A moment to Yield

In my experience, when things are the most exceptionally challenging, God has the most exceptional response.  Let’s imagine for a moment, you are driving along a road approaching a 4-way intersection.  You know something big is happening because coming toward the intersection on your right is a police car, coming in on the left is an ambulance and coming in straight ahead is a fire truck.  You are likely to get to the intersection first. Do you speed up and get through before the convergence of emergency vehicles or do you yield to allow the response team to get where they need to be.   Of course, we would never want to be in the way of help getting where it is needed, so our job in this picture is to yield.  Now imaging the crisis is in your life, and coming toward the intersection is God, your creator, Jesus, your healer, and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.  Will you yield?  What does it mean to yield in this context?
 I think it means letting go of our own ideas of what things should look like and trusting each character in our story to give us a glimpse into something bigger.  God promises us if we yield to him in difficulties, he will respond exceptionally.  To yield means to give way.  To yield to God means to give up on our own thoughts of what should and shouldn’t be and allow God to unfold His Glory before our eyes.  
    In the Exodus story, we enter into a tumultuous time where a new king has come into power over Egypt. He is afraid of the Israelites increasing in numbers and imagining them joining forces with Egypt’s enemies and coming up against them.  Pharaoh commands all male babies be put to death.  And, we find ourselves in the story of Moses’ birth. His parents are not named here, but we know from Numbers chapter 26, Moses’ father’s name is Amram, and his mother is Jochebed.  We also know names in the Bible have meaning. The name Jochebed means “Yahweh is Glory.”  I imagine with a name like that your life and all that you do would reflect its meaning. So Amram and Jochebed have a son, and Jochebed sees that he is ‘a fine’ baby. With the pride of a mother, she looks at her young son and sees something more glorious yet to come.  She sees a vision of a future that she must protect.  She is a faithful and intelligent woman, and recognizing that she cannot protect him on her own must entrust him to God.  In this most difficult time, she must trust God’s exceptional response. She gives Moses up, not once but twice.  She gives him up when she places him in the river, and then later, after raising him in his early years, she gives him back to Pharoah’s daughter.  This is a yielding I cannot even imagine, but what a sacrifice to behold.   Often letting go, yielding is how we make way for God’s great response to our difficulties.   Jochebed had a glimpse of something great in this precious child and dared to let go.  
We often think if we hold on tighter to that which we cherish that we can protect it. This idea brings us to the Gospel story, and Peter, who has been with Jesus for quite some time now. Peter has had glimpse after glimpse of God moments, and yet when things get tough, he leaps into the intersection.  Peter in this moment didn’t have a vision of the greatness in God’s response.  Even with all the teaching of his Lord that came before this, he simply didn’t understand. Jesus’ response sounds harsh. “Get back, Satan” This makes me think we must be careful.  If we are not yielding to God, we are yielding to something else.  Maybe we don’t want to think it is satan.  But what are we yielding to?  Fear? Control? Our ideals? Our plans? Our need for security?  We must let loose our expectations, our comforts and yield to God so that God can intervene in ways greater than we have ever seen before, and seeing God’s response, we are liberated to become more than we have ever been before.  
  Moses was a living sacrifice, he bought the Israelites out of the oppression of Egypt.  Jesus was a living sacrifice,  he brought us out of the oppression of sin.  In the yielding to God, greater glory was revealed.
 In Romans 12, we are called to be a living sacrifice to offer ourselves up, yielding our will to God’s.  And we are warned not to think too highly of ourselves.  Not to try to play a more significant role than is ours to play.  I have learned the hard way that when I try to do too much, I miss things and make mistakes.  These mistakes often hurt others.  As a living sacrifice, we are called to do our part and make way for others to do their part, together, we create a bigger picture that, as in the life of Jochebed, can be a reflection of God’s Glory.For Moses to become “the Moses,” who parted the Red Sea.  God needed not only Jochebed; he needed Miriam, Moses’ sister, to do her part.  He needed Pharaoh’s daughter to do hers.  For the Gospel to spread, God needed Peter not to stop the crucifixion but to be the rock on which Christ could build his church.  What is our part in this tumultuous time? What are we called to do, and how are we called to yield.  We will not likely be able to see in our present-day difficulties God’s significant response. Still, we can trust in the glimpses of God and know that if we do our part and give God the right of way, he will respond most exceptionally, and His Glory will be revealed.

Exodus 2 Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son.  When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket [a] for him and coated it with tar and pitch.  Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile.His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.  Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it.She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.  Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?”  “Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him. 10 When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses,[b] saying, “I drew him out of the water.”

Romans 12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will.  For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your [a] faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Matthew 16  13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter,[b] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[c] will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[d] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[e] loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

3 thoughts on “A moment to Yield

  1. Bill Baumgarten

    When approaching an intersection, esp the one near my house, I slow down…look left / right…and repeat the mantra:
    “Do Not Punch!” Do not try to beat the on-coming. Wait. Stop. Wave the car thru.
    Wish I could do that with these unsettling times. Your Glimpse helps me to ‘not punch’ @ God,
    @ Jesus, @ the Spirit. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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