Mary said “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” Then the angel departed from her. – Luke 1:38
With these words our salvation began. Mary’s “Yes” to God, agreeing to cooperate with God’s plan, resulted in the “Word Made Flesh”; Jesus. In order for all of us to cooperate with God’s plan for us we need to say “Yes” to God. How is your “Yes” going for you?
Have You Said “Yes” to God?
God is always present with us, but gives us free will to choose to. love Him. God wants us to turn to Him and say “Yes”. By saying “Yes” we agree to cooperate with God and His plan for us. Can you imagine how Mary must have felt when an angel suddenly appears and tells her that God has chosen her to bear God’s son? Mary’s “Yes” is the example for us all to see the incredible trust she has in God. Saying “Yes” to God and following Jesus can be very hard. Jesus’ lessons are the complete opposite of what society preaches today. Jesus preaches to love your neighbor and turn the other cheek. Society today is more blame oriented than forgiving, and it can be very difficult to love your neighbor. Don’t confuse love with like. You don’t have to like your neighbor, but you have to love them. There’s a big difference between liking the neighbor when he/she are on opposite sides of the political spectrum, have had harsh interactions previously, or in general you just don’t like them; as opposed to loving them and ensuring they have whatever is needed, food, clothing, shelter, etc. (Matthew 25:36-46). Following Jesus is not easy, but the “benefits” are out of this world!
How Can I Get Back to Yes?
Over the course of life we can at times, stray from Jesus’ message and move away from our “Yes” to God. Its not unusual to get caught up in the day to day activities and this will give the false spirit the opportunity to divert our attention from God. If that happens there are a number of activities you can engage in to get back to your “Yes”:
- Prayer – this is without a doubt the most important aspect of building your relationship with God. In any relationship, you must invest the time to grow that relationship. If you have stepped away from prayer, this is an opportunity to step back. Start with 5-10 minutes in the morning before you start your day. If you have been able to maintain your prayer you can add more “quality” minutes. By quality minutes I mean being more focused on opening your heart to see, feel, and hear God’s response to your prayer. Change things up a bit by praying in a different location in the house, changing your prayer structure, or spend some time in nature amongst God’s amazing work to help the connection.
- Often people will tend to drift further sway from God if they have sinned. We tend to dwell on the past and the sin, while Jesus forgives and refocuses on what is best for us. Confession is the answer here, although getting to confession may not be a fast option for you. In these situations it is best to just do the next right thing. In other words simply help someone, or follow Jesus’ teaching when the next opportunity comes up. Don’t let the sin paralyze you until you are able to get to Confession.
- Attend a religious gathering or a retreat. This will give you the opportunity to gather with other believers and you will see that you are not alone. Many of the problems we face are common and sometimes hearing others stories and how they dealt with the challenges helps you to find your way back to “Yes”.