Saying "Yes" to God
Putting my kids to bed last night, I was reading to them Jesus' exhortations to the churches in the book of Revelation from the New International Reader's Version of the Bible (a great translation for reading to your kids!). One verse in particular, Revelation 3:8 , stood out to me,
“I know what you are doing. Look! I have put an open door in front of you. No one can shut it. I know that you don’t have much strength. But you have obeyed my word. You have not said no to me.”
In this season of life, as a young mom, I hear (and say) the word "No" a lot! My kids are in a season (Lord, please let it be just a season!!!) of saying "no" to many of my commands and requests, at least initially! With one of my children its almost as if it's a knee-jerk response to say "no" to everything at first... but then she almost always goes and does what I asked... the other child however, says "no" and then sticks to his guns until I convince him otherwise ;)
Let me encourage you today: Keep saying "yes" to Jesus... even give a weak nod... even just open arms... wherever you are in your strength or weakness... just don’t say “no” to Him. For those of you feeling weak, feeling helpless, tired or just plain done, I want to encourage you to keep saying “yes” to Him. When you look at the big picture, it will be easier on you to stay the course! He will keep opening the doors too high for you to reach. He loves that you have not given up. He loves that you remain open-armed toward him.
Even small “no’s” can be disastrous. A “no thanks” attitude or “not right now” mindset can sneak in and affect our response toward Truth, toward the prompting of the Holy Spirit and toward the Word of God and it can have grave consequences.
“If you don’t do what is right, sin is waiting at your door to grab you. It desires to control you. But you must rule over it.”
Shortly after the Lord admonishes Cain with this warning, Cain chooses to shrug it off and quickly becomes the first murderer among mankind.
“Simon! Simon! Satan has asked to sift all of you disciples like wheat. But I have prayed for you Simon. I have prayed that your faith will not fail. When you turned back, help your brothers to be strong.”
Simon Peter receives this warning from Jesus and within 24hrs, he rejects Jesus before men three times. Despite the tragic foreshadowing, I find this verse comforting. In my weakness, sometimes I fail, but the story is not over!!! As we see with Peter, he comes out on the other side humbled & repentant. He also becomes a strength - a ROCK - to his brothers and believers through all the ages as he testifies & warns us in the following verse to “not say ‘no’ to Jesus”!!!
“Be watchful and control yourselves. Your enemy the devil is like a roaring lion. He prowls around looking for someone to swallow up.” 1 Peter 5:8
“It was spring. It was the time when kings go off to war. So David sent Joab out with the kings special troops and the whole army of Israel...”
2 Samuel 11:1
When David was supposed to be at war, he said “no thanks” and sent someone else in his place while he remained at home. Whenever we even give a slight refusal to the Lords direction or invitation to participate... it's just not a good idea. One "no thanks" to the Holy Spirit's prompting has the tendency to turn into a downhill spiral of poor decisions (i.e. read the rest of the story in 2 Samuel 11). Ignoring the voice of the Lord deadens our ears to hear His still small voice in the future.
The picture of Satan as a wily, prowling lion has already been established, and he is just waiting for the opportunity to pounce. He is terrified of your Good Shepherd, however, so he will wait until you choose distance yourself... just enough. He craves the opportunity to harm you.
Just say "Yes"...
Say “yes” even a weak yes!!! I think of the story in Mark 9 of the father whose son was oppressed by a demon. Jesus observed the boy rolling on the ground, foaming at the mouth and the father desperately asks, “But if you can do anything, take pity on us. Please help us.”
“ ‘If you can’?” Said Jesus. “Everything is possible for the one who believes.”
Right away the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe! Help me overcome my unbelief!”
I love the authentic, weak transparency of this man! I know Jesus did too! Obviously, I much rather have the strong, bold - even impertinent faith of the gentile woman in Matthew 15:21-28 and there are days when my prayers and petitions sound more like hers! But if I am honest, there are also days when I’m struggling to see above the waves, sinking in doubt, unbelief and discouragement and simply need to cry out for help with outstretched hand like Peter in Matthew 14:30 and Jesus is so faithful to make up for my weakness. He overcompensates for all I lack.
So wherever you are today... if you are soaring on eagles wings, drinking deep of the glory or if you feel like a weak, bruised reed, bending over in the wind of accusation and discouragement... the Good Shepherd knows and loves you deeply. He doesn’t play “fair”. He doesn’t favor the strong and pass by the weak.
“...[Jesus] said to me, ‘My grace is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.’ So I am very happy to brag about how weak I am. Then Christ’s power can rest on me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9
Just keep saying “yes” to Him.