Say Yes to God!
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
When I was a much younger man I prayed, “Lord I will serve you anywhere in the United States. It doesn't matter where as long as it is not overseas.”
The Lord's response to that prayer was to send me as far away from the U.S as I could go on this earth. Linda and I spent two years in Indonesia serving as missionaries from 1973-75.
The lesson I learned was simple, “Don't put limits on your willingness to serve God.”
When I was even younger I made a bold statement that I have never forgotten. While in college a friend suggested I might want to persue romantically a certain young lady. I declared “I'll never date her.” I think it was only a few weeks until my heart was turned on it's head and I was running after Linda. We are in our forty-second year of marriage and I know for certain that it was God Himself that turned my heart toward her.
As I approach my sixty-third birthday I know for certain that my ways are not His ways and my thoughts are not His thoughts. I am a foolish and rebellious human being who only by His grace and mercy have survived long enough to write these words.
I praise His name because I am part of the “all things” that Jesus reconciled to Himself when He died on the cross.
There is however the battle that continues. I declare my generous willingness to serve Him and He says “that is not enough.” I speak aloud of something that I will never do and He says “that is exactly the thing that I want you to do.”Of course, these are simply two examples of what in truth is my daily struggle to submit to God's will. His Spirit says “Go there, say this, give that or do this” and I rebell and try to pretend I didn't hear. It is a quiet rebellion because it goes on in my heart.
The bottom line is this. You can significantly shorten your Spiritual learning curve by saying yes to God the first time you hear His Voice!