Last week, we talked about what to do when God says no. Now I’d like to look at the flipside. What about when God says yes?What do we do when a new opportunity does open up, and His will is clear, and you know what the next step is? I don’t know about you, but even when His guidance is clear, I still have unknowns and opportunities for fear. What if I fail? What if I’m hearing God wrong? What will this look like 5 years down the road?
If God said yes, take a deep breath. God hasn’t called us to the ordinary, and our life is rarely an even plateau. Life is full of mountains and valleys, and each brings its own unique challenge.
What do you do when God opens the door to a new relationship or marriage? What about if He calls you to go to another country, short term or long term? How do you handle being asked to go into full time ministry? What if He asks you to make a move now that you hadn’t planned to do for years to come? When the pregnancy test shows positive a month after the wedding, how should you react? If you’re given new responsibilities overnight, what do you do with feelings of inadequacy and fear of failure?
Again, like that last post, I recognize that I’m young and have many, many more things to learn in this whole journey of following Jesus. Yet even in the last 10 years, God has said “yes” to me many times. It’s an honor to share with you some of what I’ve learned from seasons of “yes”to working at my local pregnancy center, “yes” to talking to teens about God’s design for sex, “yes” to starting this blog, and “yes” to going to Colombia.
Most recently, God has said “yes” to my taking a 2nd job as a church secretary, and therefore transitioning to attend a new church without my family. This “yes” provides many new opportunities for ministry, and it’s clearly God’s will. But even so, I’ve been coming back to these 10 things that have helped me in the past:
- Pray hard. Ask others to pray with you. The best first step is prayer. Seek to know God’s will, ask for God’s strength, tell God your feelings, and listen to His voice. Ask others to join you in praying for wisdom, guidance, courage, and peace. The bigger the “yes”, the more prayer support you need.
- Breathe deeply. And be thankful. It’s easy to feel like you need to figure it all out right away. Resist that temptation. Breathe deeply, slow down, and allow yourself time to process. Focus on thankfulness for the opportunity, rather than allowing yourself to get anxious over the details.
- Take care of yourself. When faced with a big opportunity or decision, it can be easy to stay up late, eat poorly, and otherwise take bad care of your body. That impairs your ability to move forward. Do your best to take care of your physical health, in order to have a clear mind and good emotional health.
- Gather information. Sometimes, fear can stem from insufficient knowledge. Research the opportunity as needed and talk to people involved in it. Don’t get stuck thinking you need to know everything, but do get to a point where you can make an informed choice to walk forward in the “yes”.
- Seek godly counsel. Along with gathering information, talk to people who you trust to give you godly counsel. Ask them for input and support. Press into community, resisting the temptation to pull back and try to do this alone. Also consider talking to those who may be impacted by your decision.
- Focus on one step at a time. God may have given you one “yes” without revealing fully what it will look like down the road. That’s okay. Focus on the “yes” He’s given you and the next step He’s shown you, and trust Him to continue guiding. Walk by faith and trust the future into His hands.
- Get the necessary training and equipping. It’s okay to seek training for the new “yes”, especially if you’re struggling with inadequacy. If training isn’t built in, find ways to get it so that you can move into this opportunity with excellence. What God calls you to do, He will equip you to do.
- Spend time in God’s Word. The best equipping, of course, comes from God’s Word. Spend time, a lot of time, meditating in God’s word. The more aligned your heart and thinking is with God’s Word, the more prepared you will be to walk into this “yes”, and the more confident you will be.
- Trust God’s leading, and once you decide, trust your decision. If it’s become clear that this is God’s leading, trust it. Even if it doesn’t turn out how you envisioned, trust that God has a purpose in the “yes”. And once you decide to go forward, don’t waste time second-guessing yourself.
- Look to Jesus. As always, looking to Jesus and pursuing Him is the only way that you will be able to rightly respond to a “yes”. Stay close, so close to Him. Keep your eyes on the goal. Await with excitement what He has in store. Trust Him to work all things for good. Walk joyfully into the “yes”.
Dear sisters, what “yes’s” has God given you? What has He taught you in seasons of “yes”? How do you handle an exciting but challenging “yes”? I’d love to hear your stories and perspectives! Please join me in joyfully serving and praising the God whose promises in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us (2 Cor. 1:20).