“Now then,” said Joshua, “throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.” And the people said to Joshua, “We will serve the Lord our God and obey him.” –Joshua 24:23, 24
Ever see one of those old video clips from the turn of the 20th century, where cars and trolleys and buggies are crisscrossing intersections and narrowly missing each other? Without street lights and signs to direct traffic, it was every man for himself. Essentially it could be total chaos.
When God asks us to yield our hearts to Him, I believe He is trying to help us avoid such chaos in our own lives. He knows what the future contains, and He asks us to let Him guide us through those situations. When we yield or give way to God, we are giving him the right of way. We are saying, “God, I’m choosing to let Your agenda take precedence over mine”. It’s an act of trust on our part to stay out of God’s way and let Him direct our steps. It also takes humility to acknowledge that life isn’t all about us and what we want, but about His greater plan and how He wants us to fit into that. What does yielding look like on a practical level? It may be as simple as stopping to acknowledge God in prayer and ask for His guidance before beginning a project, entering into a job or relationship, or making a decision. It may require us to take that desire of our heart to God and say “Lord, You know my heart, and my heart desires ______; but I want Your will in my life even more than that, so I’m asking for this desire but I will receive whatever You have for me, even if it’s different than what I think I want, because I trust that You always do what is best for Me”. What faith and love it takes for us to yield to God! I do know this; if we yield to Him, in the end we will never be disappointed. He will either bring us something better than we could have imagined, or He will bring us the outcome we desire when it is complete and in His perfect timing.