Doors Open when we say “Yes”

Yes!Many of us have to learn to say, “No,” to turn down something good in order to focus on what we are truly called to. We need to learn that just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should. We need to make sure we don’t just say “Yes” to please people or to avoid guilt. We need to make sure we don’t commit to something we aren’t able to follow through on. There is a time to say, “No.”

But there is also a time to say, “Yes,”to give our wholehearted assent and to venture into something new and risky, be it a large risk or a small one. Saying “Yes” is what I want to talk about today, because saying “Yes,” can lead to open doors and can expand us in ways we can’t even anticipate when we let that word slide out of our mouths.

I look back with gratitude to five years ago when a good friend of mine, who is a singer and song writer, asked me to choreograph movement for a music video she was making. I seriously considered saying, “No,” because it felt daunting and I wasn’t sure I had (or could make) the time to do it. Proverbs 16:1 says, “The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD. Even though I kept mulling over “No,” when I had to reply, “Yes,” is what came out of me. (You can see the video here. It’s entitled, “Know Me,” and is at the bottom of the page.)

open doorWalking through that open door brought blessings I didn’t anticipate when I said, “Yes.” That “Yes” led to a chain of opportunities for me to exercise and grow in the gift of dance. It sparked creativity in me that spilled over to several other dance projects that year. It reignited my love for and calling to dance ministry. And it started with a “Yes.”

Last Thursday, one of the lead teachers at the school at which I teach asked if I would be willing to teach chapel the following Wednesday. Earlier this year, when she passed around a sign up for chapel speakers, I deliberately let the sign up sheet pass me by. My plate is full this fall, and I was being choosy about my commitments. But when this woman, whom I love and through whom God speaks to me, asked me directly,  I let the “Yes” come out, not even letting myself debate the decision.

That “Yes” led me to soak in a passage of the book of John last week, listening for what God might want to say to the students. It gave me the chance to share with the whole student body just a bit about postures of worship. I got to see the entire room of students, young boys and girls and young men and women, bowing in prayer and then raising hands in prayer. And it sparked other ideas  for how I might be able to contribute to chapel worship.

Come join us if you live near!
Come join us if you live near!

A month ago, my friend Valerie, who leads the dance ministry at Victory Bible Church here in Pasadena, asked if I would like to bring a group of dancers to participate in their first annual dance concert, “When the Spirit Moves.” I toyed with saying “No” and initially did, because I got a “No” from a dancer with whom I felt led to dance. But the Lord tugged on that dancer’s heart and changed her “No” to a “Yes,” freeing me to do the same.

So, we’ll be dancing with them. As I’m preparing, I’m realizing how much this opportunity is an answer to prayer. Since I first felt a calling to move forward in dance ministry, I’ve wanted to gather a community liturgical dance group and I’ve wanted to get to know the community of praise dancers who live locally to me. While I’ve met many through workshops I’ve taught over the past two years, there are so many more I haven’t met. I’ve set aside my longing to be part of a liturgical dance group in order to focus on other projects. But it has always been on my heart, and really is one of the opportunities I’ve wanted most.

I’m excited to see what doors open, what creativity sparks in me and how God works. I’m learning that our “Yeses” often often lead to other open doors, which result in more opportunities to say “Yes” or “No,” as the Spirit leads.

So, my encouragement you today is to leave space for the “Yeses.” Sometimes this means saying “No” to other things. Sometimes it means being willing to change our plans, to rearrange what we thought we were supposed so we can follow through on the “Yes.” Sometimes it just means being open and having faith to believe that He will enable us to follow through, and that this “Yes” isn’t even the end of the plan. It’s just the beginning.

Take time to join the discussion and share in the comment section. I’d love to hear from you.

What have you said, “Yes,” to recently? What doors opened as a result?

How do you discern when to say, “Yes,” and even when you’re tempted to say, “No?”



6 thoughts on “Doors Open when we say “Yes””

  1. I do have a very important question for you. How do I know if God is calling me to dance. I know such a silly question to ask right? I mean I just want to make the right choice. In the bible it doesn’t say that people will come to faith through dance, but by hearing the word of God. So I want to preach the word of God. That is my sincere desire is to give the gospel. But I also have a passion for dance!! Here’s a summary of my situation: It seems that the dance ministry I’m in- and the church it’s connected to may not have sound and biblical truths/doctrine. Yet, it’s a great opportunity to be there. And since I have been unsure about this churches teaching, I have started to attend a different church and their messages are full of God’s truth. Basically, it seems like I’m caught in the middle. I’m also worried about when another opportunity will come around to even dance for God. Yet, I would rather be at a church where there’s sound teaching and miss out on dancing, than be at church where there isn’t and be in the dance ministry. I really love dance and I feel like I’m called to do that, but I really want to be in a church where truth is being preached and I also want to give the gospel which “seems” like the only way to advance God’s kingdom effective. I really hope that made sense. I tried to summarize as much as possible. When I think about my life? I want to look back, I want to look in God’s face with confidence and say that I did everything I could to give the gospel. Instead of seeing him and realizing that I spent all my days trying to “fulfill my purpose and dreams.” People always talk about this purpose and calling. But I feel like I’m called just to be like Jesus, to glorify him, and to worship him. I live here on earth as a representative of who Christ is and to help the lost put their faith in him. I’m not here to live a comfortable life, but a life dieing to myself. And if that’s the case, where does that leave dancing? or even dancing for God? It seems impossible.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing, Ashley. If you lay down your love for dance to honor the Lord, be faithful to the gospel and His word, He will honor you. You don’t know what the end of that story will be. We have been part of a church for the past two years that has been supportive of me as a dancer but also clear that they don’t want dance in their worship service. So, I’ve focused on using dance outside the church – teaching workshops for other dancers, continuing my own training, offering a dance camp to children, and accepting opportunities to dance with other churches. Now, my husband and I are planting a church, and I have had the chance to dance at one of our services. I guess the way I see it is that we are called to ministry. Dance is a language. It’s a powerful language for communicating God’s stories and for ministering, but it’s not the most important thing. I feel so grateful when the Lord lets me use dance in ministry. I also know I need to hold it with an open hand, otherwise, it’s just an idol. It sounds like you love dance but love Jesus more. Stay close to Him and He’ll show you what He wants you to do with dance.

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