or want to recommit your life to Him. Click here to learn more.

Rob Lavallee

Scriptural Seeds Ministries

http://www.scripturalseeds.org

P.O. Box 57284 Tucson, Arizona 85732

 

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