Pastor Scott Turner from Shoreline Christian Church in Carmel Valley blew into the Rock this week like a whirlwind from the Holy Spirit to preach a powerful message.
The dictionary says that "to yield" means "to allow, to admit to be true, to surrender and to give way".
God has Great Plans for Us
Jeremiah 1:5 tells us that before God formed us in our mother's womb He knew us. Jeremiah 29:11 says the Lord's thoughts toward us are of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
God knows the plans that He has for us, not the plans we have for us.
In spite of what Jeremiah tells us, Christians have trouble yielding to God because we're selfish and we don't put the things of the Lord first in our lives. We live by the flesh and not by the spirit. Galatians 5:16 says, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
One of more well-known passages in the bible is Matthew 26:41b which says, The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Feeding the Spirit
So how do we feed (and therefore strengthen) our spirit?
We feed our spirit through prayer, by attending church, by spending time in God's word, through worship and by fellowshipping with other believers in Christ. We put worldly things before the things of the Lord. We've all experienced it-our jobs and careers, sports, education, friends, even overworking in the church take up our time and before we know it, there's no time left for God.
Questions to Check Ourselves
It's easy to get caught up in whatever it is we're doing. It's always tempting to rely on our strength and our own wisdom. But that isn't what God wants and if we rely on ourselves we'll miss out on a lot of God's blessings.
Scott gave us five questions to ask ourselves on whether we are yielding ourselves to the Lord.
- What have we been allowing in our lives: spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally?
- What do you admit to be true in your life; that is, what do you concede to? Is it based on God's word, or on what's current and convenient?
- Are you permitting God and trusting Him to have His way in you?
- Are you allowing God to use you for His glory?
- Are you totally surrendered to Him today?
People from the Bible that Yielded to God
2 Chronicles 16:9 tells us For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.
Moses was yielded to God. When God told Moses to go to Pharaoh and get His kids out of Egypt, Moses claimed inadequacy. Exodus 3:11 But Moses was committed to God and God showed Himself strong through Moses. Moses' heart was loyal to God, and God did the rest.
Likewise Noah yielded to God. Genesis 6:14 Noah didn't know a flood from Adam; Noah didn't even know what rain was. But God told Noah to take his family and two of each animal, male and female, and shut them up in the ark, and Noah did according to all that God commanded him. Genesis 6:22 He didn't delay. He obeyed. Scott tells us delayed obedience is disobedience.
In Genesis 22:2 when God told Abraham to take his only son Isaac to offer as a sacrifice in Moriah, we see in the very next verse that Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, ...and went to the place of which God had told him. Abraham didn't delay. He passed the test and God provided His own sacrifice.
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is best example of one yielding to God more than anyone. Though He was God's only son, He made himself a servant and came to a sinful world and offered Himself as a sinless sacrifice without spot or blemish.
If God asks you to do something, will you do it? Pray that God would remove from your life whatever it is that prevents you from yielding to Him.