“You can’t say ‘Lord’ unless you say ‘yes’.”
It was December 1973 when I heard Elizabeth Elliot say those words to over 10,000 college students at Urbana ’73. I was one of those students about to start my last semester of college.
You can’t say:
- “No, Lord”
- “Wait, Lord”
- “Later, Lord”
- “I will if….., Lord”
- “Not now, Lord”
If I say any of those things to the Lord – Jesus is not Lord.
The ONLY response I can make if Jesus is Lord is “yes’.
How do we feel when our children make excuses when we ask them to do something? We realize that they do not want to obey – so they have an excuse. We don’t like it.
Neither does our Lord.
We want our children to obey because we have their best interest at heart, even when they don’t understand why they can’t have ice cream before dinner, or wear shorts in the snow, or watch three movies a day.
It is because we love our children that we withhold certain things.
It is because God loves us that He withholds certain things.
Jesus was nearing the end of His earthly ministry. He was trying to communicate some very important truth before He left His disciples. (We do that as well with our children, don’t we? “Now one more thing before I go …”)
Luke 9: 57-62
57 As they were walking along, someone said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
58 But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”
59 He said to another person, “Come, follow me.”
The man agreed, but he said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.”
60 But Jesus told him, “Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead![c] Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.”
61 Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.”
62 But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”
In each of these situations, people wanted to follow Jesus, BUT….
Jesus tells them that is not how it works.
When we ask our children to obey us and trust that we know what we are doing – it is just what God is requiring of us as parents. We are actually training our children to obey God when we have them practice by obeying us as their parents.
The biggest difference – God is perfect. God’s ways are perfect.
As our children say “yes” to us, they will learn to say “yes” to the Lord.
When we say “YES” to the Lord, we are modeling what it means to follow Jesus.