We hear sermons, we read scripture verses, songs play on our radios and iPods. We read books, educational, motivating and true life. We watch movies and listen to testimonies. Our hearts feel conviction, inspiration, and love. We want to take action, to change, to be better. But, we lack discipline. Or action. Or obedience. Maybe the lack is faith, courage, love? Maybe we even fear what would happen if we started doing what Jesus says. What will it cost? Will we lose friends? How will our time be affected?
Could our goals be too overzealous that they paralyze us? Or too vague that they never mobilize us? How will we have time for memorizing the book of James when we cannot learn one verse? We feel shame because our children haven’t learned the books of the Bible. We want to pray for hours, but our minds wander or we don’t have time. We keep meaning to practice hospitality, but its been six months and we still haven’t invited anyone for dinner. The cashier at the grocery, she always looks so sad, but we haven’t had time to ask her any questions or write her an encouraging note. Someone invites us to a game night, but we are tired so we decline again. We want to teach our kids how to give, but we never make a plan. Our friend’s marriage is shattered and we look her in the face, tell her we will pray, but we never do it.
What is stopping us from living moment to moment with Jesus? Why do we keep signing up for more Bible studies when we have never practiced what we learned at the last one? How do we say our hearts are broken for the lost, but we do not meet them where they are? We say we love others, but we are still making decisions based on ourselves. We say we want God to “mess us up in a good way,” but we set up “safeguards” to self-protect.
How do we abandon everything for the sake of the Gospel?
A simple YES.
We stop saying no, and we say yes.
The other day I was spending time with Jesus and He showed me something so profound, but simple. To obey Jesus is to simply say yes to the next opportunity He puts in front of me. Not to try to figure it out, to create some perfect moment, or to think of how to say something in some eloquent way. Be me and say yes.
When do I miss God? When I make decisions through the filter of “what I want” and forget, dismiss or ignore the direction of what God wants. We like no. No is an insulator, a protector, the great escape. No gets us out of hard.
Sometimes, we need to say no to run from temptations, distractions and time wasters. But, that is the no we often, ironically, say yes to. We are asked to watch a compromising movie and we say yes. We laugh at the inappropriate joke. We say yes to negativity, insults and gossip. We eat too much food and three desserts. We judge others. We drink too much alcohol. We say yes to social media and no to sleep. We say yes to more work and no to time reading His word. Our no’s and yes’s are backwards.
Jesus is showing me, to be used by Him is not difficult. He will give us the opportunities. Our part in the equation is YES.
“For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” – 1 Corinthians 1:20
Every day we will have the opportunity to say yes. Some of the yes’s may be more challenging than others, but they will be a variety pack of hard and easy. If we take the risk, we will see God work. We will know Him more. He will grow us up to be more like Him. We will learn how to love. He will show us every step. We will be fully equipped.
Hug that friend. YES.
Invite that friend to dinner. Play games. Laugh. Listen. YES.
Another person comes to mind in the shower. Pray for them. Send them a Facebook message that you love them. Encourage. YES.
Go for a walk. Talk. YES.
Loan your car to that family that needs one. Share a car with your spouse so the other family has a lifted burden. YES.
Cook, cook some more. Give all that food away. YES.
A friend had surgery. Another friend’s grandmother just died. A friend has a new foster baby. A friend works two jobs. Another is battling anxiety. Stop by and pray. Take a frozen meal. YES.
Share this scripture with that person right now. Text sent. YES.
Listen. Ask questions. Listen some more. YES.
Give away clothes, furniture, money. YES.
Go mow their grass, rake their leaves, clean their toilets. YES.
Don’t send the phone call to voicemail. Answer it. YES.
A family is struggling to pay their mortgage payment or their car payment. They are short on money. A crazy thought comes to mind that you should pay it for them this month. YES.
Most of the scenarios are not complicated. The yes is usually relational, time investing moments, where we put action behind what we say we believe. We could write a list of hundreds, hundreds from the ones we ignored, we were too busy to deal with and the ones we (let’s be honest) did not want to do. But, that sounds depressing. So, instead, we can choose the option to start a lifestyle of YES scenarios and watch what God does with our, not much effort, (or all out effort) simplicity of YES.