Insight The Best Yes

Awkward but Divine Appointments

matthew1128I am weary.
I am broken.
I am socially awkward.
I take more demands than I ought to.
I often people-please.

We come to the Lord with this list of what we are. God sees all that we are, and He pours His love over us! We come weary, broken, tired, overloaded, and just wondering what we are supposed to do. We come with both hands jam packed full of yes’ decisions that we have given to people, where we are “needed”. While there are many needs in our world, not every need means we have to come to the rescue. We are not Jesus. While we are called to be His hands and feet, we cannot afford (emotionally, physically, relationally, etc) to be overburdened. When we are overburdened, our sense of peace begins to be depleted.

I think this is a big point that is to be made. We come with both hands jam packed with things we have said yes to. We have tried and tried to people please, but all we have done is exhaust ourselves. When both hands are packed full, where is our room for God, our family, our relationship with Jesus Christ, our time for the things that God wants us to do?!?

We can’t please everyone. Just as we choose between God and money (see Matthew 6:24), we must also choose between pleasing God and pleasing others. If we say yes to all these other appointments, we don’t have anything left to give when God is calling us toward an opportunity to glorify Him and love others…

We cannot please everyone.
It is impossible to please everyone.

While it may be impossible to please everyone, we sure do try. We try and try. We sacrifice our attitude of love, and so many other things… just, to attempt to do for others. We don’t even realize what it does to us. We don’t even realize that it is making us crazy!

Is it worth going crazy over?
Is people pleasing worth the emotional debt we place ourselves in?

In all of our people pleasing, I think we expect that things will go smoothly when God invites us to an appointment. The true divine appointments aren’t always so neat and tidy. They require faith to continue to walk toward those appointments. Lysa discusses how she had to walk an uncomfortable and awkward road, to a God-given appointment. We can’t let the awkwardness stop us.

The awkwardness has something beautiful going on underneath the surface. God creates beauty. He gives us His Awesome peace. This Scripture talks about going to God with our burdens. It doesn’t mean saying “yes” to every decision we need to make. It means coming to God and trusting Him for His rest. It means knowing we aren’t super woman or the Messiah, and just relying upon the Lord!

“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10)”

The Best Yes

Run with Purpose

phil 2-16Are we holding fast to the Word of God?

In the Amplified translation, it is a bit different:

Holding out [to it] and offering [to all men] the Word of Life, so that in the day of Christ I may have something of which exultantly to rejoice and glory in that I did not run my race in vain or spend my labor to no purpose.”

Are we living out our life, holding to His truth, and offering that same truth to others? Or, do we allow other things to get in the way? Even in hard times when we think a different approach to something could be made, we need to hold even tighter to the Word of God, His Grace, and what all of the Bible has to teach us. The more time we spend in prayer and studying the Word- the more we can share His love and Truth with those around us.

Resolve to hold to His truth. It isn’t about what we think is right. It has to be about God’s Word. It has to be about sharing God’s Word with others. We need to investigate what the Bible has to teach us, so we can know God’s stand on the stuff we face. God has the answer!

Here are just a few important truths that I know I need to focus more on.

  • Leaving my understanding to the side.
  • Putting arguments aside
  • Keep God’s Word at the center.

To me, these are things that truly matter. So often, it can be easy to throw our opinions out at people. Often, without any consideration of how they may feel about it. It needs to be about more: We need to place God’s Word above our understanding and opinions.

The second part of this Scripture is equally important as the first. Why, do these things? Why, try to limit sharing my opinion? Why, put His Word first? Why, keep the arguments aside? Simply put, it is for the glory of God! 

We run now and give God our best in every area, because He is worthy! At the end of my life, I want to be able to have something to show for it. I want to make my life to count. God has given me so much. I want to make sure that I am not foolishly wasting it (my time, gifts, sphere of influence, etc). I want to make sure that I am wise in my decision-making, and running the race that God has set me on. Are we running with no purpose? We must run with purpose, running to give God the glory and honor as we seek to live an obedient life. In our God-given assignments, let it be for Him.

As we seek wisdom and discerning our best yes, let us remember this truth:

“… So that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ (Phil. 1:10).”

The Best Yes

Bright Stars

phil 15Yesterday, I got the opportunity to just write out my thoughts on sharing the love of Christ through my actions, and what to do when it doesn’t happen as it should.

Truth is: I fail. I fail at showing His love. Though I may fail, I need to remember the bigger picture. It is about much more than my attitude, heart, and actions. Those things are important, but I have to remember how my attitude impacts the world around me.

“If we want to know what to do when it matters most, we’ve got to be committed to showing up to practice.” -Lysa Terkeurst

In order to cultivate an attitude of showing Christ’s love, we must practice. We must take up this exercise daily of learning to show His love no matter what we may face in our day or life. It is repenting daily for the ways of failing Him, and praising Him when He helps us show His love.

In order to love, I must consider my best yes opportunities and lay down the decisions that are not my best yes. I must count the cost of my decisions if I want to make “best yes” kind of decisions. I take up many activities that I should decline, or leave available for others. I know, many of us do. “If I don’t do it, who will?” In order to do things with the love of Christ as my motivation, I must learn to lay down those decisions that are not my best yes moments.

So, what is at stake? Philippians 2:15 teach us the importance of our best yes decisions and having an attitude of love.

  • We are showing ourselves as pure and innocent. Uncontaminated by the things of this world James 1:27 talks about being uncontaminated from the world.

    When we are seeking this kind of lifestyle, we will pursue showing the love of Christ when it means putting aside our feelings, to do the will of God.

    It will also mean saying “no”, when we sense that is something God is instructing us to do. It means showing an attitude of love, and willingly being His Witness!

  • As we pursue a lifestyle of love, we prove that we are children of God. It is only by God’s grace that we are saved and called His own! But as we celebrate our new life in Him, we pursue a lifestyle where:

→ We are putting God first

→ Seeking to repent of all wrong. We want to get and stay right with God!

→ Pursue a life that glorifies Him. We need to put away the things that don’t glorify God and in fact hurt our relationship with Him. This is why it is so important to consider our ways, and stay untainted from this wicked world.

Remaining steadfast in our resolution to not grumble or complain plays a key part in trusting God and His direction for our lives.

We need to consider His ways, desire to please Him, and walk likewise in His ways. The Bible teaches us how we can please God.

Among the world, we can be seen as bright stars shining for His purpose and glory!

The Best Yes

For the Sake of Love

phil 2-14
Yesterday’s “Theme”

Last night, I just struggled. When we are in the midst of serving, sometimes we struggle. Our attitude deflects what we want it to be about, which is the love of Christ. We can be filled with complaints, frustrated, or just struggling in a different way. Maybe, we just had a bad day or our body’s remind us of its fragility. Whatever it is, these things happens. In all activities I commit to or find myself in by His divine will, I need to strive to have an attitude of love. I am trusting that it is a growing opportunity, and not something that is hit-or-miss.

“God’s way is love. My way must be a way of love. As I make this choice, I must consider what this choice will cost me in my attitude. My attitude of love must trump my activity.” -Lysa Terkeurst

When we say “yes” to an activity, how do our attitudes reflect God’s love in the midst of that activity? This should be something we ponder in our hearts, and bring to God in prayer. We can easily overload ourselves, and our attitude (as well as those we are serving) suffer. We need to consider the reason for our unloving attitude (circumstances, lack of rest or time in the Word, much busyness, etc). Those are two things to consider. Are we over-scheduled? Are we trying to use resources we don’t have?

I trust God has me serve in certain areas for His purposes, but I need to do more to prepare for each opportunity that I am given to serve. I want to be able to take much time to prepare my spirit for service. Taking time away to reflect on each serving opportunity is also important. This is how I can better develop an attitude of love, and learn how to glorify God more in each opportunity.

1 Corinthians 13:3 teaches that we need to do all things in love. It is what makes our activity worthwhile! We can do all the “right” things, and still get it wrong. It has to be about showing the love of Christ. It is Him working through me!

Here are the steps I need to take. Both now and in the future.

  • Confess to God our sins… our actions… Talking with God is the best way to go. We can come boldly to His throne, and confess that we fall short. We can share with God that we need His forgiveness and help, because we can’t show His love on our own- for we will fail.
  • Be ready to ask for others’ forgiveness. When we realize that our attitude is becoming less-loving, we can stop right there, ask for their forgiveness.
  • In the moment, stop and pray. Last night, I had to just stop everything and seek God’s help. My prayer was very simple: “Lord Jesus, please help me.”

Resources: 5 Questions to Ask When Making a Decision
Scriptures: Colossians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

The Best Yes

Sweet Words

Isaiah 30-21Today is day 2 of my “Best Yes” study. It has become my intention to write, as I work toward completing this study. Lately, I am somewhere else… in a lot of different places. However hard this is, my heart needs to continue on with this study. Even if, my heart feels torn and elsewhere. I need to keep pursuing what I committed to. That’s something I know I need to be about.

Anyway,… Isaiah 30:21 is where we journey today. In the Voice translation, it says: “Your ears will hear sweet words behind you: “Go this way. There is your path; this is how you should go” whenever you must decide whether to turn to the right or the left.””

Sweet words.
How I long to hear sweet words.
Words that are sweet and instant peace
that washes over my soul.

In this Scripture, we learn that God should be the One to guide us. Is God often the One who guides me? Even now, is that who guides me? I think there is a pull to follow my emotions and be led, instead of being the one to make sure I am led by God- and not my emotions. Scripture reminds us that we need to be sober-minded (see Proverb 25:28, 1 Peter 5:8).

We need to trail back to the life of Joseph, and that whole situation with his cranky brothers in Genesis 37 and 42-43. Emotions was why the brothers of Joseph landed themselves in the hot water they experienced as they retold the same lie that Joseph died, when they didn’t want to confess that they sold him into slavery, to a foreign people.

Side Note: God definitely used Joseph where he was, to save Israel from the famine, years later. But, the brothers of Joseph had to live with their lie and decisions for the rest of their lives. Are we willing to be led by God alone?

It is not enough for us to try to guide ourselves. It is not even enough to be guided by other people. No matter how much we hoped that we could be, we just cannot be. We must be guided by the Lord alone. Only He can guide us in the way we should go. Our Best Yes’ can only come, as we spend time with the Lord alone as our guide. Now, He can use the Church to help lead us, but it can be so easy to turn to others instead of Him! Let’s choose to listen to His voice, through prayer and the Bible, and pursue a life and decisions that honor God. Let’s choose to be praying people who pray before we act.

Psalm 25:8-9 and Proverbs 3:6 deal with this topic as well.

“Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.”
Psalm 25:8-9

“In all your ways submit to him, and
he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:6