We hear or have been involved in a lot of yielding in our lives. Most of the time we relate to the term when we merge into a lane of traffic or we yield and let someone in to our lane. We can even get in a position of judging how others either merge or have no clue. Most of the time we can relate to the concept of yielding as “getting along”, “cooperating. There are many definitions of “yield”.
What are some definitions of yield that you are aware of?
In our spiritual life with God we are called to “yield to God”. Using the general terms of getting along and cooperating, we can pretty simply say we yield to God. We cooperate with him, a lot of the time. We get along with God while living out our life. Is that really what God is calling us to do?
What is your personal definition of “yielding to God”?
The bible uses the term yield in multiple situations to explain and lead the reader to the concept of “make alive”, “give life”, “do good”, “do what is right”. We like the idea of doing right, but Paul reminds us of the difficulty…
18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. – Romans 7:18-19 NLT
What is it that drives us to do what is right?
Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires. – Matthew 5:10
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven – Matthew 5:10 ESV
Righteousness, righteousness is what God wants from us. He wants us to abide and represent him well. If we are an example of him, shouldn’t we be doing what is right?
Yield myself to God to be used to bring this Good News to others, both by my example and by my words. – Celebrate Recovery Principle 8
What are some ways you think we can or should be yielding to God?
As a Christian, our entire life should be an example/reflection of Jesus and for us to be more like him and less of us, we need to be willing to change. In all honesty, we should not be striving to be the same, but yielding to change. As men, we have been taught or instructed to be strong, persevere. Many times our focus and attention shifts towards a mode of survivalist. Being able to weather a storm and not change or be impacted becomes a personal merit badge, yet might be just the opposite of God’s will.
Do you acknowledge or have examples of where your focus has slid into forms of survival rather than sanctification?
How is the current battle? What is confusing or difficult in this season of your life?
In his book Crazy Love, Francis Chan explains his early church years and walk with Christ as an attempt to stay away from all the things that “good Christians” should avoid.
“Christianity was simple: fight your desires in order to please God” – Francis Chan
When we get into those similar situations, do we find that we are yielding?
As John the Baptist declared:
He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. – John 3:30 NLT
Sometimes we get frustrated because we don’t really know what to do, until after we do something wrong, then we attempt to repent or avoid situations for a repeat occurrence. There are some direct things a righteous person does to yield to God.
Our Eyes should be yielded
His delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. – Psalms 1:2 ESV
Meditation involves studying a passage of Scripture, memorizing it, praying about it, and exhorting oneself to fulfill it (Ps 42:5, Ps 42:11; Ps 63:6; Ps 119:9–10). Spiritual success depends on the constant study and application of God’s Word (Dt 6:6–9; Jos 1:8).
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus – Hebrews 12:2 ESV
We keep our eyes on Jesus, not on ourselves. We continue to rehearse the famous lines over and over: “what would Jesus do?”.
Also, one of the big challenges of righteousness is to do the work for the Kingdom’s sake. Doing his will. In John chapter 4, Jesus teaches us to pay attention and keep our eyes on the harvest.
What are some basic ways you can yield your eyes to God?
Our Ears should be yielded
Our ears are literally in the form of a funnel and all kinds of things can be captured in them, but we must be diligent in yielding our ears.
In Luke chapter 10, it illustrates how Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to his teachings. We also learned that Paul sat at Gamaliel’s feet and listened to him teach. Are we putting ourself in good positions to hear God’s teachings? Not just commentary, such as this, but the Bible.
If we are yielding our ears to God, that means we are not yielding them to other gods. Yielding our ears is more than just not listening to bad music.
Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. – 1 Timothy 4:7 NLT
Guard the treasure you were given! Guard it with your life. Avoid the talk-show religion and the practiced confusion of the so-called experts. People caught up in a lot of talk can miss the whole point of faith. – 1 Timothy 6:20-21 MSG
Words, thoughts and opinions are thrown around more than facts and truth. As humans, we all have our personal opinions and our flesh is self-seeking. We need to be aware of the talk around us. If the talk is not healthy, and we cannot steer the discussion, we need to leave the discussion.
What are some of the tactics you use when in unhealthy discussions?
There is also a big challenge that people face a lot and that is the struggle with “hearing God”. So many people say that they read their bible and they listen to sermons but they don’t hear from God. Many of the challenges that people face is that they do not yield their ears to God. They may have a great devotional time in the morning and they see things through out the day that represent God, but they do not “listen for Him”. In Acts chapter 8, we get an example of intercession:
Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. – Acts 8:26 ESV
Many times we rush through our day and figuring if God wanted to communicate to us, He would. But as we read and understand scripture, sometimes God sends messengers to take to us. During our hectic schedule we just might not give opportunities to hear from God or his messengers.
How are you yielding your ears to God? Do you have any victories or encouragement that you have learned over time? What is your biggest struggle in hearing God?
This week and this season, be alert and capture some ideas on how you can yield to God. Take a personal challenge to yield your eyes and ears this week to God in new and improved ways. Next week we will come together to share some more about how we can let God be greater and we can be less, by yielding. Think of some other ways to yield as a Christian.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ps 1:2). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ro 7:18–19). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
Cabal, T., Brand, C. O., Clendenen, E. R., Copan, P., Moreland, J. P., & Powell, D. (2007). The Apologetics Study Bible: Real Questions, Straight Answers, Stronger Faith (p. 789). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
Peterson, E. H. (2005). The Message: the Bible in contemporary language (1 Ti 6:20–21). Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress.