Yoked for Life – Nita LaFond Johnson
Everyday for two years — while I am talking to you, please turn to Isaiah 11! Everyday for two years, I would get out my Bible and I would read the words:
“and shall come forth a shoot out of the stock of Jesse and a branch out of the root shall grow and bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and reverent and obedient fear of the Lord. And shall make him of a quick understanding and his delight shall be in the reverent and obedience fear of the Lord. And he shall not judge by the sight of his eyes neither decide the hearing of his ears but with righteousness and justice, shall he judge for the poor and decide fairness for the meek the poor and the downtrodden of the earth. He shall smite the earth and the oppressors with the rod of his mouth and with the breath of his lips, he shall slay the wicked and righteousness shall be the girdle of his waist and faithfulness the girdle of his loins.
I would read that and I would say: “Lord, I know this is about my Messiah, I know this is about the office of the coming Messiah but there is something inside of me that wants this gift and I will call it the kingdom yoke, the kingdom government. I want it so bad that it feels like I will die if you don’t tell me that I can have it. If I am praying amiss and I really shouldn’t be praying this prayer please help me to know and understand and I will cease to pray because I don’t want to offend You. But, if it is possible for us to have this, I want this!” I prayed like that every day for two years and I am telling you I meant it with all of my heart. I just thought that I was going to die if he did not tell me pretty soon that He was going to let me have this gift but I didn’t tell a living soul because you see, I am licensed with the Assemblies of God and if I had told anyone in my denomination what I was praying, I would have had scorns. I would have had rebukes. I would have had reproofs. I didn’t want anyone to squash my faith. So I thought if I am praying the wrong things, He is just going to have to tell me out of mercy so I could quit praying it. Otherwise I am going to keep praying until He says I can have it.
So one day I am sitting, two years I have been praying this, one day I am sitting and I am praying this to Him when He appears to me and He says to me “Nita, stand up, get up and come and stand next to me!” So I did and the minute I stood next to Him, this, I am sure you have heard or even seen pictures of yoke bars, like you would put on two heads of oxen. “You know what I am talking about, double yoke bar?” Just like this. “You know what I am talking about!” It suddenly appeared on His shoulders, grew and extended until it extended and sat on my shoulders and I become double yoked with Him. As I became double yoked with the Lord, as the yoke came and sat upon my shoulder, all of my humanity, I don’t what else to call it, but all of my humanity begin to go down, down, down, down, down and out of my feet. All of my human passion, all of my human emotions, my human thinking, my human ……it was like all my humanity just went down the drain. It was like I had been the bottle and the water is draining out of the bottom and you feel it draining out. That’s how I felt. And when it was done draining, I was empty. The minute I was empty, everything that was going on inside of Him begin to flood into me and go on inside of me. I experienced His meekness, His righteousness, and His fear of the Lord, His counsel, His understanding, the Seven Spirits of God. Everything that was going on inside of Him began to go on inside of me. Now listen to me very carefully, please! While this was occurring, I was totally transformed. Everything inside…
I was no longer aware of me. You know when you walk with the Lord where we walk with Him here on this plain. We think about Him, we feel an occasional touch from the Lord. Some feel a manifested presence of the Lord constantly in their life but when you think about Him or when you pray, where is your mind? It focused on He who is sitting upon the throne where? “In heaven!” So I have spent years and years and years with this passionate hunger for the Lord, wanting Him so badly everyday, every minute of everyday of my life. I just felt like sometimes I was going to burst in two, trying to stretch myself between earth and heaven enough to reach Him and touch Him. But that day, there was no more seeing Him as someone who was a part from me.
“My brothers and sisters, my dear precious brothers and sisters, it was like He had come and unzipped my back and climbed into my soul and was living out His life through me. Paul said “No longer I that liveth but Christ that liveth in me.” In the States, Christians quote that all the time and they turn around five minutes later and backstab, talk about their neighbors, get angry over stuff they should never get angry over, steal from their boss.” Is this the one who is I no longer liveth but Christ liveth in me?” But that day it that precise moment it was really no longer me living in this body. I mean I was there somewhere but not like what I have been five minutes before for it was Christ living in this body. I didn’t see Him as someone separated from me. In fact I didn’t even think about Christ at all.
From the moment He entered in my body He was thinking His thoughts through my mind and the Lord spoke to me. “Nita! When Paul wrote the words “ye have the mind of Christ!” “What you are now experiencing is what he was speaking about!” Christians, I don’t know about here in Singapore but in the States, you know that’s got to be a big thing. Everyone has the mind of Christ! I think: “Oh! If that is how His mind works we are in trouble!” But when you read that verse in context, He is differentiating between the baby in Christ and the mature in Christ and He is saying to the mature, “Now ye have the mind of Christ!” And let me tell you what it means to have the mind of Christ. You are not thinking your thoughts. He is thinking His thoughts in your head. You are not even thinking His thoughts. “You understand what I am saying?” You are not even thinking His thoughts. You’re not trying to remember or memorize Scriptures. You’re not trying to meditate, hoping that a one liner will go through your mind. You’re not thinking His thoughts. He is thinking His thoughts through your mind. He has taken up residence in your soul. The sinful nature is gone.
We all have a sinful nature. “How many of you know that?” I mean like it didn’t disappear just because we got saved. One person said: “The day that I sinned my first sin after I got saved, I thought I was eternally lost because I thought I would never think that way again, but I did!” Well! We all have our sinful nature and we will all have our sinful nature until the day it is crucified by the Lord Himself. He has to do it. We can’t do it. When He crucified this sinful nature, “Are you understanding everything I am saying, raise your hand if you are understanding?”
When He crucified the sinful nature, there is no longer the human passion, there no longer the human emotions, the human character. That fallen nature – it doesn’t exist. It’s been removed and He comes in to dwell and so you are living now in the Divine nature. “What is the Divine nature?” Love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness is the fruits of the Spirit, meekness, temperance, faith. There’s such a meekness that Christ walked in. It will “beggar” description in human vernacular. He absolutely did not think about Himself and the thoughts or desires that He might have.
It was His ever-present joy to walk in obedience to the Father regardless of what that might mean. Even it might mean the cross. The Bible said: “He looked forward to the cross with joy. His joy was in obeying the Father knowing He was fulfilling the perfect will of the Father at every given moment. That was His joy, that was His effervescent joy and that was the mind and the heart and the person who was now indwelling my body.
I use to tell people when I would preach on walking with God in the deep things of God. I use to tell them I have this hunger to be possessed by God. Satanists want to be possessed by the devil but I want to be possessed by God. I want Him to possess my mind, I want Him to possess my heart, I want Him to possess my soul — I want to be possessed by God. And when I would say that even as I said it, I didn’t have a comprehension of what that would mean. I just knew the hunger that I had inside of me.
Well, that day God possessed me. His mind possessed my mind. His heart possessed my heart. Christ possessed my soul. No longer I that liveth but Christ that liveth in me. Do you know that until you come to the place that I am talking to you about right now, you are not walking in what you have been created to be. Anything less than what I am telling you right now is subnormal Christianity. We are like a foetus. May I be very honest with you? We are like a fetus trying to live outside of the womb. If we not walking in that place, there can be some very mature Christians in the eyes of the church. But if they are not walking in what Paul says in the book of Ephesians, the fullness of the stature of Christ, they are not mature in the eyes of God. We are walking as fetuses unformed and were wondering why we are struggling as Christians. And there is no way to give the baby its full form, little alone its manhood without making that Christian a person of prayer.