Word of the Year- Yield

Vine tendrils at dusk

I know the year is already well under way, but I didn’t want to choose a word for this year until I was sure what God was telling me that word should be.

Yielding has been on my mind a lot.

I have been spending a significant amount of time in John 15, meditating on abiding in God and what that looks like.

John 15:1-11

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.

Jesus is talking here.  Our Savior shares some rich truths about how we can dwell in relationship with God- just as He faithfully did during his time on earth.

Each verse is rich with truth and promises of how we can abide- what that looks like- we are mirroring the relationship that the Father and Son share.

Remaining in that relationship of rest that we hear about in Matthew 11:28-30 requires that we accept the yoke of Christ- that is obedience.  Letting go of my own self-will and submitting to God.

We abide in love; Jesus abides in us continually as we seek to submit and live in obedience.

The yoke that we carry becomes lighter- for we are abiding in the love of God and bearing fruit for him- and joy flows out of this union.

I have something taped to my computer screen- it says, “I am yielded to God. All my rights and expectations are His.”

I still feel like I am trying to figure out what that means, what that life looks like.  There is still so much selfishness and self-will, pride and worldliness.

The word Yield has several definitions:

  • To give over possession of, as in deference or defeat; surrender.
  • To give up one’s place, as to one that is superior.
  • To give in to what one can no longer oppose or resist.

I acknowledge that God is superior to me.  That the right relationship for me is indeed to be yielded to Him.

In His amazing, all-surpassing grace, he has given us the freedom to resist Him- but I have found that the more time I spend in His Word and in prayer, the weaker my resolve to resist becomes.  I find myself echoing David:

Ps. 119:81-  My soul languishes for your salvation; I hope in your Word.
Ps. 119:97- Oh, how I love your law! It is my meditation all day long.

Lord, my God, the vine.  Rich in mercy, full of love- as I listen to the birds sing outside and watch all that is green grow and bloom-  I am once again filled with wonder.  You created us- breathed life into us- we are the crown of your creation.  We are made in your image.  You sent your Son here, for us.  He bled and died, for us.  We have your Word, filled with wisdom and truth, to guide us.  Oh Lord, help us to take your yoke, to yield.  Show us what that means- as we seek you- expand our understanding.  Lighten our eyes, that we may more fully walk in your truth today.  Help us let go of those things that hinder us- those sins that trap us- and keep us distracted from fully serving you and fulfilling the unique purpose you have for our life.  May the fruit that we bear bring glory to your Name- to you alone.  In Jesus Name, Amen.


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