If God be God over us, we must yield him universal obedience in all things. He must not be over us in one thing, and under us in another, but he must be over us in everything. (Peter Bulkeley, Leadership, Vol. 9, no. 1.)
The word yield comes with many definitions that fit nicely into the Christian description. Yield can mean:
To produce: “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed…” (Genesis 1:29)
To afford: “The flowers in Spring yield a beautiful sight.”
To give: “It is good to yield proper praise to our Lord.”
To permit: “Life is but air, that yields a passage to the whistling sword.”
To emit: “In his final moment, he yielded his last breath.”
To resign: “I yield my spot to you.”
To surrender: “I yield my life to you.”
Yielding can be the greatest hurdle for some as they make their way into the Christian faith. It’s a concept that brings about the idea of weakness in the world. To do any of the above means to play the passive role and the world would have you always to be aggressive.
Anyone who has yielded to God knows, however, that it is not for the weak but for the strong. With worldly forces against you, it takes strength and courage to make the decision to stop the struggles that prevent you from finally conceding your all to the Creator. It takes commitment to fight against the devil’s whispers.
God’s commands us through Paul in his letter to the Philippians 2:3, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” This is not a worldly concept but a godly one. It requires that we think of others before ourselves. It demands that we yield our selfish desires for the betterment of others.
Perhaps the most familiar story in the Bible about the concept of yielding comes in Mark 4. Here we read the Parable of the Sower.
“Again, he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” 9 And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Those who want to yield the greater faith need to plant their seeds in the best soil. That soil can only come from God. In His Word is found all the spiritual nutrients needed to yield the healthiest souls. In His Son was given protection from those things which only promise to rob the seed of their highest production. In His Holy Spirit is found the tender care that helps faith grow to its greatest potential.
But to make it work, we must trust in the Sower, and that means we must yield our hearts. God knows just where we should be planted, but He is not going to force us to take root in the soil He has chosen for you. That has to be a decision we make under direction of His Holy Spirit within us. All who choose their own way will only find the rocks and thorns that the world has to offer.
Yielding everything to God can be a scary thing, but it doesn’t have to be. Trust in Him to plant you in the best soil so that you may yield the greatest crop. Yield your life to Him so that your faith might be able to weather the greatest storms. Let your life become a testimony to the greatness of God. Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, forgive us for only yielding wild grapes when you have given us all we need to grow the greatest crops. Place us among the good soil and help us to grow into something any sower would be proud of. Teach us how to grow and keep us from all those things that would uproot us. Amen.