But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
Do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the Lord.
But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
The whole idea of yielding is a foreign concept in the 21st century. Most of us want to get ahead, be the boss and receive the world's applause. Men seek to control their destinies. Wives seek to control their husbands. Children seek to control their households.
Christians seek to control each other. Therein, churches seek magnificence. Denominations seek superiority. Pastors seek notoriety. But have we forgotten to seek Him first?*
Consider two meanings of yield: 1) To surrender or submit, 2) To give a return. As followers of Jesus, we are told to do both. First, we must surrender to Him and submit to our leaders, both in the church and in the world: not to seek top places, but rather the lowest seats.**
Next, we are told to give a return: specifically, to give Him
a return on His
investment in us: to be soft soil, to live fruitful lives, to multiply His talents, to reach all nations and to spread good news.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Yield your will to God's will. It's not a one-time decision at Baptism. It's a continual quest. Lest I be labeled a hypocrite, I confess my own failure far too often. Because to yield requires a daily
resignation, as in...
'I resign as boss of this day. I am not the captain of my own salvation. I am not the director of my own drama: not at home, work or school. Lord, I submit to Your will, Your timetable, Your challenges and Your requests. I will try to consider every test a blessing and every blessing a test. If Jesus said, 'I can of Myself do nothing' (John 5:30), then I ask forgiveness for thinking I can in my own power do anything good...'
'If Jesus yielded to You, evil priests, wrong people and cruel Romans, I also yield to You, to Him and to others you have placed as my leaders, even if they seem evil, wrong or cruel. I know that you will lead me, avenge me and set all things right. And at just the right time, if I humble myself; at the point when I can handle honor without becoming proud, You will exalt me. That's your promise. Therein, I yield to You and Your Word.'
To Be Continued...
* 'But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you' (Matthew 6:33)
** 'When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, 'Give your place to this man,' and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place. But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, 'Friend, move up higher;' then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you' (Luke 14:8-10).
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Leadership series.