A Shocking Question
"Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God's Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete."
2 Corinthians 1:20-22 (MSG)
Even though it was many years ago, I still remember it well. I was sitting in my normal seat at church. It was not only comfortable because of the padded pew, but it was familiar. Surrounding me were familiar faces along with the routine of a church service. Everything went as expected with perfect order. Hymns, prayer, announcements, offering, piano, sermon. As a child, I had learned well the rhythms of church, but this day took a radical turn for me personally.
On this particular Sunday, the preacher brought an unusually uncomfortable message. Wiggle as I could, but the padding was no longer providing comfort. Suddenly he posed the question that rattled the pew. Or maybe I should say, it rattled me?
“God wants your yes. Will you answer yes before you know the question?”
As a young girl, I had said yes to salvation--yes to giving my heart and my life to Jesus. I had given my yes to many things in my Christian life, but this one seemed impossible.
Yes, without knowing what I was saying yes to!
He went on to explain that God wanted our unhindered, abandoned yes. No strings attached. This kind of living goes against all human nature. We want the details before we give our answer. We listen to the question and the conditions and then choose if we will answer yes or no. But in the Kingdom our yes to following Jesus puts us in a position to live every yes.
It was a scary stretch even to consider, but the preacher didn’t stop there. He pressed on to invite us to get up out of our seats and bring our yes to God. Faith and obedience calls us to action.
My mind raced ahead at what the questions might be. Would I really be able to answer affirmatively no matter what the question might be. My pounding heart and shaky knees would not allow me to stay in my comfort zone. Before I knew it, I was at the altar at the front of the church quietly whispering, yes. Yes. God, I want my answer to be yes.” At first I couldn’t say yes, but I could say I wanted my answer to be yes.
In Absolute Surrender, Andrew Murray says it this way:
“My God, I am willing that You should make me willing.”
Many years later, I am coming to understand that God took my whisper as a seed of faith and He continuously gives me the grace to live it.
It is an everyday lifestyle, not just a moment at the altar.
It is a radical way to live. It is not accomplished by willpower, but by the spirit of God that I am able to live a yes life.
Abraham lived yes when God told him to get up and go to a land He would show him. Esther lived yes when she spoke up for her people, knowing it could mean her life. Paul lived yes to all his missionary journeys spreading the gospel. David lived yes when he took food to his brothers and ended up facing the feared Goliath. Sarah lived yes when her old womb conceived the promised seed of Isaac. Mary lived yes when the angel told her she would conceive, carry and give birth to the Savior. Gideon lived yes when God called him Mighty Warrior.
You never know where your yes may land.
God’s questions and God’s calls don’t fit in neat little boxes. Our daily yes to God often prepares us to hear and respond to the next call. One yes leads to another yes. It’s called the journey of faith.
"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." (Hebrews 11:1)
Lord, give us courage to give you a fresh yes every new day, because we awaken each new day to Your yes...
YES I still love you.
YES I laid down My life for you.
YES I will never leave you.
YES I am your Deliverer, Protector, Provider.
YES I am enough.
YES I hold all the answers.
YES I am in control of everything.
YES you are Mine.
YES I am Faithful to the very end.