The dialogue in my head has gone something like this recently.
“You need to say no.”
“But I want to help. I could ……..”
“Is that the thing you should do though? Is that the best way to be helpful? Is that what God is asking you to do? Is that what you are supposed to do?”
Have you found yourself in a situation similar, an opportunity has arose and you have a choice to make? On one hand is the opportunity to say no, which is awkward, hard, seems right but seems so wrong. Or you have the opportunity to say yes, which seems easy, the right thing to do. Yet when you play out the scenario and lay it before the cross, what becomes clearer and clearer is that your answer should be no. As you see the no, you can almost sense the responses that will be given, the snowball effect, yet you also see Jesus asking you to trust and do what He is asking. Let go & say no.
It is difficult to say no.
It is hard to say no.
It does not always make sense.
Yet, the word no, can be the best tool to show that you care.
The word no, frees and challenges me. It challenges me to step out of the center of the situation so God can move. There are times that when I say yes I am really getting in the way of what God wants to do and delaying what He wants to happen next. Even typing that seems very paradoxical. It frees me from the pressure I have placed on myself to figure out the solution, to be the solution. I am not walking away from responsibility, I am simply being careful what responsibility I am taking on.
Lysa Terkerust in her book “The Best Yes” talks about the difference between confidence and conviction. Lysa says “It’s not a matter of gaining more confidence. It’s a matter of being more certain of our convictions. Confidence is being more certain of our abilities. Conviction is being more certain of God’s instructions.” (pg 148) In the situation I was walking and debating thru, it really was about my conviction of God’s instructions.
Praying for God to help me see clearly on what to do, where to go with the request before me, I started reading where I had left off in the book; what I read next was Lysa’s call to be strong and courageous and the reference to Joshua 1:7-9. I love when God sends Scripture my way, it is His word. Doesn’t get clearer than that, He loves to answer our questions, our cry for help & what better way than His word. I often miss His help because I think it should be something grandiose.
Joshua 1:7-9 says this “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (NIV)
The Israelites were about to enter into the Promise Land; they had just wandered the desert for 40 years because of their lack of faith. Here was an opportunity to try again. God told them to “be strong and very courageous.” He also told them to obey and not deviate from what He had told them to do.
I don’t see myself as very strong or that I have a lot of courage, yet that is what I am called to do. I love the last part of the verse, I can be strong, I can have a lot of courage because GOD is with me. He is walking with me. What an amazing reminder.
The God who created the world, is right here with me.
The God who walked on water, is right here with me.
The God who allowed Himself to die on the cross, take on my sins, conquer death, and rose again is right here with me.
Now why am I scared again?
Why am I hesitating?
Because I care.
I care what people think of me.
I care about the fall out of my choice.
I care about how people will see me when I make this choice.
I care about who will be effected by this choice.
I care about heart change.
I care about trajectory.
I care about God getting all the glory.
I care about all us being more like Jesus, even if it hurts.
I care about not getting in God’s way.
The question now becomes, which do I care about more? The painful disobedience that makes this about me & pleasing people OR the painful obedience that is striving to keep God at the center.
I would rather walk in painful obedience than in painful disobedience. Either decision is going to be painful, it will hurt. I choose painful obedience. The fruits of that choice outweighs choosing the painful disobedience.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9b
Today…..learning to follow, listen and obey; trusting in the ONE who loves me and HE loves you too.
“Quotes from The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst, Copyright 2014” You can grab a copy at http://goo.gl/ZFUZbD
Scripture quotations taken from the The Holy Bible, New International Version
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