Daily Devotional

Submit to the Lord

by Simon Whitton

His wisdom is profound, his power is vast.
Who has resisted him and come out unscathed?
Job 9:4 (NIV)

The Lord once gave me a picture in my spirit, of a donkey pulling a cart and driver.  The driver was trying to get the donkey to head for this desirable land in the distance, but the donkey kept stubbornly bolting into the wilderness.  The driver hung the proverbial carrot in front of the donkey, but He also beat it with a stick to get it to comply.  The Lord showed me that I was the donkey and the driver was the Lord.  The donkey belongs to the driver and although He prefers to use a carrot, He will use the stick to get us to obey.

The Lord had to use a big stick on Pharaoh when he refused to let the Hebrews go.  Pharaoh was probably the most powerful man on earth, and he felt no one had the right to tell him what to do.

Pharaoh said, "Who is the LORD, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD and I will not let Israel go."
Exodus 5:2 (NIV)

The Lord then revealed to Moses the power of His will and His mighty hand.

Then the LORD said to Moses, "Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh:
Because of my mighty hand he will let them go;
because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country."
Exodus 6:1(NIV)

Subsequently, a long battle of wills began between the Lord and Pharaoh; and because of Pharaoh's stubbornness, one plague after another came upon Egypt. Some commentators estimate the ten plagues took place over a period of at least two years.  At first, Pharaoh thought he was battling against Moses' conjuring and some coincidental natural disasters, but eventually he was confronted by the reality of the Lord.

The Lord usually operates in the background and often uses hard circumstances to bring about His will when people resist Him.  Resistance may prolong the process and make it more painful for everyone; but the Lord's will prevails, exactly as He planned.

Jonah was a prophet and knew God, yet he resisted God's will to go to Nineveh and preach.  Again, God used the difficult circumstances of a storm, a superstitious crew, a near drowning and a whale to get Jonah back on track.

God has a long history of bending people's wills. He knows exactly what pressure to apply for each of us to come around.  He uses circumstances and hardship which may not be pleasant, but the Lord is shepherding you into His will for your life.

7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?
8 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.
9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!
10 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.
11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Hebrews 12:7-11 (NIV)

We need to endure hardship as discipline and accept circumstances as from God, who brings them into our lives for a purpose.  Don't harden your heart, but humble yourself under God's mighty hand.  The key to yielding to God is to give up what you think are 'your rights'.

Spend some time and pray that God will reveal to you where you are resisting Him, and that you will recognize His discipline in your life.  Submit to the Lord, give up 'your rights' and give Him full control over your life and future.

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