Series: Always Relevant: God Is
John 10:10 MSG
Yolo so go for it!
You Only Live Once (yolo), and God offers us a choice.
It’s not really dependent so much on what we do or even what we say. It’s dependent on the choice we make.
It’s a choice.
Everyone is given a choice.
John 10:10 tells us, “A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”
I remember the first time God gave me a choice. In church on Sunday morning I always sat by my dad. I think I did that because I wanted to see who God was to him. I mean, he talked about God and Jesus and I knew he taught an adult Sunday School class, but those weren’t the things I noticed.
It was the look on his face when he took communion. I noticed that.
It was his posture when we prayed. It was as if he was overcome by the Spirit of God.
THAT was what I wanted. I didn’t know how to get it, but I knew I wanted it.
I told God I wanted it…whatever IT was.
Then one Sunday morning that was pretty much like any Sunday morning, IT came to me and pressed in on my heart to say ‘yes’. I thought my heart would jump out of my body. IT pushed me to go upfront during the last song.
I’d seen other people go up front during the last song and I didn’t know why they went to talk to the preacher. I wasn’t very old so I didn’t understand everything.
That morning when I went up front I didn’t really know what to say. The preacher asked me why I came up. I was crying and I told him ‘I want God’. After that, the preacher spoke with my parents and they set up a time for me to be baptized.
I was pretty nervous about the baptism because I’ve always been afraid of water, but the preacher told me to hold my nose with my hand so I wouldn’t swallow any water. He didn’t make fun of me for being afraid. That was important to me. I was nine years old and there are some people who would have made fun of me. It really meant a lot to me that the preacher didn’t want me to swallow any water.
That was the first time I made a choice for God.
The second time I made a choice for God was when I went to hear Billy Graham in Kansas City in 1967. I’ve written about it before so I won’t go into detail, but I knew the Spirit of God was there that night and I wanted it. When they sang “Just as I Am” after the sermon, I ran down to where the counselors were standing. I knew the Spirit of God was there.
I didn’t just want it…I knew I HAD to have it!
The counselor was really nice and he told me God really really loved me.
That was the second time I made a choice for God.
The third time was when God called me to ministry. I was 21 and we were going to a church in Kansas City.
There wasn’t any fanfare involved. God asked and I said yes.
That was the third time I made a choice.
When I was 51 years old my life fell apart before my eyes. In a few months I lost my marriage, my new home, my church, almost all my friends, and the ministry.
I was broken.
A friend of mine from work invited me to go to church with her. I was nervous about it, but it was a really really large church in West Des Moines and I agreed to go because I thought I could hide. Nobody knew my awful secret that I was divorced and lost my place in life.
After going there for a little while, I heard about a healing prayer service and I went for prayer. I wept the whole time. I cried so hard that I couldn’t go up front for prayer.
I found out later that they sent people to surround me and they prayed for me the whole time.
After a while I was able to talk to the people who sat by me (the very people who had been praying for me). I asked them if I could join the team who prayed for people and they said that would be fine.
Within two years I was asked to lead that ministry.
I said yes. That was the fourth time I said yes to God.
After leading that team for a few years, God asked me to go to Seminary. I was 54 at the time And I thought it was a crazy idea. At first I tried to talk God out of it, but God’s request just got stronger. I finally said yes and I applied. I had no idea how I would work full time and go to school full time, but God made it work.
I graduated in 2013. That was the fifth time I said yes to God.
I’ve talked to a lot of people about their decision to follow God when they were asked to come. Some of them were asked once and it included a lot of parts. Others had been asked several times to say yes to God.
I think God asks each of us in a way that works for us. Our walk with God is custom-made. We’re all different and God meets us where we’re AT.
In the end, God offers an eternal choice, or eternal choices.
You only live once, so live well. Say yes to God.
Spiritual Practice: Your Choice
What have your choices been? Or is God now asking you to say Yes? Consider your choice, or choices…thank God for calling you and giving you a choice. Remember that God called you because of His great love for you.
In God, Deborah