“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

Carnegie Hall is what I thought being in the church would be like.  Let me explain, there was a time in history Carnegie Hall, which is located in New York City, was a place every performer wanted to achieve in their career to be considered successful!  To headline in Carnegie Hall was once measured as the height of stardom! I also thought anyone who attended Carnegie Hall’s performances were special too! Although I worked a few blocks away from the iconic building, I never attended any events because I thought is it was for the very elite. But one day, due to an out of town emergency, someone gave me their ticket to Carnegie Hall to attend a Christian concert. I was elated and also very naïve! When I entered the building it was spectacular! There were chandeliers everywhere! The décor was superb and people looked radiant and they were clothed in beautiful garments; and their faces were glowing as they were praising God! It was a joyful evening worshipping the Lord.  The beauty of the Lord that I enjoyed that night summoned me to join a church.

Unfortunately, the experience at Carnegie Hall did not carry over into the church. I discovered that the Light and Love I enjoyed was the presence of the Holy Spirit, not the people and their glamour! It was not the chandeliers that wooed my soul.  It was the love of God in my heart! Sadly, in the church assembly I was met with heavy yokes and burdens, in the form of church regulations and doctrines, which were not liberating at all. I was seeking the spiritual freedom that Jesus promised us all.  Yet, I felt heavy laden and troubled.  I wanted the Carnegie Hall experience again!  I wanted that wonderful liberating love of God to explode in my soul.  After many years of church bylaws and threats on my salvation, I decided to FOLLOW IN THE PATH OF THE DIVINE.  He who called me and saved me.

Thankfully, I had already accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior before joining any church.  I was home schooled by the Holy Spirit. What I mean is, I studied the entire bible, guided by the Holy Spirit, before the Lord choose a church home for me. I was called to teach and preach the Word of God.  I entered the church assembly with knowledge of the scriptures, as well as knowing my “Calling”.  When I was accepted as a member everyone was trying to get me to join this club and that club and join this board and that board! I refused them all and I immediately engaged myself in the Sunday school classes and the Bible study and Prayer meetings. I was called to, Follow in the Path of the Divine.  However, the more I tried to grow in Christ, the more opposition I encountered due to religious laws.  The church had their own brand of “divine”; and I was not following the church mandate when it came to their sacred customs and traditions.  There was always some new club or program to slave in.  I will remind the reader again, I came into the church, trained and commissioned by God to teach and preach his Word. Truthfully, I expected the church to be in alignment with the Holy Spirit.  I did not know that I had to apply to the church and get approval from the church in order to fulfill the GREAT COMMISSION! Oh, please don’t think I don’t understand about the Trial Sermons and Ordination Services! I understand that clearly, but I am referring to the basic responsibility of every Christian to work and witness for the Kingdom of God!

Now, some of you may think that I am bitter and I belittling the church.  This is not true at all. I have been healed and I have forgiven the errors of the church.  However, I am trying to share with the reader, what Christ meant in Matthew 11:28-30, about easy yokes and light burdens.  Now, did I fellowship with my church family?  Yes I did, to a certain extent.  However, they wanted me to labor according to their will and not Christ’s will.  It was determined by the church that I should go here, and go there, and do this and do that!  It was enslavement and servitude to the church and not to Christ.  The point is this, the church had appointed itself the Holy Spirit, as my divine guide, which was the reason for the conflict. There is no confusion in Christ because God is a God of order and decency! The burden and the yoke of this religious membership could not be what Jesus called us to abide in, I thought.  Where is my peace and where is my freedom to serve the Lord according to the calling in my life?  The burden of religion and laws had encompassed my duties to Christ.  I wanted to be delivered and I wanted to be liberated to serve Christ and not a church!

Restlessness and despair compounded my soul, and I knew deep down inside my heart this is not what Jesus wants for his Church!  He taught us by his own living and ministry, that we are not to burden down with the laws of the Scribes and Pharisees. Please do not misunderstand me Church.  Being a Christian does not exempt us from the restrictions and laws of God. In fact, Jesus requires so much more of us to live in the righteousness of God. However, he gives us the spiritual ability to draw our strength from him in order to sustain a righteous and holy life.  Christ does not make demands on his people without giving us the ability to meet those demands. Sadly, the physical church will wear you out with countless meetings and programs to keep the members busy and distracted and serving their purpose and not God calling on their lives! This whole matter of Christianity is about serving God, period!  In spite of this truth, many churches have been turned into a multimillion dollar religious prison and millions of souls are being deceived into believing that they are free.  When in fact, they are enslaved by a form of religion and never knowing the true power of God and his liberating Spirit!

There is only one person who knows God and that is his Son, Jesus the Christ!  The Son of God has offered his easy yoke and his light burden.  He did not mean that this life would be trouble free!  He did not mean that we would not have to face challenges, like so many Christian are taught to believe.  We will all face horrors in the world because sin abides in it! So stop letting these hirelings and false prophets convince you that if you sow a seed into this or that you will be troubled free!!! This is not true! What is true and what Jesus meant is this.  It’s about the yoke of religion as it presented in many churches; and the burden of religious enslavement. By trying to follow a strict course of religious requirements to be judged free and liberated in Christ by the church bylaws!  This is what Christ called bondage!  Please let me make this point, it not legalism nor unholy to FOLLOW IN THE PATH OF THE DIVINE, who is Jesus.  He is our example on how to live a liberated life above the world.  He came to teach us that the imposition of the law, is the greatest religious burden that is imposed on a Christian.  In Christ we are transformed from within, through the Holy Spirit. We are given spiritual peace to live above the world from all its tragedies, anxieties and destruction.  Jesus freely offered this spiritual liberating gift to all who believe and trust in him.  We don’t have to labor for it as we do in religion.  We are called to witness for Christ, not to prove to anyone through labor that we are victorious in Christ.

I am at peace in Christ, and I pray for those who are seeking the same peace and spiritual liberation that I discovered in Christ.  It was not an easy journey to find this truth, but it was a necessary one!  I do not apologize because I don’t behave like your everyday church going Christian. Happily, it is because I am not restricted by religion.  I don’t seek permission from any board to serve God. I am ordered by the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, which is very liberating.  Am I perfect? No, but I am striving IN THE PATH OF THE DIVINE to be like my Savior and to live a life according to his calling for me.  God has given us the power from within to live above the demands of this life.  Why not accept the true gift of love and stop trying to be religious and be truly free! Amen!

For the record, this message is for the Body of Christ. God bless you and amen!

Written by Jessica L. Matthews

This is (part 1 of 10)

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