Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23 NLT)
We returned last week from a two week vacation out West where we visited Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks and made the trek up to Banff National Park in Canada. We drove over four thousand miles in the process. The Rockies were as stunning to the senses as I remembered them from visits in years gone by. But in contrast, the driving habits of those we met on the road rather defied my sensibilities. It didn’t seem to matter where we were. Even when passing through the Dakotas and amongst our friendly neighbors to the North, I swear the common courtesy of using a turn signal and yielding for lane changes have all but gone the way of the buffalo. Why is Western common courtesy nearly extinct? I guess it stands to reason that you cannot expect people who don’t use their turn signals to bother honoring those who do. Maybe it has something to do with the sparsely populated wide open spaces and people being accustomed to driving their broncos with no one else around.
At any rate, it gave me new appreciation for how vital it is to possess and exercise the grace of yielding in our everyday lives. Yielding is a grace because it a gift of unmerited favor extended to another. To yield in deference to another person is often not without a measure of personal sacrifice. It places another’s will and desires before one’s own. In most cases it does so in hope and in faith that in the due course one’s own rightful turn will come.
In Christian terms, the grace of yielding finds it highest form in a person yielding their will and ways to God. Such yielding is nurtured in an inherent faith and trust in God’s good will and intentions for a person’s life. To yield to God is to say to Him, “I trust it is only in surrendering my will to you that I am enabled to truly find and experience that which is best for me.”
A lack of grace for yielding is rooted in a preoccupation with self. Self-interest is consumed with one’s own needs and desires. It is often fueled by a fear of loss and/or lack that causes a person to be oblivious the needs of others. When a person is resistant in yielding to God they are saying, “I want my own way because I just don’t trust you will do what is best for me.”
Yielding in any setting requires faith. Faith willingly sacrifices a lesser known in hopes of experiencing a greater unknown. It trusts that accepting a denial or delay now is actually paving the way for a more magnanimous approval and advancement in the future.
Yielding in faith to God is the key that unlocks the door to many blessings in life. The principle applies not only in our relationship with God and our relationship with others, but also in dealing with personal struggles and realizing our dreams. You have heard the phrase, “let go and let God”. That describes it in five simple words. “Let go” of what I want, feel, desire, demand, like, prefer, wish for, insist upon or need “and” instead “let God” decide the who, what, where, when, why and how. That is the very essence of yielding.
May I recommend to you one of the most impacting messages I have ever heard on this topic? It was given by one of the twentieth century’s greatest Bible teachers by the name of Derek Prince. It is entitled “The Grace of Yielding” and is available in written form (PDF) and also as an audio format.
I pray that the grace of yielding is bearing fruit in your life and in your driving.
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