Yielding

I’ve been going through Steve Pettit’s book Walking in the Spirit: A Study Through Galatians 5 recently, and it brought back to mind this post I wrote about 6 years ago. Sometimes I need to remind myself of past lessons. I thought I’d share it again here as well, with a little tweaking.
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I had finished reading Romans several days ago and Galatians this morning, and truths from both of them were in my thoughts.

There are two verses in Romans 6 that talk about yielding:

“Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God” (Romans 6:13).

“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Romans 6:16).

While I understood and agreed with those verses, there was one aspect that troubled me in regard to my “besetting sins,” and that was the word “yield.” I was thinking of it as a synonym for “let” — in other words, don’t let yourself sin, but let yourself do right. “Let” seemed appropriate for yielding to sinful impulses — it is all too easy to let the flesh do what it wants to do — but it seemed I couldn’t just “let” myself do right. I rather needed to make myself do right, often with a lot of prayer and struggling with the flesh.

Tied in with those verses from Romans was this one from Galatians 5:16-17 that I just read this morning:

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”

I thought of the word “walk” in terms of taking a series of steps, and walking in the Spirit as taking those steps under the Holy Spirit’s control and direction while verse 17 acknowledges that conflict between flesh and Spirit.

A picture came to my mind of coming up to a yield sign in traffic. What do you do when you see a yield sign? You put on the brakes and you let the people in the other lane have the right of way.

And suddenly it became clear: the whole idea of yielding to God involved stepping on the brakes of my flesh (only made possible because of His gracious enablement) and letting Him have His way, not just in the big decisions of life, but my everyday walk and choices.

I don’t know if that distinction helps or makes sense to anyone else, but it was a light bulb moment for me.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me, I pray!
Power, all power, surely is Thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o’er my being absolute sway!
Fill with Thy Spirit ’till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me.

– Ad­e­laide A. Poll­ard

(Photo courtesy of FreeFoto.com.)

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2 thoughts on “Yielding

  1. What a beautiful thought you have expressed here today, Barbara. I like the picture that you came up with! Putting on the brakes! Thank you so much for sharing this again!

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