Say, young Christian, "Know ye not, that to whom ye present yourselves as servants unto obedience, his servants ye are whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" Well does the Holy Spirit say, "Yield yourselves unto God " (Romans 6.13, A.V.).
The yielded life! It sounds passive. Actually it is gloriously active over sin. Somebody has to reign within us and enjoy priority in our ways. It will either be God in righteousness or the Devil in sin. To whom then are we yielding ourselves? It must be the One or the other.
Daniel's three companions are deathless examples of the yielded life. Nebuchadnezzar demanded that he reign within and that the young men should manifest this in the worship of his image. To refuse meant roasting to death in a sevenfold-heated furnace of flame. But these three young noblemen of faith trusted in God, changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies that they might serve no god other than their own God. Young men like these turn worlds upside down.
"Ye cannot serve God and mammon." To one or other we must yield ourselves. Which is it going to be? Mammon and the pleasures of sin? Surely not! You know, young Christian, that the Devil has a well-ordered world around us, cunningly calculated to blind men to eternal things. It fascinates the unsaved. It holds the way of sport for the gratification of playing the game or watching it, or getting on it. It is all self, all mammon. It applauds the way of culture, the improvement of the human mind through the arts and the sciences. It is all transient and passing, nothing eternal or abiding; all mammon. It blazes the doorways to entertainment and the pleasures of sin, highbrow or lowdown. It is all mammon again, nothing for God or the Man of Calvary. These are the things of which we became ashamed in the day we trusted Him. Surely then the Lord is not going to have to say of us as He said of Israel, "He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside." A deceived heart! Again the Scriptures echo, "The Devil that deceived them."
No! rather would there come to us that ancient and clarion call that has rung in the souls of young Christians down twenty centuries of twisted time, setting them on fire for the Lord and burning up the chaff of indolent ways: "Neither present (that is, keep on presenting) your members unto sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves unto God, as alive from the dead." Yes, once and for all, present yourselves-yielded to God. "And so I charge you by the thorny crown, and by the cross on which the Saviour bled, and by your own soul's hope of fair renown ..." yield yourselves.
"Dead unto sin" is glorious truth, but negative in effect. "Alive unto God" is both positive and effectual. What a joy to the Lord to see young, virile Christians with the forward look and the Calvary love! Not hankering after the old life, but pressing on, thrilled with the new, abundantly satisfied with the river of God's pleasures and the fatness of His house. Presenting their "bodies a living sacrifice," or a sacrifice of life. Yes, surrendering their young lives to Him with all their vigour and zest; keeping back no part of the price, but bringing it all forward-time, talents and all. Miss Havergal enumerates "life, moments, days, hands, feet, voice, lips, silver, gold, intellect, power, will, heart, love "-and finally-" Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for Thee."
Some are holding back to-day, some are looking back, some are shrinking back, some are going back. In ways like these the Lord can have no pleasure. It is only a little time till "He that cometh shall come, and shall not tarry." Only a little longer to walk by faith; only a little longer to read and study His Word, to commune by faith in prayer, to give out our silent messengers, to speak a word for Him, to bear patiently for His Name's sake and not grow weary, to walk the way of good men and of good works. Yes," one little hour; and then the glorious crowning, the golden harp-strings and the victor's palm; one little hour; and then the 'Hallelujah,' Eternity's long, deep thanksgiving psalm." The church-presented to Him for ever!
Young Christian, be entreated for His Name's sake, and yield yourself to-day, surrendered to Him.