Relentlessly Relenting

January 6, 2022

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

I frequently drive past a church named “RELENTLESS.” In recent years “RELENTLESS” has become the chosen name for dozens of youth groups. That’s somewhat surprising because the original meaning of “relentless” as an adjective is not typically complimentary. The most positive definition is “continuing in an extreme or intense way.” It generally is used to describe an obsessive or annoying person, rain that continues to pour, a harsh cold that you can’t get over, pressure or bad news that just keeps coming.

Agreed, relentlessly following Jesus if we mean “intensely continuing,” never giving up, is a wonderful and much-needed choice. I am certain that is what the name choice for the church and youth groups means to them. But we need to be very careful with what we are relentless about. Some of the relentless pursuits we choose to follow in the name of Jesus, and some of the intensely prayed and continuing requests to God are not wise, healthy, or God-honoring. God said Israel was unrelenting in following their own desires and expecting Him to grant them. He knew their desires were not best for them but because they were unrelenting He eventually “granted their request, but sent leanness to their souls” (Psalm 106:15).

Trying to go our own way or handle our own lives is relentlessly pursuing something God cannot bless. To relent wisely in our lives with God is to lay aside what we want/what we think best to follow God’s way, to do what He knows is best even before we can see that He is right.

Proverbs 3:5-6 was written by the wisest man besides Jesus who ever lived, King Solomon. He had so much wisdom and understanding that monarchs and wise men came from surrounding countries to hear his wisdom. Citizens of his own kingdom came to the palace for appointments where he heard the complaints/disputes/questions of the people. He answered with legendary wisdom. But this wise man knew when to relent. He said if you want your path to be straight, your journey to end up in the right place, the only wise thing to do is relent from following your own desires and heart.

Don’t put confidence in your own understanding. Lean into what God says and trust Him.

  • God, help me relent from my own opinions and be relentlessly committed to Your desires and paths instead, for all of 2022 starting right now. Amen.