I spoke to a group of girls at a rodeo bible camp a few years back about being “pliable”. (easily bent or flexible; yielding, adaptable, adjusting readily to change) At that point it was a new thing for me. I was pretty set in my ways… I had done things the same way for so long and I knew the formula worked. When I met my husband he did things different then I did and he was always “suggesting” I try it his way. But I didn’t want to try it his way…when I knew my way worked.
I had been having some trouble with my roping for some time and he was making all these suggestions; try a different bit, get up more over the front of my horse, my first swing needed more tip (pointing down) and so on. But I wasn’t willing to try those things. I mean after all, I had won a World Championship doing it my way. (no pride there! ha!) And I knew my way would work. However, it wasn’t working.
Anyone else set in their ways? Have you been doing things the same way for so long that the thought of change seems impossible? I was completely there. I had been roping for over 20 years…change at this point? No way I thought.
But wow did God have a big lesson for me! When we get so set in doing things a certain way we miss what He wants to do in us and through us. I was so quick to shut out other’s suggestions (especially my husbands who had also roped for over 20 years) or input to change…when change was exactly what God had in mind for me.
How can we be so set in our ways yet attentive to the Holy Spirit? When we say yes to the Father we are filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit and we get to choose whether we are going to do things the same way we have been doing them OR we get to listen to the Spirit of God living on the inside of us.
I was so stuck in doing things my own way I wasn’t attuned to what God was trying to do in and through me. I was basically saying, “no thanks Lord, I will keep doing things my way”. Have you ever said no thanks? Unwilling to change or try something new, something that God was prompting you to?
God has so many good things for us…His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8) and when we are attentive to the Holy Spirit we can reach out and help whom God asks us to help, we can extend grace when grace is needed, and we can help the ones God has intended for us to help. We can do the work that God has planned for us to do. When we are fixed in doing things our way, we might miss the very thing He has for us today.
It was a hard lesson for me to learn…and I am still learning what exactly it means to be pliable to the Holy Spirit every single day. To wake up with an open mind and an open heart to what He has and not just what I have planned. His plans rarely look like our plans.
The LORD Almighty has sworn, “Surely as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will happen. Isaiah 14:24 NIV
We want to encourage you to yield to the Holy Spirit working on the inside of you. Stay pliable to His voice, His ways, His words and live open-handed. We never know who or how or where we can be used by Him.