I’ve heard a lot of the power of ‘yes’ and the power of ‘no’ recently. I actually can’t stop hearing it. It’s blazing in my ears like a wildfire. Few moments pass when I am not confronted with the ‘no’ and the ‘yes’ of this grand gift called life.
- The ‘yes’ is trust in the character of God despite circumstances.
- The ‘no’ is a distrust of God as a result of our circumstances and seemingly true facts.
In everything God tells us, we have a response. Yes or no.
I can’t stop hearing it in broken families.
In hurting friends.
In sailing victories.
I’ve heard it in nature, in sermons, in music, in literature, in movies…. yeah. A lot.
And at Christmas… I hear it in Mary’s faith-filled “yes” response to the angel Gabriel in her “let it be done to me according to your word.” And Zechariah’s doubt-filled “no” response when he said “how can I be sure of this.”
Between the ‘no’ and the ‘yes’ is a place where faith (pardon the similar slang expression) ‘hit’s the fan.’ Or ‘rubber meets the road.’ Or… well, take your pick.
Is God a liar? Are His promises true? When the angel shouted ‘good news’ when Jesus came, was that merely figurative?
I am an actor. I’m a deep feeler. I can be moody—sometimes for seemingly no reason. In many ways, I’m more of a ‘feeler’ than most men out there.
Correction. Than most men would ADMIT they are. Most men are deep feelers—extremely passionate feelers—violent feelers even… ok—so that’s a tangent.
The point is this: I do feel and feel very deeply.
The crisis of belief comes when my feelings do not line up with my faith. What do I do then?
Who is telling me the truth? Will someone tell me the truth? Who is more reliable? Are my ups and downs to be trusted as the truth? Where is the truth in my feelings? Do I just deny what I’m feeling all the time? Do I fall headlong into my emotions and become an introspective wasteland?
Who will I give my ‘yes’ to? To God? To myself? To my circumstances?
Is my God a trickster telling me to do what I cannot do? Telling me to believe what I cannot believe? Who is the impossible God?
For the ferociously passionate believer, this is where ‘yes’ must triumph over ‘no.’
All the time. In every choice. Every decision.
‘Yes’ must triumph over ‘no.’
A ‘ferociously passionate believer’ is one who knows God is not a liar. Ever. And everything He says is true. I admit that I am one such believer—or hope to be becoming one such believer. I choose to believe that God is a truth teller. He tells me the truth regardless of how I may feel, or rationalize, or question that God is not true and spits half-truths at me to play around with me.
But we’ve got questions that send us into tailspin—many times we can’t pull out of it. Most of these questions stem from one thought:
To put it another way…
It happens. It’s happened to me. It might even today. And all that is ok… I guess. But why waste time on what is not true? Why should I meditate on lies, even if they feel true…
It’s just a detour to faith. I know people who’ve spent most of their lives living between ‘yes’ and ‘no.’
I’ve been one of them. Believing God but also trusting myself. A deadly duality.
Believing God = yes. Like Mary’s “I believe you, what you have said is true, though it seems completely ridiculous.”
Trusting myself = no. Like Zechariah’s “I’m old, this can’t happen, either I’m crazy or God is a liar. Hmmm. I’m gonna say my reasoning is better than what God has said.”
A dangerous place to live. I don’t wanna go there anymore.
And to bring it home, let this video wash over you. I recorded it at Dollywood (I know, I know, but it’s fun) and put it up on youtube. Some great performers and a great song for Christmas, and ultimately, for your life. There are two people saying a blazing YES to the Lord in this video–even against all the odds.
Yes Lord. Always yes!