I’ve noticed something when I drive. I see this sign everywhere, but I see very few people obeying it. Why? It is such a simple concept. It’s easy to do. So why do so many ignore it?
Dictionary.com offers several definitions to the word yield. Three of them involve giving up.
- to give up, as to superior power or authority
- to give up or surrender (oneself)
- to give up or over; relinquish or resign
When you look at these definitions it becomes clear why people ignore the signs. No one wants to give up their position, rights, self. It’s human nature. We want to be in control…on top…numero uno.
Is there any wonder why people also choose to rebel against God? After all, yielding to His will would mean giving up (as to superior power or authority), surrendering oneself, and relinquishing ones rights. No one wants to do that, right? No, that would be contrary to what the world pushes on us. Be all you can be…take care of yourself…take control…live for you. But, I offer that living for yourself and the world brings emptiness and despair. Yielding to Him, however, brings life. Listen to the words of Paul.
But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, so that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ — the righteousness from God based on faith. My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death
Paul had lived for himself and the world prior to a supernatural experience that led him to Christ. From that moment he devoted his life to spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. He yielded to God’s will, and that led him to write the words you just read. Can you and I saw that? Can we truly say we are at that point in our faith where we have yielded to Christ and count everything gained as loss? I dare say we are not. I know I’m not certainly not there yet.
Paul goes on a few verses later to say that he has not reached the goal yet, so he presses on.
I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.
Paul had yielded to God, but he hadn’t yet reached the final goal…the promise of God…eternal life.
As Christ followers we have yielded our lives to Him. At some point in time a decision was made to give up ourselves and relinquish our power. But, just like with driving, we forget what that yield sign means and start thinking about ourselves again. I don’t want to keep doing that. I want to be like Paul and press on toward the goal…eternal life through Jesus Christ my Lord! I want to live second…put Him first in my life. It’s not always easy, but He never said it would be. Yielding is hard. Giving up ones power, rights and self is very hard, but if we want the prize that God has promised, that is exactly what we must do.
I pray that you will join me. Will you be second? Will you pursue the goal…the prize of eternal life? We can do this together, as brothers and sisters. Pray for me…I will pray for you.