Finding Your Greater “Yes”
By Dan Erickson
Here is an outstanding lesson to share with your men at your next men’s meeting about finding your God-given potential and destiny!
I once visited a zoo and observed a rare eagle in a large cage. He was created to soar over mountains with wings spread wide, yet here he was sitting sadly on a branch, never to experience the power of his potential and destiny.
Many of us are just like that eagle. We have an inner sense that life should be more exciting, our work more satisfying and our relationships more fulfilling. Without really noticing how it happened, we begin to view our circumstances as cages keeping us from true happiness: If only I had a better job. If only I could break this addiction. If only I had more money. If only I was single (or married, or married to someone else).
After years of frustration and despair in our cage of circumstances, many of us give up on our marriage, career, family, life, and sometimes even our faith. We accept our condition and position as normal. Hating our job is normal. Accumulating stuff is normal. Being bored in church is normal. Marriage without true intimacy is just normal. Destructive behavior is normal. Divorce is normal. The “absent father” is normal.
But do you know what the scariest part is? When normal becomes succeeding at what does not truly matter.
God’s Plan + Your Potential = Your “Greater Yes!”
Jeremiah, an Old Testament prophet, once wrote, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (29:11). This passage applies to us, too.
In 2004, I was lying in a hospital bed after having two stints put in my heart. My heart issue was an obvious symptom of a deeper need. God was calling me out of my comfort zone, and I was resisting. It was stressing me out!
Sidelined from my schedule and confined to bed, I felt adrift. I missed my bustling schedule, my ringing cell phone, and my marathon of meetings. Finally, since I had nothing else to do, I asked God, “Why am I here? How did I get myself in this position? What are you trying to say to me?”
God clearly spoke to me through his Spirit, making me realize that I was full of fear and unwilling to do what he had called me to do. “Because of your fear and lack of trust in me, you have settled for the lesser over the greater. I have a ‘Greater Yes!’ for you.” It radiated in my heart that I would never find true fulfillment and potential until I started living God’s ‘Greater Yes!’ for me. This meant I had to stop clinging to the security of a regular paycheck, give up my position on the church staff, and move to a promised land infested with giants. He was calling me off my map onto his compass.
I was reminded again by Paul, that
“Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen. God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge – a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete.” (2 Corinthians 1:20-22, MSG)
Many “Lesser Yeses” vs. One “Greater Yes!”
I don’t claim to know your exact story, but I can probably tell you what is holding you back from reaching God’s potential for your life: being stuck in a series of lesser yeses. What do I mean by that? A lesser yes is giving a circumstance permission to determine your destiny.
* Lesser Yes: I’ll keep going to a job that frustrates and drains me.
* Greater Yes: I’ll find a calling that will propel me to my potential.
* Lesser Yes: I’ll go through the motions of attending church.
* Greater Yes: I’ll find a ministry that fulfills God’s calling.
* Lesser Yes: I’ll give up on my dreams because it’s too late for me.
* Greater Yes: I’ll learn to succeed at the things that really matter.
It’s time to exchange the empty puniness of many lesser yeses for the explosive power of one “Greater Yes!”
In short, our “Greater Yes!” is what the Apostle Paul called, “the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). The “Greater Yes!” can be defined as “that which compels and propels us to our God-given potential and destiny.” Paul continued, “So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us” (verse 14 MSG).
Where’s Your “Greater Yes!”?
How many of us are doing the work as adults that we dreamed of doing as children or even as college students? Not many. We’ve laid aside our dreams because we couldn’t afford it. Or the timing was bad. Or we didn’t want the kids to change schools. Or we didn’t think we had the right skills, training, or background. Or we wanted to stay near our extended families. The reasons go on and on. Meanwhile, the big dreams we had for our lives fade away. If they come to mind again, we dismiss them quickly as “not realistic” or say “it’s too late.” In other words, “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.”
Frustrating, isn’t it? So often we set a course for ourselves, only to see it go places we never intended, or worse, come to a standstill we can’t seem to shake. Then it’s only natural to wonder if we’ve either missed God’s best for our lives or just never saw it clearly to begin with.
I’m here to tell you that it’s not too late. God hasn’t given up on you. He hasn’t taken your destiny or given it to anyone more worthy.
Christ did not die on a cross only so we can go to heaven, but also so we could live our “Greater Yes!” a “real and eternal life, more and better life than they (we) ever dreamed of” (John 10:10, MSG).
There is not one example in the Bible where Christ called anyone just to be a convert or challenged them to just change their behavior. Conversion and the changed life are the supernatural results of believers moving to a “Greater Yes!”
What if There Were No “Greater Yes!”?
Perhaps you don’t see the importance or need for a “Greater Yes!” Maybe you are not sure God has a specific one for you. That’s exactly how I lived before my wake-up call in the hospital. But scripture illustrates to us again and again how critical a “Greater Yes!” is for every person.
If there were no “Greater Yes!”
* Noah would not have built an ark when it had never rained.
* Abraham, who left his people for a wilderness, would not have become a father of many nations.
* Daniel would not have faced a king and been spared from the lions den.
* Moses would not have confronted Pharaoh so the children of Israel could come out of Egypt and be set free.
* Joshua would have died in the desert rather than lead the children of Israel through the Jordan into their land of promise.
* King David would never have defeated Goliath and gone on to become King of Israel and a man after God’s own heart.
* Mary could not have become the mother of Jesus.
* True disciples would not live to die as martyrs.
* Christ would never have gone to a cross to redeem mankind.
A Shift is Needed
For far too long, too many believers have been satisfied with just enough of God to escape hell. For far too long, the church has been so busy saying “no” that Christians have not broken free to find their “Greater Yes!”
Without a dramatic shift in our perspective, we will continue to succeed at what does not matter. We will choose the counterfeit over the real, the comfortable over the impossible. The result will be empty, frustrated, and unfulfilled lives.
I am compelled to write because I want to stir people out of their cages of complacency so they can fly, so they can experience the life they were born for and develop into the people they were destined to become.
The eagle in the zoo had no choice but to be resigned to his condition, his cage, and his branch. We have a choice. We don’t have to remain confused about our potential. We don’t have to resign ourselves to being caged by our past, pain, sin, or addiction. It’s time to stir out of our nest of mediocrity and complacency. It’s time to live as the people God created us to be. It is time to rise up like eagles to our destiny and potential! Are you ready to fly? Imagine the possibilities!
Moving Toward Your “Greater Yes!”
* What is God laying on my heart that is breaking His heart?
* What condition is keeping me from my “Greater Yes!”
* What are the lesser yeses in my life that are stealing my potential and destiny?
* If I had unlimited resources and complete freedom to fail, what would I attempt for God?
* What have I learned that will help me move toward my “Greater Yes!”?
“Finding Your ‘Greater Yes!'”. Written by Dan Erickson.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”