"Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke?” Isa 58:6 NKJV
One of my favorite passages out of Isaiah. When folks ask me what I believe God is telling us today, this passage comes to mind. In particular for us Christians or those of us who follow Jesus and His Way.
We are to break every yoke. Israel was complaining in the verses before this one that God had not paid attention to their fasting. His response was that they had not yet fasted.
We are to break every yoke. The writer continues to describe God’s idea of what a fast is. It includes feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and inviting the poor into your home. And I thought fasting was just about not eating.
We are to break every yoke. Those who follow Jesus have not even begun to fast yet. I’m tired of talking, talking, and talking some more. I’m tired of skipping meals in an effort to manipulate some cosmic spiritual force. I’m tired of trying to demonstrate my superior holiness. I’m tired of trying to please a creator, who is already pleased. Come on, let’s invite the poor to our house.
We are to break every yoke. Culture and religion can be, and more often than not are forms of bondage. We are asked to break them. Smash them. Destroy them. Loose the bonds of wickedness.
We are to break every yoke. Fear constricts a person to the point they can no longer move. As those who would fast, we are to break the hold of fear. After all we have not been given a spirit of fear. Love will cast out fear.
We are to break every yoke. It’s time for more radical living and less radical speaking. As it was put by a white guy sporting dreadlocks, we need to become ordinary radicals. Today, right now, we need to decide that enough is enough. Following Jesus necessarily means we will no longer be like the rest of the world. Our values will adjust. Love transforms one’s outlook on life.
We are to break every yoke. The truth will set you free. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Not a religious system, not a moral code, not a book or even a collection of books. Nope, it’s Jesus. Know him and know truth.
We are to break every yoke. Knock and it shall be opened. Come on join us in our campaign to break the bondage of poverty and loneliness. We can do it. Maybe not for the world, but for those that God brings to us we can love unconditionally. That is all He asks of us.
We are to break every yoke.