Proverbs 16:3 “Commit to the LORD, whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”
Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may be evidence of the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Integrity. It is a word that doesn’t seem to matter much in our world anymore. Integrity is defined as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles” (Merriam Webster).
Our lives as Christian should be about integrity and obedience to God and His Word. Our insides and outsides should match. If we say we are Christians we should live in Christ-likeness.
Matthew 15:8 describes hypocrites as those who honor the Lord with their lips but their hearts are far from Him. This is also said in Isaiah 29:13 regarding the Israelites. I think if each of us would look at our lives, we too could find how we at times live as hypocrites as well. We say or think one thing and do just the opposite.
We can’t just say we are Christians, there needs to be some evidence in our lives. When we yield to the Lord in the way we live out our days we will reflect Christ-likeness. Jesus yielded all of His life to the Father even unto death on the cross.
We have a choice moment-by-moment. We can live life for ourselves, our own wishes, wants, and desires, doing our own thing. Or we can live for the Lord, living a life pleasing to Him.
We often think we know what is best and then move through life without consulting Him. But, that being said, if we are honest with ourselves we know that is not how we are to live and more often than not, it does not end up being the best thing. So how do we change?
We have choices in this life, we have a freewill. The four choices I am about to share can help each one of us in growing in the area of yielding. These are choices that we can learn to cultivate as we go through our days. They will take time and practice.
1. Choose to Abide– We need to open our hearts to His presence and remain with Him throughout our days. He is the Vine, and we are the branches. As we abide He is connected to us and us to Him. He moves through our days with us and give us the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding for all that comes our way.
2. Choose to Attend- We need to still our minds to hear Him. When we attend to something or someone, our focus is on the thing or that person. Life’s busyness often keeps us distracted. It is so easy to lose sight of the Lord and miss what He has for us. Our spirits need to be attentive to His leading as we go through our days. He pricks our hearts to touch another person’s life with love when it naturally would not even cross our minds. He knows the big picture, He knows the effect. He knows the outcome and how it may grow His Kingdom.
3. Choose to Abandon– We need to abandon all to Him, but we especially need to release our personal desires for attention, and for acknowledgment, so that we can seek to desire that He alone is glorified. It’s all about Him, not all about me. This is such a hard lesson to learn. We want to be acknowledged for our work, for our ideas, we fight to get the recognition to make us feel good, or worthwhile. It seems like a hard lesson to learn to realize that all that really matters is the Lord. It does not come naturally to think that this life is all about accomplishing His will for His glory. It is hard to get self out of the way.
4. Choose to be Available– We need to let go of our agendas and be ready to act when He calls upon us. We can accomplish so much for the kingdom by being available to the Lord. We may think we are doing the Lord a favor by trying to grow a big, effective program on our own, but that may not be true if is not what the Lord wants, if it is not fulfilling His purposes. His thoughts and ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9)
Each of these choices lend themselves to helping us to practice yielding our lives to God.
And, although, I know in my heart that I want to live out each of these choices daily in my life, I also know that none of these come naturally or easily. I need to pray for help so that I may grow in doing each of these. I need to ask myself these questions as I go through my day:
- Am I choosing to abide in the Lord in this moment? Or am I trying to make my own way?
- Am I choosing to attend the Spirit’s leading, to the whisper of His windwords? Or is the noise of the world shutting Him out?
- Am I choosing to abandon my need to get the praise and accolades and seeking to give Him all the glory? Or is this all about me and what I can get for me?
- Am I choosing to be available to Him as I go through my day? When I feel the Holy Spirit nudge me am I willing to drop my agenda and move according to His leading? Or is what I am doing more important to me?
Learning to yield, living a yielding life, is a constant challenge for as long as we are in this flesh.
Romans 7:8 tells us “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is in my flesh, for I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.”
Every action begins with an attitude, with a choice, how will you go through your day? What will you choose? Will it be your own desires or yielding to Him in all you do?