Saturday, July 20, 2019


Photo by Piotrus 2008

I have always been the type of person who likes to plan ahead, anticipating every contingency, trying to do things in the best order and timing for the optimal result, no matter what the storms of life may bring. Organizing the smallest details helps to give me an illusion of control.

But there are some storms that take us by surprise like a sucker punch in broad daylight, when we’re off guard because the street is well-lit, the weather is sunny and calm, and we’re in a familiar neighborhood in our home town. How could we know that an assailant was waiting behind a building to knock the very wind out of us, to change our world in an instant?

As we struggle to our feet and try to shake ourselves off, that old instinct to take control resurfaces. All will be well if we utilize our intellect, resources and strength to make sense of this attack and to plan the best strategy to recover from it,

But as born-again Christians (John 3:3-8), who have been saved by trusting in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) as the only Way to Heaven (John 14:6), we must resist this urge to take control. We must let go and let God. We must be still and know that He is God, and we are not (Psalm 46:10). We must yield to His perfect will, timing, power, and infinite love.

Under Holy Spirit inspiration, the apostle Paul wrote that we should not yield our body to be an instrument of sin, but instead we should yield ourselves to God, for He has raised us from spiritual death. We should yield our body as an instrument of righteousness to accomplish God’s purpose and mission for us (Romans 6:13-19). We should use our tongue to sing His praise (James 3:8-11), our hands to do His work (Ephesians 4:28), and our feet to carry us to where we can spread His Word (Romans 10:15).

The battles we fight are not against physical enemies and forces, but against spiritual foes. We can withstand these only by putting on the whole armor of God, with which He protects us in this warfare (Ephesians 6:11-18). Just as good soldiers yield to the orders of their commander, we must yield to the will of our perfect Captain and great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16). Nothing catches Him by surprise, for He alone knows the ending from the beginning, and He is both (Revelation 1:8).

He loves us infinitely (1 John 4:8), desires only what is best for His children (James 1:17; Philippians 4:19), and He has complete wisdom and power to do what He deems best for us (Romans 11:33; 2 Samuel 22:33; Psalm 62:11).

If we stubbornly refuse to yield, we are attempting to fight the battle in our own flesh (Romans 7:18), which is no match for Satan and his minions and forces of darkness. God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). His grace is sufficient, and His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Every thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7), every storm cloud looming on the horizon or even shaking us with wind, lightning and thunder, is there only because He allows it into our life. No weapon formed against us can prosper (Isaiah 54:17), for He works all things together for good for those who love Him, who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

He may allow us to endure hardships to become closer to Him, to strengthen our faith (Romans 5:3-5), to conform us into His image (Philippians 3:10), and to give us wisdom and compassion to help those going through similar trials (2 Corinthians 1:3-5). When we act like rebellious children, He chastens us to yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness as we are restored to fellowship with Him (Hebrews 12:11).

Though He slays us, we should trust Him (Job 13:15), for His ways and thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). Once we have trusted Jesus Christ, our eternal destiny is secure with Him in Heaven (John 10:27-29), so why should we fear anything (Psalm 118:6) that we perceive as a threat to our earthly, temporal existence? 

Indeed, His perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18), if we only yield in submission to His great plan. We don’t need to understand, only to trust, obey and yield (Isaiah 50:10).

If we are malleable to His shaping, like clay on the Potter’s wheel (Isaiah 64:8), He can mold us into a vessel fit for His use (Romans 9:21; 2 Timothy 2:21). Without yielding to His expert touch, we are not His workmanship, but rebellious and brittle fragments that shatter against the wheel.

Yielding to His will also means we yield to others, placing their needs ahead of our own (Ephesians 5:21).. When we see a “Yield” sign on the road, it means to allow others to pass rather than stubbornly claiming our own right of way.

And if we yield to God’s plan for our life, no matter how dismal the circumstances may seem, He has promised that our yield will increase (Mark 4:8). Allowing the Master Gardener to prune us increases our yield of souls led to Him and fellow believers we have encouraged. Without Him, we can do nothing, but in Him, we will bear much fruit (John 15:5). May we trust and hope in the Lord, to be like a tree planted by rivers of living water, never ceasing to yield fruit (Jeremiah 17:7-8) even in times of drought, sorrow and trouble!  

© 2019 Laurie Collett



Aritha said...

Thank you for this helping blogpost. Good lesson for me personally.

Laurie Collett said...

You're very welcome, Aritha! I'm blessed by your comment.
Thanks for your comment and God bless,

Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Laurie,
Although I have never tried my hand in pottery, what the Bible says about likening God as a potter is interesting. According to Jeremiah 18, the prophet is led by God to watch a potter in action. He then sees him collapse his handiwork back into a ball and then start again.
Many years ago, I heard a sermon preached on this very piece of scripture, and it was suggested that the reason why the potter had to start again was because he had found a stone in the clay, and he couldn't proceed with his work successfully until the stone was removed.
It's a good illustration. The craftsman does not throw the clay out, only the stone.
As you say, once we're in Christ, we are part of God's family and we can never be disenfranchised! Once the stones in us are removed, God will provide his Son a bride who will be spotless and without blemish, which we will all be.
An excellent post, God bless.

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Frank,
Thank you so much for sharing this sermon message. It makes more sense that the Potter would start over once He has purged the clay of the stone, rather than because He changed His mind or did not shape the vessel correctly. Our God makes no mistakes. Only He can purge us of our sins and make us a new creation in Him.
Thanks as always for your insightful comment. God bless,

Donald Fishgrab said...

Great post, Laurie.

Too often, we are encouraged to fight harder rather than to just yield to God. We cannot defeat Satan in our own power, but he uses our pride to make us think we can, giving us an illusion of victory even when we have lost.

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Donald! We must flee temptation and resist the devil, but the battle is the Lord's, and His victory has already been won.
God bless,