Posts Tagged ‘Saying Yes’

Chapter Seven

“The Bride says… ‘Yes Lord!’”

“For as many are the promises of God, they all find their Yes in Him [Christ]….”

Amp 2Cor 1:20

What Does It Mean To Say… “Yes”?

          Saying “Yes” to the Lord is more than merely an emotional response to a prompting or request from the Lord.  Rather, it has as its core both a level of subjection and trust in the Lord – such that the respondent is able and willing to fully obey.  It is also an utterance of praise for the Lord that will soon be followed by obedient action.  Like living faith – it has wheels – it will take action.  But this coming to “Yes” is very dependent on the heart and mind of Christ first being fully formed in us.  Just like Paul describes in Gal 4:19, His life is growing in us.  Where this life rules in us (where His Kingdom is truly ruling) – we become obedient just like Christ was obedient – because it is His life and His Spirit that then compel us.  This is what makes this saying “Yes” a manifestation of the miraculous!  Now it is no longer our old natural self life that we are living by, but it is the redemptive nature and life of Christ that are being lived and walked out in us (Gal 2:20).  To be obedient – requires our subjection to Christ and the Father.  This necessarily rules out self.  Where self has not been overturned by the Cross, we will not obey.  To be obedient, we are often called to do or say, or bear things that without His life and Spirit leading us – we would never begin to agree with let alone perform.  Saying “Yes” therefore is not only miraculous and supernatural, but it is our highest level of praise to God – “for if the heart of worship is obedience, then the greatest vocalization of praise is ‘Yes, Lord.’” (Word from the Lord – 15Oct11 @ Seville Baptist Camp, Cloudcroft, NM)  Let us explore this notion of saying “Yes” to the Lord more fully.  To do so means we must look at Christ’s obedience.  For if Christ was fully obedient, and it is His life formed in us that brings us to such obedience, than saying “Yes” must have its origin – in Christ Jesus.


Obedience of the Highest Degree

          There is a place, beyond what we can know by our natural senses, but a place that exists, in Christ, where every promise and every word of the Lord is yes and amen.  From Scripture we know that this place is a place where Christ reigns.  Psalm 103:22 refers to this as a place of His dominion.  “Bless the Lord, all His works in all places of His dominion; bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul!”  It is important to notice the worship that is evoked in this passage – He is blessed and praised here – not for His works – but as The Lord!  It is an acknowledgment of Who He is: His authority; His worthiness; His deity!

Yet before the foundation of the world, Jesus the Messiah, our Lord and Savior, was scheduled to come to earth to open a way for us to be restored in relationship to the Father.  He was crucified from the foundation of the world because in no other way could the quality of perfect obedience required to honor the Father’s perfect authority – be manifested except through God Himself.  On earth Jesus revealed to us the Father.  He manifested the Father to us.  Ultimately – He revealed the Father in the highest degree of His authority by becoming the sin offering that was needed.  Jesus became the personification of complete and total obedience in subjection to God the Father who is the pinnacle of all authority.  What we may tend to miss – is this.  Out of all requirements which Jesus walked out on this earth, the highest of them all was His subjection to the Father and His obedience to Him, even unto death.  Remember, subjection always requires the death of self to be able to obey.  So in this He not only overturned the works of the enemy (which promoted the introduction of self and rebellion), but in His perfect obedience Christ made a way now realized in His redemptive nature – that you and I can also obey.   So Jesus not only revealed through His death the supremacy of the authority of God, by Himself becoming the picture of obedience, but He made a way for you and me to also walk that way – in Him.  Jesus is … the perfect emblem of obedience!

The Beginning of “Yes Lord”

          In the Son — was the very first place where “yes Lord,” was uttered.  His “yes” was solidified “in Christ” — in Himself :), and manifested as He went to the Cross and fulfilled every term of the contractual agreement (Covenant) between He and the Father.  Because of Christ Jesus’ obedience — we can now receive every blessing prepared for us.  You and I receive these blessings when we abide and have our very being framed within Christ Jesus.  This is because:  where as many are the promises of God they all find their Yes answer in Him!   He said “Yes,” to the Father.  Now He is the very place of “Yes” for us!

The reality of this may be more complicated than we think.  However, our Lord Jesus Christ has made a way for us – where there was no way.  In His perfect obedience He has made a way for us to become obedient.  In His perfect love, worship, and honoring of the Father, He has created a redemptive life where we can “know Him in the power of His resurrection, in the fellowship of His suffering, and even in obedience unto death.” (Phil 3:10)  The entrance to that place “in Christ” is found through our surrender, with faith as the rail system for transit.  But paramount to abiding in this place of blessing – is having a heart of worship for the Lord where obedience forms its central core. The deepest and most Christ-like expression of any worship we may engage in is one where our heart vocalizes, “Yes Lord” and it then flows out of our mouth and out of our lives!

Again, beware less you think this is some ethereal, emotional, transcendent worship of the Lord – that has no practical application.  Indeed, application is both mandated and required.  We will walk out this worship of the Lord, in total obedience, every time we say in our heart and then with our lips: “Yes, Lord.”

Obedience to Also be Manifested Through the Church/Bride

          Before we begin to look more closely at the Bride, we must first understand this point.  That as Christ revealed the Father (and the Father’s Authority) through His obedience/subjection, so the Bride is charged with manifesting the authority of Christ, through her own obedience and subjection.  Christ is the Head of His Church which is His Body, His Promised Bride.  The Word says in 1Jn 4:17, “…as He is, so are we in this world.” So as He perfectly showcased the Father’s authority, so we are to do for Him, by our obedience.  However, there are issues with the Bride’s obedience (that of the Church) that must yet become captive to the obedience of Christ.

The Bride’s Readiness

          The Bride that is the Body of Christ is currently in varied states of readiness to say “yes” to her Lord.  Widely divergent beliefs, levels of faith, and most importantly obedience (or rather the lack of) within the body cause her to not yet be at the place of entering into all that the Lord has for her.  Let’s start our examination here – briefly, with divergent beliefs.

Divergent Beliefs

It’s not my goal to present a matrix cataloging all the differences in doctrines between denominations or in anyway really to discuss the differences between believers.  That is actually not the problem.  The real problem arises when, no matter what our denomination or profession, our belief or system of beliefs departs from the express truth of the word of God.  Where there is variance and actually “error” because of that departure – we block our ability to inherit the word and the promises of God.  You cannot receive what you do not believe or have faith for.  When you do not have faith – you cannot even begin to please God (Rom 8:8, Heb 11:6).  Faith is the mechanism for receiving our inheritance from God.  Romans 4:16 clearly outlines this process of inheriting.  Paul says:

“Therefore, [inheriting] the promise is the outcome of faith and depends [entirely] on faith, in order that it might be given as an act of grace (unmerited favor), to make it stable and valid and guaranteed to all his descendants – not only to the devotees and adherents of the Law, but also to those who share the faith of Abraham, who is [thus] the father of us all.”

So to inherit what God has for us – our faith must be right, but also our truth must line up with what God says.  This is foundational, because God’s truth is our bedrock to cling to.  It is the written counterpart to the One Who is all Truth, and Whose Spirit is the Spirit of Truth.  As we cling in faith to the Word of Truth – so we cling to Jesus, because our first and greatest inheritance – is the life of Christ in us which forms the “Yes” to even greater inheritance!

Levels of Faith

          Again just a brief word about levels of faith – these comments are simply preambles to what is the main point, so I don’t want to bog down in an exhaustive discussion.

Abraham had a level of faith which from the very beginning was able to compel him and move him.  He had living faith.  It caused him to so trust God that he was obedient and left his homeland of Haran under the direction of the Lord.  It later caused him to again move out under God’s injunction to offer Isaac, the son of promise, as a sacrifice upon the Mount Mariah.  It is here that we are given the very first use of worship – as Abraham tells his servants, “I and the young man will go yonder and worship and come again back to you.” (Gen 22:5)  His faith in God is fully operative – He is trusting in God and His promise that Isaac is the son through which the promise will be realized of being the father of many nations.

We look at Abraham in this situation and we might be tempted to insert ourselves – our perspective, our feelings about God’s request. Everything within us perhaps balks at such a request from God – to offer a beloved son.  How can one make sense of such a request?  We will see that one cannot.  But to stay to the point, this was not the first time that Abraham had gone through this process of obedience.  By this time he has already interceded with Jesus for the righteous in Sodom and Gomorrah. He has already seen the result of remaining in faith to receive the inheritance concerning Isaac’s miraculous conception and birth – where his “human reason for hope being gone, hoped in faith that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been promised,…”. (Amp Rom 4:18)  Hoping in faith… is not like hoping in reason at all.  One looks at things unseen, one look at what is seen.  One trusts in God.  One trusts in our own ability to reason and think.  Hoping in faith was not a new process to Abraham, though His final testing of its strength was to come through this offering of Isaac (Heb 11:17-19).

Yet even more important, it is here out of his heart of worship that Abraham is fully obedient to the instruction of the Lord.  This is not mere external obedience – but Abraham is fully vested and united in faith – in spirit, soul, and body. His highest expression of worship is seen from his spiritual posture which has said “Yes, Lord – I will do as You say.”  From the moment he was given the instruction from God, to three days later at the place of Moriah, he moved constantly towards the place of “Yes, Lord.”

Don’t miss this point!  Obedience presupposes subjection to God’s authority, just as Christ was entirely subject.  But there can be no subjection when self is still ruling.  This is one of the things Jesus came to overturn.  So we know Abraham was in that place of subjection and obedience.  We know this because he arrived and did all that the Lord required.  If at any time he had moved into, “no Lord,” he would not have arrived at Moriah – nor would he have inherited the promise given to him by God.  But he was completely obedient – and while the rest is history – it shows us that before our heart can truly worship it must first be framed in obedience.  Again, the highest utterance of that worship framed in obedience is: “Yes Lord!”

A final comment – not only was Abraham fully vested in his obedience, but he actually gained “dunamis” strength and power in his worship of God.  In his prior experience of receiving God’s promise (Isaac) as his inheritance it says Abraham “… grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God.” (Amp Rom 4:20)  The rendering on this word “strong” is derivative from dunamis which is the Holy Spirit’s wonder working power.

What is the point in all of this?  When faith is fully resting on God – believing (like Abraham) that God is willing and able to do all that He has promised, we will obey Him and our obedience will walk out robed as worship.  This is the place of entry for receiving the promises and inheritance already purchased for us by Christ, which is only available “in Christ”.

“Yes” Believes and Obeys Despite Trouble

Even Unto Death

Think back to Joseph and all his troubles.  He didn’t know he was on the fast track to promotion in Egypt to the second highest position in the realm.  It didn’t look like that at all!  Through betrayal, and beatings, persecution, imprisonment, being overlooked and forgotten by men – he was never overlooked or forgotten by God – though it looked like that for a long time.  But the Lord was securing in Joseph a heart of obedience that was constantly expressed in the worship of his heart – a “Yes Lord” response to every adversity.  As I write this, I know it sounds easy.  But I know it was anything but easy – for it involved continual death in Joseph, just like it involved a death in Abraham and even Isaac.  It involved their dying to themselves: their own desires, plans, agendas, dreams, you name it – it all had to be laid down just like Isaac, a living sacrifice – and it had to stay down.

Think of this.  Joseph – having every “right” to hold grievance and hatred toward his brothers – yet continually surrendering that right and dying to it.  Joseph – having every “reason” to be offended by what God has apparently allowed in his life – continually choosing subjection and right relationship with the Lord.  Were there days when he was upset and angry, crying out to God – fearing with despair?  Most assuredly!  But in the final outcome – Joseph’s heart of obedience prevails.  Joseph – having every “reason” to doubt God and become embittered (as the chief butler in prison is restored and fails to remember Joseph to Pharaoh as one who interprets dreams) – instead chooses to remain in faith before God, though the days draw out and his captivity seems unending.  But again, Joseph remains in faith – the rails of his faith a solid and sure vehicle for operating in obedience – but his obedience to God is so profound that he is held qualified by God to be God’s platform to display God’s grace and power (Authority) to the Egyptians and the entire world at the time.  Joseph’s heart – every fiber of his being had to be aligned with “Yes Lord.”  Thus, not only does he inherit the promises of God (presented in his earliest dreams and visions), but the prominence of these promises is such that he is a type and shadow of the very nature of the Savior of the world yet to come as Zaphenath-paneah.

Quality of Our Obedience

          If you have ever worked with furniture restoration you understand that different types of wood have different hardness qualities.  Hence, the stain you use on the wood will penetrate deeply if it’s a soft wood like pine.  But a hard wood will allow less stain to penetrate because of the cell density and hardness of the wood.  Hardwoods have to be buffed sometimes with steel wool to get the level of intensity you want in the stain.

People are similar to wood in this regard – especially concerning the quality and depth of obedience.  This has a direct bearing on our walk in Christ and inheriting His promises.  When we are hard and resistant we have not surrendered.  We are not subject.  Jesus Himself recognizes our love for Him through the lens of obedience. (Jn 21:14)  In fact He disputes love where there is no obedience. (Lk 6:46)

Jesus relates a story of two sons in Matthew 21:28-31.  The father asks each of the sons to go and work in the vineyard that day.  The first son said that he would not, but afterward changed his mind and went.  The second son was asked the same thing by the father, but after replying that he would go – he did not.  Jesus asks the people – “Which of the two did the will of the father?”  When the chief priests and elders say to him the first son did the will of the father, He tells them tax collectors and harlots will get into the kingdom of heaven before them.  This was a revealing test for the elders and chief priests.  You see, they could recognize in the story which of the sons was obedient.  Thus, they condemned themselves as disobedient – because they would not obey.

Jesus was speaking about the priests’ and elders’ hardness of heart.  They would not change their minds nor subject themselves– but rather they resisted Him and the will of the Father, just like hardwoods that have not been roughed up.  The first son changed his mind and went.  His capacity to be moved and turned by the Lord was greater than the second son.  The same question can be posed to us.  Are we able to have our heart and mind changed by the Lord?  Can He move on us in our thinking to bring a different perspective – one that is obedient to the will of God?  Is our thinking able to be brought captive to the obedience of Christ?

This question in itself is like a litmus test to our hardness or to our lack of subjection and obedience to Christ.  2Cor 10:5 instructs us to actually refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the true knowledge of God.  Many times such arguments come from outside our own thinking.  Sometimes they are aspects of our own thinking which have not been worked on by the Cross.  These things are introduced and retained by our fleshly, soulish reasoning, and by the enemy.  But they give us insight to where our perspectives are not aligned with truth.  Thus where our thinking is adversarial to the true knowledge of God, our obedience cannot be otherwise.  We will follow what we think until our thinking is overturned by truth!  May that happen with us all!

Say, “Yes” to Whatever He Says

(The Power of Agreement)


          Before Jesus could minister the Gospel to the Gentiles He was required to present it fully to the Jews.  It was the order of things given to Him by the Father as part of the Covenant obligations.

In Matthew 15:25 we have an amazing story of the Canaanite woman who runs after Jesus and His disciples, crying out to Him, begging for the healing of her demon possessed daughter.  When the Lord did not answer her, the disciples asked to be able to send her away.  He says to her that He is sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.  But she kneels before Him, worships, calls Him Lord and continually implores Him to help.  It is then that He speaks to her.  Jesus says, “It is not right (proper, becoming or fair) to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”  (Amp Mt 15:26)  Now something incredible happens.  Where the door on the matter seems to be closing, the faith of the women (in agreement with the Lord’s words) finds a way to squeak in her toe of faith to block that closing door.  She says to Him. “Yes Lord, yet even the little pups eat the crumbs that fall down from their master’s table.”  Jesus turns to her, commends the greatness of her faith, and concludes, “Be it done to you as you wish.”  Her daughter was healed from that moment.

This passage reveals a number of really important things.  At the moment she was petitioning the Lord – she was tacitly outside the sphere of His ministry.  Do you see this?  Anyone –has the power to turn the Lord’s Head! She was Canaanite. But it was her faith and worship which gave her access to the benefits of His Kingdom.  How could He refuse her – when her faith and worship had declared her heart as being His?  Her faith and worship gave her entrance where natural birth would have disqualified her.

This next point may be more difficult, but it concerns the power of agreement.  She did not attempt to vindicate herself, or to deny His association of her as a little dog. What is really interesting is that as I researched the usage of worship in different Scriptures, in this text, Mt 15:25, the word used for worship is Strongs# 4352.  The word is “proskuneo.” It means to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand; to fawn or crouch to, i.e. (lit or fig) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore): — worship.  Here is this Canaanite woman – worshiping the Lord in just this way, and as she is engaged in worship like a little dog kissing His hand – the conversation turns to the little dogs eating the crumbs from the master’s table! Amazing – but not coincidence! May we all have such faith, and such worship springing from the posture of obedience, and such devotion which causes us to not only be completely Christ-focused, but free from any worry or issue of offense as well.

In her subjection, she leapt over the Lord’s hurdle (of her ineligibility) on the springboard of “Yes Lord.”  In Matthew 18:19-20 we see the truth of this event depicted in the word.  It says, “if two or more of you on earth (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever [anything and everything] they may ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For wherever two or three are gathered (drawn together as my followers) in (into) My name, there I AM in the midst of them.”  Here the Canaanite woman was completely in agreement with the Lord.  She was drawn in as more than a casual follower – for she pursued Him as her very life depended on him. Dead to the potential insult put before her, she instead used it as a stepping stone to reach Him. Many times we quote this verse but still do not receive what we are asking for.  If we are His followers, our first order of agreement is always with Him, His Word and His nature.  It is not agreement just between two believers.  It is two believers coming to the place of agreement — in the Lord.  These are very different things.  The reason is this: every word and promise is yes and amen in Christ Jesus!  So our agreement must be founded in Him believing like Abraham, that He is willing and able to do what we ask. The Canaanite woman found her agreement in Christ – she said “Yes Lord,” I am a little dog – but I am Your little dog Lord.

When my thinking and believing are framed in agreement with truth and the fullness of Christ is formed in me – I will find entrance, and the granting of my petition, just as the Canaanite women did.  But like her, our heart must rest in faith in Him, knowing He is Lord. However, it is our faith which remains steadfast in a heart of worship — walked out as obedience which secures the promise. Before we can ever receive what the Lord says, we must meet Him in subjection with a heart of worship that says, “Yes Lord!”

So must the Bride become — so she must do!


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