Each morning, I drive my son to school. It’s a great time to just hang with him, hear about what’s in store for him that day, remind him I love him. and pray with him. On the way home there is an intersection that apparently causes some drivers to suffer temporary amnesia. Many of those who approach this intersection with the intention of making a right turn, yield instead of going ahead and turning. Now, yielding is important because if we all drove our cars without yielding, then we’d have accidents every day; however, yielding at an intersection where you don’t have a “yield sign” is not only annoying to other drivers, it’s also dangerous.
Let me try to paint the picture for you. These characters roll up to the intersection with their right turn signal on. I’m coming the other way, attempting to turn left. Without a yield sign, what are they supposed to do? They are supposed to go ahead and turn right. But do they do that? No. They stop and wait for me to turn left in front of them. This bothers me. I’m not sure why, but it bothers me. I’m waiting for them to do what they’re supposed to do (turn right), and they are waiting for me to turn left. All the while, the traffic builds up behind both of us, and then the horns begin to blare. Not only does this annoy me, but it’s also dangerous. Now, I’m in danger of making a hasty decision to turn left in front of oncoming traffic because the folks behind me don’t know why I’m not turning. And consider the folks who are behind the too-cautious-to-turn-right-guy. They’re blaring their horns trying to get this guy to see that he has the right-of-way, and should go ahead and turn right. More than a few times, I’ve nearly collided in these situations because we both end up turning at the same time. Nice!
All because someone decided to “yield”, when they should have been “going”. Again, learning how to yield is an important part of driving; however, yielding when you should be going is not only annoying and dangerous….its also against the law. When there is no yield sign, we’re supposed to “go”.
No, this post is not about my driving idiosyncrasies, and yes, these is a spiritual parallel.
We who profess to be Jesus’ disciples have been told to “Go”, but far too many of us “yield” instead. We’ve been given a command to “go and make disciples of all nations”…that is to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost people around us and partner with Him as He transforms people from living for self to living for God’s glory as a disciple of Jesus. This means we are to “go”. Go to our lost friends and family. Go to our lost neighbors. Go to the lost in our community. Go to the lost around the world. Go, Go, Go.
But instead of “going”, we “yield”.
Learning how to “yield” is a critical part of growing as a disciple of Jesus. After all, it was Jesus who modeled yielding for us when He cried out to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night he was arrested, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42). Yielding is remembering that we are not our own, but have been bought with a price. It is remembering that the reason for our existence is to glorify our God, not ourselves. It is finding joy in pleasing Christ, rather than in pleasing self. Ultimately, yielding is doing the will of the Father, not our own will.
But if the Father says “Go”, and instead we’re “yielding”…then we’re not just yielding, we’re breaking the law.
We yield for a number of reasons. Just as the “too-cautious-to-turn-right” guy, sometimes we yield because we’re afraid. Fearful of not saying the right things and fumbling over our own words in an attempt to share the Gospel. Fearful of what others might think of us if we talked to them about the hope we have in Christ. Fearful of being seen as different; of being rejected. Other times we yield because “going” doesn’t fit into our schedule or “our plans”. It takes us out of our comfort zone. It requires us to change priorities. It means we may need to give something up in order to “go”.
Regardless of the reason, our “yielding” when the Father has told us to “Go”, simply means that we are yielding to “self” instead of yielding to our God.
Friends, Jesus said, “Go”. That’s His plan for your life. Are you going? Or are you sitting in the turn lane, “yielding” to your plan instead?