Friday, January 21, 2011

Pastor's Perspective - Are You a 'Yes Man'?

Are you a ‘Yes man’?

This past Wednesday during ‘Pie Club’, we began a verse-by-verse study of the great patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Our trek started in Genesis chapter twelve where God began his dialogue with a desert-dweller from Haran named Abram. The Almighty comes aggressively and unashamedly out-of-the-shoot with the verb “Leave”.

The audacity! Lord, this dude is seventy-five, and you’re calling him to pull up his tent pegs and begin a new chapter in his life. Lord, this guy and his wife have fertility issues, and you’re telling him that an entire ‘nation’ will come from his body. Lord, have you really thought this one through?! Then, just a few verses later, in a verse that begins with such simplicity we admittedly almost skipped right over it, we read - “So Abram left”.

God said “leave” “so Abram left”. God said “leave” “so Abram left”. We were reminded that God is God. He can do whatever He wants with whoever He wants whenever He wants without asking for our permission first!

Back in October I spent a few days alone with this same God in a cabin in the Sierra foothills. At the end of a very intense day encountering Him, I was exhausted and hungry for a spoonful of levity. I found in my friends’ cabin a dvd featuring the very funny Jim Carrey called ‘Yes Man’. If you haven’t seen it, the story is about a young urbanite living a very safe life doing a very safe job. Simply put, he had become a slave to his routine. His fun-loving friends invited him constantly to come out of his shell and live it up, but he gravitated toward what was comfortable and predictable. Later, he found himself at a seminar where a new age guru of sorts was gathering an inspired following by preaching the message of “Yes”. That instead of saying “no” to everything, Carey’s character should force himself to say “yes” and watch how exciting frontiers open! He does and his life changes radically in some very funny ways.

In 2011, as we launch ‘go.’ at First Christian, I’m preaching a very similar message by challenging our ‘real people’ to say “No” less and to say “Yes!” more to the many opportunities and open doors the Lord is presenting us. Like Abram, God-pleasing faith and obedience can not happen until we are willing to leave comfort, safety, predictability and routine. In other words, lives dictated by safety are never inspiring tales.

All journeys begin with a willingness to leave. An adventure begins with the courage to go and leave familiar. Faith begins with taking the words ‘leave’ and ‘go’ seriously. Scripture tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God; but faith without motion (ie. leaving, going) is a goner.

Make up your mind to say “Yes” more in 2011! Trust more, worry less and shift your obedience into ‘Drive’. The Kingdom needs more ‘Yes men’!

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