Yes, Lord!

My favorite part of the song, Trading My Sorrows, has always been the second verse: “I’m pressed but not crushed, persecuted not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed . . .”

Usually, that’s my favorite part.  Not this week.  After all God has been teaching me about obedience recently, this week my favorite part of that song is “Yes, Lord, yes, Lord, yes, yes, Lord–Amen!”

It reminds me of something I do with my daughters.  When I tell them something important, I ask them to look up at my face so I know they are listening.  Then,  I give them instructions and expect them to say, “Yes, ma’am” and if they don’t say that–well, they get some more instructions.  I want them to verbally show they’ve understood and then commit to obey.  All with those simple words, “Yes, ma’am.”

And to God, we say, “Yes, Lord.”

Sometimes God gives us clear instructions and He waits for our response.  He did it with Jonah.  He told Jonah, “Go to Nineveh and tell them to repent.”  Then, God gave Jonah the chance to say, “Yes, Lord.”  After Jonah’s famously blatant disobedience and a few days spent in a fish’s belly, God gave Jonah another chance.   Once again, God said, “Go to Nineveh.”  And Jonah gritted his teeth, bit his tongue and said, “Yes, Lord.”

That’s a far cry from Abraham.  God told him in Genesis 22 , “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah.  Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”  Abraham didn’t put God off for a few days while he read several chapters of Scripture to see if anything confirmed this.  He didn’t call up his pastor and the men in his accountability group to see what they thought.  Instead, it says, “early the next morning” he gathered up his son, his servants, and the supplies and traveled to Moriah (verse 3).

It’s the same when Jesus called his disciples.  In Matthew 4:19-20, we read: “‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’ At once they left their nets and followed him.”

Early the next morning.  At once.  Jonah instantly disobeyed.  Abraham and the disciples instantly obeyed.

It’s not that I think seeking confirmation is wrong.  In most cases, I believe God gives us the freedom to make sure we have heard correctly before we obey Him and He often uses His Word and the counsel of others to give that confirmation.

Yet, there are some moments in life when God has already prepared our heart for His instructions.   He’s asked us to look up into His face so He knows we are listening, just like I do with my daughters.

We talk so much about waiting on God, but sometimes I believe He is waiting on us.  He’s waiting until He knows our hearts are prepared to obey.  Only then does He tell us what He wants us to do.

In other words, He wants us to say, “Yes, Lord—whatever, whenever, wherever, the answer is yes.  I’ll obey and I’m listening.”  Our commitment to obedience often precedes His call. And if He knows we aren’t ready to obey, He waits on us.

We see this with the Israelites right before they received the 10 Commandments.  It says in Exodus 19:8-9: “All the people answered together and said, ‘All that the Lord has spoken we will do!’  And Moses brought back the words of the people to the Lord.”  It isn’t until after they’ve committed as a nation to obey God that He then created a covenant with them.

Priscilla Shirer writes in One in a Million: “Obedience to God was a requirement if the people were to receive the benefits of their covenant relationship with Him.  Only after their commitment did God offer to let them hear Him directly.”

It’s faith at it’s most basic.  It might even be a bit frightening.  We commit to obey God before we’ve even heard the question, before we even know what He’s asking us to do.  But, if we want to be used by God, if we want Him to take us to the Promised Land, if we want a deeper relationship with Him, if we want to follow Him, if we want to know Him—we must say, “Yes, Lord” and “All that the Lord has spoken, I will do” and then listen closely for His instructions.

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Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2011 Heather King

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