Last week when I was at my girlfriends house and her dog did the funniest thing. She wouldn’t walk through the kitchen to go outdoors to go to the bathroom. She knew she needed to go through the kitchen, but resisted with all 4 legs stiff as a board. My girlfriend could literally slide her dog across the floor, legs stiff as a board, she resisted every attempt to cross the kitchen floor. It was amazing she would resist so strongly to something that was good for her, to get outdoors to do her business.
Isn’t that like us sometimes. We resist God’s attempts to move us along, even when we know its good for us. He clearly lays the path before us, yet we still won’t surrender, we’d rather be the one in control. We may think we know what’s best, but God always knows what’s best for us and life would be much smoother if only we’d yield to his direction.
Often our resistance gets us into trouble, sending us down a path that causes us to miss the good blessings God has for us. Other times, we go our own way, stumble and fall because we thought we knew best. I can be quite self focused at times, not paying attention to the cues God places before me. My resistance to the Father prevents me from growing spiritually. I often wonder how many blessings I’ve missed simply because I’ve chosen to go my own direction.
As believers we have the Holy Spirit within us to guide, counsel, and provide us wisdom. But like anything, we can choose to shut out the Holy Spirit’s movement in our life. God gave us this free will and He will not force himself and His guidance upon us, we must choose to follow Him. When we choose to give the Holy Spirit freedom to reign in our hearts, He will direct our path and we will grow spiritually. A transformation occurs and we reflect Christ within us.
To live a life yielded to the Spirit requires time to get to know Him. Time spent in His Word is the best way to see the goodness of God, to taste and see that the Lord is good. (Psalm 34:8)
For me, the act of surrender relates closely to abiding in Christ. I have learned that the closer I am to God, abiding in Him, the more willing I am to yield to His direction. For me, this happens as I spend time reading His words in scripture. Sometimes I read just for the sheer joy of reading His Word and other times I read as part of a Bible study I am participating in. Either way, the truth of the matter is, you can’t live a life yielded to the Holy Spirit if you don’t read the words of God. It is difficult to discern God’s direction without knowing something about Him first.
The willingness to yield to the Holy Spirit is often dependent on our level of commitment to following Jesus. How committed are you to following Jesus? What do you know of His character that you have seen displayed in your own life?
For me there is a verse I use to remind myself that God is for me, that He knows what’s best for me. It’s a verse that reminds us if we stay connected to the Father, reading His word consistently and praying, we will hear His voice directing our path. Not an audible voice, but an impression that is confirmed by events or scripture. The verse I love is from the book of Isaiah. It simply says: Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21) I am able to surrender to His call, because I have seen Has faithfulness in scripture and in my own life. I can rest in the knowledge of staying connected to Him through the Holy Spirit will bring me peace, even when the call seems big, and that if I stay connected to the vine that is Jesus, I can walk securely on the path He lays before me.
Take the time today to taste and see that the Lord is good and read of The Vine in John 15:1-12. What evidence of fruit do you see in your life? I pray that together we will look to the Holy Spirit within us and yield to the Father’s call today.