I wrote this devotional almost a year ago before my first YouVersion devotional plan had published. I was terrified to step so far out of my comfort zone. Now, I'm taking a huge leap again as I get ready to publish a devotional journal. As much as I want to say 'No', I know that obedience means saying 'Yes' to this call. Jesus promises to equip every time He calls, so here we go. It's time to risk.
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Matthew 19:21-22 NIV
“Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
Matthew 14:29 NIV
I often find myself asking God for an open door, guidance, wisdom, a sign, whatever. When I look back at my life, there are specific places I wonder why I never experienced ‘Yes’ for that season. Now don’t misjudge me, I’m fully aware that God often says ‘No’ or ‘Wait’ but if I’m truthful, sometimes I play a major role in the outcome. In reality, the door was opened the opportunity given, the dream set in motion, the invitation handed out, but I closed the door on my ‘Yes.’ I opted for safe because the opposition intensified or the risk seemed too great.
I could have started that business or written that book. I could have made a new friend, taken the class, applied for the job, moved to that city…but I said no. It wasn’t God shutting the door, it was me.
The wonderful thing about life is that each one of us has a choice to participate in it. We aren’t robots set on a never changing course.
I’m drawn to the story titled the ‘Rich Young Ruler’ in the Bible. Poor guy, he gets such a bad rap in sermons for choosing money over Jesus. But was that all? It says he was able to honestly answer Jesus that he had kept all the commandments, so obviously, he was faithful and obedient with the choices he had been previously given. As I read his story, I wonder if the risk seemed too great? Sell everything, come, follow me. Leave the security of faithfulness to the law, give up his control and follow a relationship with no sure outcome. Jesus opened the door wide, gave him a ‘Yes,’ and told him exactly how to get there. He chose to close it.
So many doors I’ve closed when God offered ‘Yes’ and yet he still makes good out of my not-best choices. His mercies are new every morning and I get to participate in the trajectory of my life today. I may have given up that chance but He hasn’t given up on me.
Have you ever been aware of a time when you said ‘No’ to God’s obvious ‘Yes?’ What risk is God asking you to take so that you can experience His ‘Yes?’
Jesus, I admit I have often allowed control, comfort or fear to convince me to close a door You have opened. Sometimes the chance comes again and sometimes it doesn’t. Give me the faith to follow Your lead and take the risk. I want to have eyes to see and a heart that chooses ‘Yes’ when You open the next door.
The Shadow of My Porch Swing
You will usually find me on my porch swing or trying to get there at least. Warm drink in hand and the best view in the world...4 boys digging a hole. Seriously tho, I enjoy the chance to sit and rest but mostly ponder the life that happens in between each of those sways of that swing. As the sun rises and sets, the shadow of that swing moves across my porch reminding me that Jesus is always shining on each moment. May you find hope and rest in Jesus here.
Partnering with YouVersion and The Bible App, The Shadow of My Porch Swing - 7 day devotional is now available in the Plans section of the Bible app. Click link above or search by title or 'God's Presence.'