Wednesday, 4 February 2015


Yield. to give or render as fitting, rightfully owed, or required.
to give up possession of:
to surrender or relinquish to the physical control of another;
to surrender or submit oneself to another;
to relinquish one's possession of a position of advantage or point of superiority eg yield precedence;

Give way to arguments, demands, or pressure.
"the Western powers now yielded when they should have resisted"
yield: surrender, capitulate, submit, relent, admit defeat, back down, climb down, give in, give up the struggle, lay down one's arms, raise/show the white flag; informal - throw in the towel, cave in
give in to, give way to, submit to, bow down to, comply with, agree to, consent to, go along with;
grant, permit, allow;
"he yielded to her demands"
The opposite: resist, defy

Relinquish possession of something; give something up.
synonyms: relinquish, surrender, cede, remit, part with, hand over;

When I see these words, something inside me rises up in protest. No! Yielding is the last thing I want to do...

But the Bible, in words and example of Jesus and the Spirit, calls us again and again to submit.

Abraham submitted to God's leading to leave and go.
Jacob submitted to Esau to restore relationship between them.
Ruth submitted to her mother-in-law Naomi, doing what Naomi told her to do.
Mary submitted to the Holy Spirit when she became pregnant with Jesus.
Jesus submitted to a hideous death.

Romans 12:1 "So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him."

We are encouraged/told/admonished over and over again: submit to God.

But how do we recognise when and who we should submit to?  And even then, how?

I was listening to a discussion about the clash between President Lyndon Johnson and Martin Luther King; of how the scripture 'Be a good citizen. All governments are under God. Insofar as there is peace and order, it’s God’s order. So live responsibly as a citizen. If you’re irresponsible to the state, then you’re irresponsible with God, and God will hold you responsible.' (Romans 13:1 - 3) was used to block King's attempts to stop segregation: a case without doubt for challenging the authorities, not 'subject to' them.

We need wisdom and discernment to know when we are called NOT to yield, but to stand firm. We need to know when we shouldn't 'sweat the small stuff'. To recognise what is from God, and what is just our own selfishness.

A humble person - or a doormat? A doormat for God which just says' Welcome'?

So how do we submit to others?
Do we yield to those who are in authority over us, without question? Or only if we think they are right?
Do we yield to those who think they are in authority over us? When? How?

When we yield, perhaps the biggest thing we give up is pride.
We may consider that we are right, and the other is wrong; so it is hard to yield. We give up the 'dream' of getting something right.
We may be giving up our position, fearing that our status will then be lower than before.
At the root of feelings of unease or dislike, when we have to yield to others, is pride.

Yet Jesus is humility.

Paul says: ""Now make me completely happy! Live in harmony by showing love for each other. Be united in what you think, as if you were only one person.  Don’t be jealous or proud, but be humble and consider others more important than yourselves.  Care about them as much as you care about yourselves.

Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honoured him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honour of God the Father.

...simply keep on doing what you’ve done from the beginning. ...redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure.

Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night so I’ll have good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns. You’ll be living proof that I didn’t go to all this work for nothing." Philippians 2

Is there any difference in this advice between Christians and non-Christians?  Should we yield more readily to other believers?

In the end, what matters is that we submit to God. When we do so, when we recognise HIS complete authority over us with no ifs, buts, or other excuses, then he promises:  "I’ll pour pure water over you and scrub you clean. I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands." (Ezekiel 36:25 - 27)

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