“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers…
for what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?
Or what fellowship can light have with darkness.”
(2 Corinthians 6:14, NIV)
Failure to know God is the single most damaging evidence of mankind’s spiritual darkness. When as believers, we enjoy fellowship with our many non-Christian friends – that is simply life’s expected global environment. We are called to be salt and light in that normal situation. However, when we choose unbelievers to be our partners – in marriage or in business, then we become unequally yoked. As explained above in 2 Corinthians, making unredeemed partnerships goes directly against God’s instruction!
The Bible says, “walk in the light, as He is in the light, having fellowship with one another…” (1 John 1:7) A Christian’s prayerfully chosen spouse and his or her closest friends should always be children of – shared light! Our goal in life is to be yoke-fellows with those who understand and share our values as disciples of Christ. The Bible says, “Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and you will be destroyed.” (Proverbs 13:20)
It is not enough for a potential life partner to simply believe in God or be religious. Redeeming faith runs much deeper than that. It is what we actually believe about God’s identity that ultimately makes the eternal – difference. As an example, several world religions and non-Christian cults profess to believe in Jesus, however they do not accept His divinity! This rejection of God’s clear revelation insults His holy integrity!
God’s warning about insincere faith could not be stronger. Jesus declared, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven…” (Matthew 7:21) This explains why He also said, “This is the work of God: that you believe in the One whom He has sent.” (John 6:29)
Those who became spiritually yoked to the Lord Jesus had this to say, “…we testify and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us — what we have seen and heard we also declare to you, so that you may have fellowship with us …” (1 John 1:2-3) To be yoked with such like-minded believers produces deep satisfaction, so start specifically asking for such relationships to personally enjoy!
Living in loving union with God for eternity is the essence of spiritual success and lasting contentment. What we believe about our Savior’s identity provides the living water which heaven freely offers. He alone is life’s living water (John 4:13-14) so if our own loved ones remain spiritually dry and thirsty, we may find ourselves having closer fellowships with virtual strangers than we enjoy with our own immediate family.
Tragically, many of those we cherish the most may not yet be able to be our spiritual yoke-fellows. God’s eternal Truth has no shade of gray, so believing it either unites or divides us! Consider the Biblical question, “…what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14) (also see Matthew 10:34-36)
Jesus declared, “anyone who loves his father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me…” (Matthew 10:37-38) When we personally experience eternal Truth, being yoked with our Savior and His countless disciples becomes life’s highest privilege.
Quietly ask yourself –
“Am I currently walking in the warmth of the Lord’s light?
Am I enjoying close fellowship with other committed Christians?
Who are my most trusted soul mates?”
They will be your spiritual yokefellows.
Remember that your best friends will usually become your partners in ministry, so choose them wisely. Enduring spiritual relationships are built on trust and highly dependable integrity. Pause to quietly reflect on the past and give thanks for the Christ-honoring friendships that have already proven to be uplifting. Next, stop to recall the light-weight superficial friendships that have been just the opposite!
Don’t forget the important verse that we looked at earlier, King Solomon said, “Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and you will be destroyed.” (Proverbs 13:20) God’s yokefellows wisely guide, protect, and encourage one another.
Always seek to be a caring friend and stay close to those who share your spiritual values. Remember what the Scriptures teach. Spiritually, “iron sharpens iron,” so by your example, help your yokefellows stay focused on being prepared for daily ministry!
By Billie Hanks Jr.