What Does It Look Like When God Says, “Yes?”
“Mom, I don’t want to do acting anymore, because this other guy in the class is better, and he’s probably going to get all the parts,” my son stated in a sullen voice. “Well, how do you know he’s going to get all the parts?” I asked. “Because the teacher likes him, and you can just tell, acting is for him, not me. I’m just going to try something else.” Staring at his sweet little ten-year old face, I was saddened. This mentality, already? The struggle is real, people. Comparison stinks. And, searching to find out what we are really meant for is an inward battle.
I’m not going to lie, I’ve sat in church many times and thought, “Yea this isn’t for me, it’s for that person at church that has all the favor?” Ok. About half of you are in this with me. I have thought those thoughts or my favorite little ditty is, “I might as well not ask God, because He’s not going to do that for me.” And, by favorite, I mean, it might have crossed my mind a million times. That mentality helped me build a huge graveyard full of shredded bits of all my journals that read:
I thought I was supposed to do __________________, but turns out, that was Sally’s thing to do.
It’s almost as if we don’t want to ask God for what’s our thing to do anymore, because disappointment hurts. Disappointment also makes us doubt that God was ever in it to begin with. Listen. Are you weary from trying to figure out this whole destiny thing? Are you flat tired of wondering when you know if God really says yes to something? I get it. I have wondered, sought counsel, gone to using your gifts classes; only to still be pondering the question of how do I know what’s mine to do?
These thoughts have no generational boundaries either. It’s even on the minds of our seniors. When my phone rang a few weeks before my conference, I was not expecting a woman of maturity (wink) to have this to say: “I want to come to your conference because I’m still trying to figure out what thing God has for me. I’ve tried so many.” As I listened to the frail voice, I was struck at how familiar this is to each and every human being. This woman was well into her late sixties and still struggling with this conundrum of how we know when God says yes, and that we’re doing the thing He’s called us to do. Have we considered there is more than ONE thing He has for us? He is a multi-faceted God. Bless our hearts. We just wonder about deciphering between this and that, or worse, giving up on the desires of our hearts. Listen, I’m passionate that God can resurrect things in us that have laid dead (with no life or activity) because our belief system has told us, “We can’t because we’re not good enough, or so-and-so is better.” Or, “We’re just not sure this is THE thing God has.”
I have been wrestling with the how did you know it was from God, for most of my time as a Christian. In my current season, people often say this phrase, it seems you’re in God’s favor, or this is clearly what you are supposed to do, or this is your sweet spot with God or any other variety of “Christian-ease” phrase that we’ve been conditioned to hear. Not in a bad way, but it’s just a fact.
If I’m honest, though. I was always a bit cynical like Sarah. In Genesis 18:14, The Lord is speaking right after Sarah had chuckled under her breath when God promised she would have a son. “Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.”
I would have done more than chuckle, it would have been a full-blown laugh out-loud. I mean, can you so relate to Sarah? I can. Why did she chuckle? Because she was thinking just what my son did; what the majority of us do. That’s not for me, that’s for someone who has all the favor. And, therefore, we have bodies of people that don’t want to step out into something because the enemy speaks to our minds, and we believe. I mean, she fully believed this whole baby having thing was favor-less for her. I’ve surmised, though, that it wasn’t her physical womb that wasn’t strong enough to carry the seed at that time, it was the womb of her faith.
Ouch. Someone get me chocolate, stat. How many of our wombs aren’t strong enough, because we’ve listened to the doubt the enemy places in our minds? He should do that. She’s better at that than me. Oh, someone else will do better in that ministry function. Make it stop.
So. What does happen when you’ve hit the jackpot on the thing(s) you’re supposed to do? When you instinctively know, you’ve hit the bull’s-eye? Or how do you know that this thing(s) you’re doing, is what God has for you? We can ask these ponderings in a variety of ways, but ultimately, we’re asking what does it look like when God says “yes?”
As great of a question as when Rick Warren helped answer the “what is my purpose?” by writing the purpose-driven life, is the question, what does it look like when God says, “Yes?” With all the wisdom I can muster, here is what I know thus far in my trying to gather truth to line up beside these kinds of phrases or beliefs. When God is totally “in” something, there is success at every turn. And, really, it comes easily. When I say easily, don’t think with lack of effort, but with lack of striving. And, I came across a scripture that I think gives such a profound amount of goodness, I can barely sit still. That. And, the three cups of coffee I’ve consumed.
Psalm 127:1-2 says,
“Unless the LORD builds the house, it's builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat-- for he grants sleep to those he loves.”
Read it. Grab more coffee. Don’t count it out, because you think it’s a simple psalm. Because, really, this psalm is pointing us to great truth. This. This is what it looks like when God says that three letter word to anything in our life:
First, the Lord builds- Things begin to fall in place with ease. He supplies all your needs, energy and materials in some form or fashion, and before you know it, there’s framework to your beautiful house. (Business, small group, ministry, whatever it is you’re doing.) Without us running all over town strong-arming our way in to this or that. He builds.
Second, the Lord watches- He says, be anxious in nothing; His burden is light. When God is watching over you, there is no need for worry, and anger. He is keeping you safe, and in His watchful eye. He watches.
Third, the Lord supplies- His provision never ends, there is no need to toil for food to eat, and He is the greatest feeder, because, He feeds.
And Fourth, the Lord wants you to rest- He wants us to sleep, but if we are awake and not resting because we are trying and striving so hard that we are anxious, it will still be ok, but He desires us to rest in Him. I love sleep, so when I don’t get it I feel out of control. I might want to consider what is keeping me from it. He wants us to rest.
Whatever generation you’re in, God has a plan and purpose for your life as Jeremiah 29:11 says. It’s not over. He doesn’t just give His goodness to a select few, because He is good. And, as we are well into 2015, let’s consider that “God’s promises are not limited by time.” He can give us a son like Sarah, even when we chuckle, and think it’s not for us. Whatever it is that you’re supposed to do, you will know, because God will be so in it! Now. I have a child to go help with his acting lines; it is one of his things he’s supposed to do! And, well, I’m just not letting him go down like that.