Changing Lives Starts with Saying Yes
Opportunity knocks. Will you answer it?
At different points in my faith walk with Christ, I have been presented with an opportunity that could potentially change my entire future. When God opened these doors of opportunity, He didn’t push me through it or pull me across the threshold. He opened the door and gently asked, “Would you like to come in?”
It was up to me to say yes.
My first opportunity came when God asked me if I would quit my job to start a ministry called Testimony House. That was not an easy yes. (You can read that testimony here). My second major door opened when God wanted me to pursue a relationship with Megan, who has now been my wife for nearly five years. An easier yes, but our road to marriage was paved with difficult paths to navigate. Another door was when God opened an opportunity to work at a Christian radio station. A very easy yes, yet the fruit of that choice isn’t as easily seen as my marriage or my ministry.
When God presents an opportunity, believers are given a chance to exercise faith to say yes or use discernment to say no. Our faith in God comes down to a choice between yes or no. Saying, I don’t know or let’s wait and see is not an option. Why? Because indecision is still a decision. It’s a nicer way of saying no.
Imagine if Paul, after having his blindness removed, had said, “You know, I think God wants me to share the gospel with the Gentiles, but let’s wait here a while before we go and make sure.” Would we still admire Paul for his boldness of faith?
When I first started Testimony House, I said yes to everything. I was ready to move where God said move. God seemed to open up opportunities throughout the city because of that boldness. However, after spending time inside some of the churches God sent me, I was met or told by multiple people in positions of authority that some of my beliefs were wrong or misguided. While, other churches welcomed my family and ministry teachings.
My heart grew hard towards those that rejected me and for the first time I said, “No” to God when he asked me to go to a church that I knew did not hold some of my beliefs. It felt good to say no to. I felt like a weight had been carried off of my shoulders. I needed to exercise zero faith to say no. It was great, unlike all the faith that was necessary to navigate troubled waters and seasons of dryness during past opportunities. My flesh told me that I was saying no because I was discerning the will of God. My spirit knew otherwise.
Being a Christian isn’t about making the perfect choice every time. It’s about the one who did. Christ lived a perfect life. Every opportunity God presented, Jesus said yes to. Every easy yes, every hard yes. And even when Christ was filled with anguish and sweat blood facing an opportunity in the Garden of Gethsemane He still said yes (Matthew 26).
Sometimes we say yes to God and it doesn’t turn out like we expect or hoped for. My friend Kevin often says, “If it’s not from God it will fall apart.” Sometimes, when things fall apart we can know that it wasn’t from God. Other times, things may seem to fall apart but be right where God wants it. Maybe there is something God wanted to teach us or show us those moments. When facing times like those, we must again ask ourselves, should we keep saying yes. That is when real discernment is most useful.
Faith is always about choice. Yes or No. Right or Wrong. Leave or Stay. Follow or Lead.
Faith is never about what opportunity is being presented. God once asked me to move back to my hometown without foreshadowing that I would be moving into a home 2 miles from Ferguson the same week Michael Brown would be shot and killed in St. Louis. Had I said no to that opportunity, I would have missed out on all the opportunities to serve and use my gifts that have come since.
I didn’t find faith to move back home because I thought a great opportunity was being presented, I found faith to move back because of the God who presented it. Every blessing that came after was possible because of my faith to say yes even when I wasn’t sure if it why.
Your Yes Can Change Lives
If you say no to the first door, does God promise another? What if God has a major plan for your life that gets derailed or takes a much longer time to get going because your indecision due to fear or worry has stalled you? How can you change lives by saying no?
Imagine if Christ was indecisive. Imagine if Jesus told just one of those people no.
Hard to imagine because Christ knew how to say yes to God and every life He said yes to was forever changed.
God wants to use your gifts and talents to serve God and others. Don’t get caught up in the what you’re doing, instead get caught up in who you are doing it for. Changing lives for Christ starts with saying yes.
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