God is not a magic genie to turn to only when we need a miracle. Nor is He a cosmic force in the sky, ready to zap us when we misbehave. God is our Maker, and inherent in His design is fellowship with His beloved. We are made in His image and crafted as a vessel to contain His Spirit. He longs to fill us with more of Himself, but we have to be willing. God won’t force himself upon us. We have a choice to embrace the fullness of God or to run hard and fast in the opposite direction. What will it be for you? Will you say “yes” to God? Will you invite Him to infuse your heart, mind, and soul with more of Himself? Will you allow His Word to become your plumb line, rather than allowing your feelings to dominate your thought life?
It’s a series of “yeses” that God is waiting to hear from us.
Maybe you’re not sure what your “yes” to God will cost you. Or maybe you’re afraid that it will only make the journey harder. The reality is that saying “yes” to God is about as unpredictable as a drive through New York City heading for Long Island. Trust me, I know it well. But that doesn’t make it better. You’ll never know how long you’ll be sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic, horns blaring incessantly, potholes large enough to swallow a Mini Cooper, and lights flashing from emergency vehicles responding to fender-bender accidents on roads without shoulders. Ah yes, chaos abounds. I think the same is truth in our faith-intertwined-with-real-life.
Saying “yes” to God isn’t a neat and tidy process. Not now. Not ever.
But after living the first 20 years of my life without faith in the God of the Universe, I promise you that even a half-hearted “yes” to Him is better than nothing at all. During my junior year in college, God met me in a place of searching for meaning and purpose, while running from the reality of my own brokenness. He captured my heart in a little dorm room in London with the promise of Heaven and the hope of a fresh new start, making it easy to put my faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior. I make it sound like it happened overnight, but God was wooing me for years before I surrendered my life to Him.
It took more than a decade of walking out my faith before I began reading the Word for myself. Honestly, the Bible overwhelmed me, as I didn’t know where to begin. Have you felt lost when it comes to reading Scripture, too? Well, you’re definitely not alone, but you don’t need to stay in that place of feeling stuck.
The more you pursue God for an understanding of His Word, the more He’ll give it to you.
When Scripture is engrained in our mind and heart, it is used by God to sustain us through the ups and downs of life, and fill us with an unquenchable hope and peace and joy. Nothing else compares because what we find in the Word is what we find Jesus Christ, who is the Word (John 1).
In the Word – in Jesus himself – we find the way, the truth, and life we are after (John 14:6).
Jesus promises us throughout Scripture that we will face trouble in this world (John 16:33). We will come up against opposition and feel completely out of place in this world. This earth is not meant to be our forever home (Hebrews 13:14). We were made for eternity, but until we get there, we must live in this world and endure the trouble that is before us. So we must find our way through the muck and mire into holy living by soaking in the truth and choosing to live it out (John 17:17). Through Christ and the Word, we will find our strength and a secure foundation on which to stand (Isaiah 33:6).
Begin with Yes will make you hunger for His Word more anything else (Jeremiah 16:15 NLT), which will equip you for life like nothing else.
My prayer is that you’ll discover the true character of God and how to look for His presence in all your circumstances while also pinpointing the patterns and pitfalls to look out for in everyday life. Yes, God’s instructions are as valuable as His promises to be faithful and kind, loving and compassionate to you.
I don’t want you to remember what you’ve read in Begin with Yes but rather who you met – God himself, manifested in your everyday life as your Lord and Savior, the Sovereign One, your Creator and Redeemer, Father and Friend, Provider and Rescuer, Holy Spirit and Counselor, and ultimate Guide.
May God inspire you to begin every day with a resounding “yes” as you make the decision to believe His Word as Truth.
Journeying with you,