(John 19:30) When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
When Jesus yielded to the religious leaders who sought to crucify Him, caused me to stop and think. After all He could have called “ten thousand angles” to deliver Him … but He didn’t.
As I began to meditate on this terrible scene, I suddenly realized that there are many levels of yielding and Jesus showed us the ultimate level.
I also discovered that yielding is a process and not an immediate accomplishment. Perhaps that’s what Paul meant when he said that “we should die daily”. Paul seemed to be saying that yielding is a life journey … and total surrender is when we give up the ghost at the end of that journey.
In my younger days I used to work with horses that needed help. Some were only green broke and needed to learn how to rein, stop, turn and so on. In other words, they needed to learn how to yield their will to the riders will.
One day someone brought to me a beautiful high-strung, high powered thoroughbred racehorse that had only been on the racetrack. The owner loved this horse and wanted it trained to be a good saddle horse.
The horse tended to be nervous and jumped around a lot so I needed to find a way of refocusing its attention.
Next to my farm was a thick wooded area with some marshy land, so I decided to ride this horse through those woods even though he hated it. However, before long his attention had shifted from the race track to reluctantly stepping through thick brush and over fallen trees as he walked through the marsh. After a few hours of that unpleasant experience … I returned home with a very tired horse but one that had learned a valuable lesson. It was valuable because he had learned to yield his will to mine and that seemed okay with him.
He learned that his rider was something more than just a jockey how set on his back while he ran and exerted his own will. The woods, brush and marsh had definitely broadened his scope as he became one with me. From then on, I could go up to him anywhere in the pasture and jump on his back and ride him without a saddle or a bridle and he seemed to love the relationship as much as I did.
Perhaps that’s what Paul meant when he said, “that we must die daily”. In other words, we must learn to yield to the will of God even though it may require us to walk through the marsh lands of life.
Thank you for Your patience with us as we learn the art of yielding while walking over the logs and brush and through the marsh lands of our own life. We want to learn how to yield more to You knowing that yielding is a journey and not an immediate destination. Our nature is to run on the track and exert own will rather than to walk through the difficult areas of life. Be patient with us Lord.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Did you ever have the feeling that maybe you had less to do with your life’s direction than you thought? That is not to say that we do not have a free will and can make our own choices. I am only saying that maybe we had some help in making those choices. You know, a nudge here and a caution there, or maybe a strong thought that suddenly came into your mind and you wondered where it came from.
As I look back over my many years of living, I am not sure I ever had an original thought that was not sub-par. That is exactly why Paul said in 1 Corinthians 2:16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.”
In other words, as believers, it’s not whether “we have the mind of Christ” … it is whether we submit to “the mind of Christ”. If not, all of our decisions will be based on our sub-par thinking … and that’s a scary thought.
When I read our text, I feel guided and protected knowing that God’s thinking is higher than my thinking. Because we are a child of God then Proverbs 22:6 can be applied to our relationship, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it”.
We may not always enjoy our training, but the end result is good. There are many things in life that come our way, that may not be of God, but He uses those experiences to draw us closer to Himself.
One such case was when I was in the hospital. God did not put me in the hospital, but He used that time to remind me of who He is and what He had done for me.
I was in a large room on the top floor of the hospital with all windows on one side of the room. This room felt more like a resort room than it did a hospital room.
I did not want to sleep in my bed that night, so the hospital was kind enough to bring in two large recliners. One recliner was for my wife and one recliner was for me. The only light we had in the room that night was the light of the moon shining through all the windows and the occasional flashing light of a helicopter bringing patients to the hospital.
My wife pulled our recliners side by side so we could be near each other. The presence of God seemed to be especially strong that night as we reclined through the night holding hands. It was one of those unexplainable times when we felt as if we were the only two people in the world. We spent the night praising God and thanking Him for all His blessings and knowing that He had given us so much more than we deserved. I also never felt more in love, or at one with my wife, than I did that night.
God used that time in the hospital to renew my soul and remind me of Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for well-being, and not for calamity, in order to give you a future and a hope. Today I am living in that future and in that hope.
Help me to think Your thoughts knowing You have a plan for my future. Thank You Lord for keeping everyone out of my room that night while my wife and I were with You, as we were surrounded by Your glory.
(Matthew 5:15-16) Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
(Proverbs 24:13-14) My son, eat honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb is sweet to your palate; so shall the knowledge of wisdom be to your soul; when you have found it, then there shall be a reward, and your hope shall not be cut off.
2 Corinthian’s 12:2-5 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows—and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses—
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