25 Aug Just say Yes
“For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” 2 Corinthians 1:20 ESV
I think the ratio of No’s to Yes’ in our lives is like 100 to 1. And No, has no energy, not doing something is an emptiness and carries no weight. It creates a vacuum that waits to be filled by something. Something in us is searching for fulfillment and to give it a No, does not fill the need, the void. And like the bored child that is relentless saying are we there yet, can I have…., can I do…. until they get Yes, something to fill the void in them. And we find ourselves saying if I told you once I told you a hundred times, No.
The leader of my Wednesday men’s group shared something that caused me to be aware that in my own life, I spend a lot of time saying No to things. There are things I don’t want think about, so I have to say No to them…things I don’t want to feel…things I don’t want to say or do, see or hear…all requiring a No. A day spent in such wrestling is exhausting in the stream of one No after another. It is also frequently a path to failure, the same issues come back, again and again, requiring No again and again. No has no energy and it places the will in a position of weakness. The will was created to will something, not nothing.
The Apostle Paul’s observation that the promises of God are Yes, just might be the key to the daily struggle. The absence of sin isn’t the same thing as righteousness. Righteousness is a fullness and a presence of God-likeness. Sin itself is an emptiness, lacking God-likeness, the character of non-being. The spiritual life is fulfilled in righteousness – true rightness of being – living in the image of God.
A simple way of living this reality is to say Yes. If I do not want to do one thing, then what I do is say Yes to something good? If I do not want to think about certain things, then I say Yes to the thoughts I do want instead. I don’t fight the bad, the unwanted, I embrace, accept the good ones, the godly ones.
For example, if I do not what lustful thoughts, I don’t say No them, I say Yes to……
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8
“I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.” Psalm 77:12
“I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.” Psalm 119:15
So instead with struggling to say No a hundred times a day to lust, leaving a void in me hungry to be filled, I’ll be to busy with Yes to God, being filled with God’s righteousness, and have no room for lust.
Anything I do not want to do, example, Instead of No to gossiping, I say Yes to……
‘Do not slander one another.” (James 4:11)
‘Pray for each other.” (James 5:16)
“Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.” (Ephesians 5:19)
‘Make your love increase and overflow for each other.” (I Thessalonians 3:12)
‘Encourage each other…”(I Thessalonians 4:18)
‘Build each other up…” (I Thessalonians 5:11)
‘Spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24)
‘Love one another deeply, from the heart.” (I Peter 3:8)
‘Live in harmony with one another…” (I Peter 3:8
‘Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another…”(I Peter 5:5)
So instead with struggling to say No to gossiping, I’ll be to busy with, filled with loving others, building them up not tearing them down.
Instead of No to hearing, seeing, and so forth, I say Yes to God, to the word of God, the things of God.
And there is another step beyond. It is possible to say Yes repeatedly throughout the day. The simple phrase, “I say Yes to God,” carries a great deal of power. I want to make it a frequent confession in my day. That I say Yes to God. I say Yes to His word.
Then my life will be filled with life giving Yes’ and not empty, lifeless No’s.
My goal is to keep myself so busy saying Yes to God, the things of God, then there will be less and less room in my life for things that require a No. At the very least I figure I will reverse the ratio of No’s to Yes’, I’ll be saying a hundred Yes’ to every No. My day will be filled with positive God-likeness and not the emptiness and void of the No’s.
Ultimately it comes down to Saying Yes to….
“Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” Luke 2:49
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And that requires a lot of Yes’.