What is keeping you from saying, “Yes” to God?
When I look back over my life I realize it is the times I have said, “Yes” to God that has brought me good, the good that God intends for my life.
But saying, “Yes” to God hasn’t always been easy. Often there are reasons, excuses, and fears that cause me to want to say, “No.”
The Israelites experienced this when God called them to the Promised Land. God told Moses to send out twelve men, one leader from each tribe, to explore the land that He was giving them. Those twelve came back from the land with two very different reports. Ten of them reported that the land was indeed good…
“But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak!” Numbers 13:28
These ten men who gave this report heard Moses say that this was the land God was giving them, but they said, “No.”
They saw reasons and excuses why it would never work. They saw things that scared them and caused them to consider it impossible. They compared themselves to the people of the land and saw themselves incapable of conquering them.
The two men, Joshua and Caleb, on the other hand also heard Moses say that God promised to give them this land and instead of looking at the problems, they looked at their God. They saw the same things the other ten men saw, but their faith was in God, not in themselves.
Twelve men explored the same land, saw the same things, experienced the same situations, but had two completely different reports.
Ten said, “No.”
Two said, “Yes.”
As the story goes on the “No”s” won the vote of the people. Their reasons, excuses, and fears of the things they saw influenced all the others. As they described the things they saw the people believed their report and took on their fears.
Though Joshua and Caleb gave a similar report, they chose to focus on God instead of what they saw. They chose to see God as bigger than the obstacles. They chose to see themselves as God’s chosen people who had God’s favor on them.
They chose to see victory instead of defeat!
But as hard as they tried; their “Yes” couldn’t convince the people to have faith to believe for the impossible.
Their “Yes” couldn’t convince the people to see God as bigger than their enemies.
God promised to give His chosen people a good and fruitful land, a land flowing with milk and honey. He chose this land just for them and wanted them to say, “Yes,” to His provision for them. God was well aware of the powerful people, the walled cities, and of the giants in the land. They weren’t too strong for Him and His people to overcome. God wanted them to be strong and courageous, to keep their eyes on Him, and to trust Him to empower them to conquer the land.
Fear weakens and paralyzes!
Faith strengthens and empowers!
Saying, “No” to the good God intended for His people caused them to wander in the wilderness for forty years, never enjoying the Promised Land.
Saying, “Yes” to the good God intended caused Joshua and Caleb to remain strong and courageous, to enter the Promised Land, and to enjoy its fruits.
My journey through adoption so far was somewhat similar to the Israelites. When things were going well I had been praising God for His goodness. Then when things fell apart I was hurt and complaining.
Interesting how human nature tends to react to circumstances rather than to rely on God.
The “word” I received at the conference and the experience of “God’s glory” at Bible study left a huge impression on me and were reminders that I had put my dream into God’s hands, and I would trust Him with my desires.
Two months after my experience at Bible study, in April of 2003, I was visiting a friend from church when she asked me a question…
Wait…I need to back up a few months to fill you in some…
In December of 2002, while the little girl we were hoping to adopt was still with us, another family from our church received a three month old foster baby. One of the first days she arrived her foster mother brought her to church during youth group. We were having snacks with the teens and I offered to hold her. It was such a joy to hold a baby again and when I looked down she had fallen sound asleep in my arms!
So, back to my visit with my friend…
I was changing baby Kayla’s diaper when my friend asked me a question.
A question I will never forget!
She said that it looked as though baby Kayla’s case was moving towards adoption and she was wondering if Mark and I would be interested in adopting her.
Oh my goodness!!!
“Yes!! Of course we want to adopt her!!”
“Will Mark agree to adopting a baby?”
“Do we dare go there again, will our hearts be broken again?”
I think I was actually in shock!
The question came out of nowhere, it was so unexpected.
My wheels were turning and since coffee makes every important conversation better, I asked Mark if we could go out and have coffee together. I skipped the small talk and went right to explaining the time at my friend’s house earlier that day. I described how when I was changing baby Kayla’s diaper my friend came over and asked me “the” question.
Mark and I were no spring chickens. Our youngest son was fourteen. It had been a long time since there was a baby in the house. How old would we be when she graduated? When she would be married? We actually laughed at what it might look like as Mark walked her down the aisle!
We heard “reports” of how difficult adopting through the state can be. It could be years of legal battles only to have the child placed elsewhere.
We heard “reports” of the probability of learning difficulties and worse from being born addicted.
There were reasons, excuses, and impossibilities that could have caused us to say, “No.”
But after discussing some of these I asked a question that I believe the Lord put on my heart…
“Didn’t we agree to open our home, our hearts, to any little girl the Lord brought us?”
And so, it was settled that evening over several cups of coffee…no wonder Kayla loves coffee!…that though we had no idea at the time what the journey would look like, and if it would even lead to the fulfillment of our dream or not, we were willing to begin this journey by saying, “Yes” both to the foster family, and to God.
That “Yes” lead us on an incredible journey that was more like an intense roller coaster ride; filled with twists, turns, dark tunnels, drops that left us breathless, and screeching stops that looked like the ride was over…
As intense and heart wrenching as it was, to think that we could have said “No” and stayed “safe” and kept our hearts protected from more pain, I’m so glad for the verse that reminds me…
“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” Proverbs 16:9
I praise God that He determined our steps to say “Yes!”
“For we live by believing and not by seeing.” 2 Corinthians 5:7
God has a Promised Land, filled with “milk and honey,” for all who are willing to say “Yes” to the journey He has called them to.
It is a journey often filled with suffering, difficulties, and impossibilities. It is a journey that will test your faith and will try your heart. It will require you to walk by faith and not by sight, to keep your eyes on God and not on your circumstances, to rely on God’s promises and not on your own understanding.
Saying,”Yes” to God requires great faith!
Saying,”Yes” to God takes you to places you never imagined!
Saying,”Yes” to God sets you up for the impossible!
Saying,”Yes” to God allows you to see the miraculous!
Saying,”Yes” to God enables you to realize your dreams!
When I put my dream into God’s hands and trusted Him with my desires, He provided an opportunity to journey with Him, but it all began with a, “Yes.”
Me and baby Kayla, 7 months old, April, 2003