Thursday, June 5, 2014

Yes or No

Given that God's calling on your life is not an all or nothing proposition (you have "all" from the very first whisper), your response to God's calling is simple.

It's yes or no.

Most of us aren't comfortable with that idea. It leaves out all the details we're so attached to. All the questions we think we need answered before we can commit. When it comes to what God is asking us to do with our lives, most of us live as "definite maybes." As in, if it happens to work out that such a thing would fit into my life, then of course, I'm in. If it's not easy, if it doesn't just click together, then catch me next time.

The truth about definite maybes is that they are actually forlorn nos. They are spoken from a heart that wants to, but doesn't believe it can. From a life that is comfortable and unwilling, right now, to be shaken. From a place that's ready to risk wrapped in a rut it doesn't know how to get out of. When both time and the moment have passed, it is a heart that regrets not moving. It is a life that mourns a missed opportunity. It is a mind that begins to wonder what might have been...and can't remember what was so scary in the first place.

The lies we've bought only intensify this feeling. Lies like, "God is going to do something with you even if it's not this." That's the truth. God is already doing something with your life. He's already doing something beautiful. You don't know the impact your life is already having. Most of us are keenly aware of that. 

But it's also a lie because it convinces us to settle for what God can do with us instead of what He wants to do with us. Doesn't that make your heart cringe? This world is full of people, religious and unreligious, holy and unholy, righteous and unrighteous, who God is using in any way He can. Millions of lives are lived salvaged instead of saving. People are content with whatever God is doing with them without realizing they are one diligent step, one powerful "yes" away from the fullness of what God wants to do with them.

The other lie we often believe is that if today, we hesitate, there will always be tomorrow. If God really wants us to _______, He will just keep giving us the chance until we go for it. That's also the truth. God will keep opening doors, asking you to walk through them. Giving you opportunity after opportunity to step into this thing that He's created in you.

But He will never give you this moment again. Every second of your life is unique, whether it feels that way or not, and if you say, "Not today," you never get today back. You may still get tomorrow, but what have you missed? 

Does it matter? Maybe not in an individualistic, postmodern, self-centered society where one day looks just like the next and one thing looks as good as any other. But in a holy universe, it absolutely matters. God has never asked you for this moment so that He can have the next one. He wants you now. He wants you today. He asks you for this moment because this is the one that matters. Right now. 

That's the deception, I think, that is hardest for most of us to wrap our hearts around. We've been taught that God knows everything, that He's working all things together right now, that He's a few steps ahead and knows how this is all going to work out. But the God we see revealed in the Bible, the God we know through our own prayer, the God we meet in the stillness of our not a God who makes appointments for tomorrow or next Tuesday or next September. God never asks people if they will join Him next week; He asks if they are ready now.

Which means every time we say, "Not now..." we are actually saying "no." 

When we say, "Let me see..." we are saying "no."

When we say, "If..." we are saying "no."

All the things we think are going to happen tomorrow if we say "no" today may or may not happen. Even if they do, we have still lost today. We have lost what today offers. We have lost our chance to give to today, and our chance for today to prepare us for tomorrow. Because when tomorrow comes, it will not be today. You will not be the same person tomorrow that you were today. In the blink of an eye, everything has changed and one breath of hesitation, one forlorn "no," has swept that moment away. It's not coming back. All of a sudden, God is doing all He can with your life.

But no longer all that He wants. 

It's scary. It brings us back to the questions we looked at at the beginning of this week - what if God is calling me to something big, scary, and stupid? What if I don't find locusts and honey a gourmet delicacy? What if I don't want to wear camel's hair? 

What if that's not what God is calling you to at all? 

The only way you'll ever know what God is really up to with you is to let Him do what He wants with your life. That means becoming a person who says an unqualified yes. Who steps boldly toward the voice of God as He calls you into this moment. This one. Right now. There will never be another one like it. 

Whaddya say?

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