By Rachael Adams, Crosswalk.com
Watch What a Willing Heart and a Yes Can Do
By Rachael Adams
“‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled’" (Luke 1:38).
I met my husband, Bryan, on the first day of college. We were in the same orientation group, and I remember eyeing him from across the circle of freshmen as we played icebreaker games under an oak tree. Nearly four years later, on the night before my graduation, he got down on one knee under that same oak tree and asked if I would marry him. With tears in my eyes, I enthusiastically said yes!
After a year-long engagement, we stood under a church steeple in front of God, family, and friends. To have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part—we said yes to all.
Though it was easy to say yes in that moment, it has proven to be more difficult to keep saying yes over the course of our married life. Not because I don’t love Bryan, but because my selfish, sinful nature gets in the way much more often than I’d like.
My Christian walk has mirrored my marriage. It was easy to say yes to God and begin a relationship with him. Saying yes to spending eternity in heaven, unconditional love, unlimited forgiveness, and unmerited grace wasn’t a hard decision for me. Jesus did all the hard work, I simply had to receive and trust in what he promised. What has proven to be more difficult is to keep saying yes to him for the rest of my life. It’s easier to say yes to God when things are going well and life is running smoothly. But when he asks me to do something uncomfortable or inconvenient, the yes may not come as enthusiastically as before. Yet, it is precisely during these times that our answers to God’s call should be a resounding yes.
There are many biblical examples of people saying yes to God’s call to action despite the personal sacrifice it would require, but the one person who stands out in my mind is Mary, the mother of Jesus. God chose her for one of the most important acts of obedience he has ever asked of anyone. She was just a young unmarried girl with a willing heart. Even though she risked being publicly ridiculed and rejected by her family and future husband, when Gabriel appeared and announced that she would conceive a child by the Holy Spirit, Mary responded, "I am the Lord’s servant...May your word to me be fulfilled" (Luke 1:38). Her yes helped bring the Savior into the world. And aren’t we so grateful?
Mary didn’t stop with just one yes. After she said yes to the angel, she kept on saying yes to whatever God was doing in her life. She said yes to traveling to Bethlehem to give birth in a stable. She said yes to letting Jesus leave home to preach the Good News. And, she said yes to the agony of letting him say a yes of his own and be crucified on the cross.
If we want to be used by God like Mary was, it’s important we know his voice so that we can discern what his personal direction is for each of us. After all, what God asks me to do may be very different than what he asks you to do. Once we know what he is leading us to do, we simply have to trust that he has our best interests in mind and be willing to do what he asks, even if we don’t understand why at the time. Watch what a willing heart and a lifetime of yeses can do.
Intersecting Faith and Life:
If you have never said yes to God by putting your trust fully in Jesus, there is no better time than this very moment. To say yes, you can say a simple prayer like this: Lord, I admit I am a sinner. I need and want your forgiveness. I accept your death as the penalty for my sin, and I recognize that your mercy and grace is a gift you offer to me because of your great love, not because of anything I have done. By faith, I receive you into my heart as the Son of God and as Savior and Lord of my life. From now on, help me live for you. In your precious name, Amen.
If you have said yes to God as your Lord and Savior, ask him to reveal your next step of obedience. Then say yes.
Lord, I give you my yes. I commit everything I have and everything I am to you. I surrender and submit to your will. I am willing to follow wherever your Spirit leads. Amen.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/AaronAmat
Rachael Adams is the author of A Little Goes a Long Way: 52 Days to a Significant Life and the host of The Love Offering Podcast. She and her husband, Bryan, run a family business and farm in Kentucky with their two children, Will and Kate, and two doodle dogs. Connect with her by visiting rachaelkadams.com, by searching @rachaeladamsauthor on social media, and by tuning in to The Love Offering podcast every Tuesday on your favorite listening platform.
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