What God wants is for us to say “yes” to him and “no” to everything else. Of the millions of good things available to us, he wants us to have the best. That’s because he loves us so much. He loved us, even while we were yet sinners.
Every one of us doubts that we are loved. After all, each one of us knows who “we” are. It surprises us when someone loves us completely and thoroughly. But the Lord is after us to believe it. He wants us to know that he loves us inside and out.
We can begin by saying “yes” to believing that we are worthy of God’s love. We can say “yes” to believing deep within our being, that God, our Creator and Savior, loves us. We belong to him. He loves and cherishes us. He wants to protect us with his gift of faith and trust in him. Before we can serve him and love him fully we must first say “yes”’ to letting him love us.
How does he convince us that he loves us? That’s up to us. He’ll do whatever it takes to convince us, but not against our free will. When we can believe it, then we can try it on. Act like he loves us by loving others the same way he love us. By sharing his love we prove to ourselves and to them how much he loves us.
When we know in our hearts that we are precious in his eyes, then we can reject sin and become holy. That’s because God called us to holiness. He wants us to renounce sin and to live holy lives. Only then can we fully grow into the image and likeness of God. When we’re holy that’s when we can get in there and play the full part that he has for us. We can fully become his image and likeness.
Each of us can discover his vision for how he wants to love us through others and others through us. Our culture trains us for instant gratification but we are mistaken if we believe that we can just jump into whatever we want to see happen in our lives. That’s not God’s way. We have to listen for the steps, for the little bitty things that help us move towards his will for us.
He calls each of us to a specific purpose. No part of his work is more important than another part. Each living stone builds up his kingdom. He wants us to say “yes” to him for the unique purpose for which he created us. Don’t worry about anything else. We can’t do everything, nor can we be everything to everyone. Only God is everything.
The “yes” God wants from us has no hint of wanting or expecting control. The “yes” that God wants is Mary’s “yes” of complete surrender. Many things stand in the way of our wholehearted “yes” to God. Yet no obstacle is stronger than his grace if we allow it to penetrate through all the obstacles and into the depths of our hearts.
The choice is two-sided. What does God want us to say “no” to in our lives so that our “yes’ to him can fulfill his purpose for us?
(© 2014 Nancy H C Ward)