When our children object to our command or ask us a question, we try to answer them with reason. But if it’s followed by stubborn objections or endless questions, we teach our children to say two magic words that end a long conversation and settle the issue for everybody: “Yes Mama!” or “Yes Papa!”
Most kids grow up hearing the word “No!” more than the word “Yes!”. “No, don’t touch,” “No, don’t play over there,” “No, don’t yell.” Is it any wonder when we hear back from our children the defiant “No!”?
Of course there is a healthy and appropriate use of “No” but we have made it a point to develop in Alexis a habit of saying “Yes, Mama” and “Yes, Papa”. How?
By saying a lot of yes and positive statements to her. When she wants to eat too much milk jelly (a favorite of hers from Japan), instead of saying “no you can’t have any more” we say “yes you will have some more tomorrow!” When she makes strange noises like some children are fond of doing or talks silly, we don’t say, “No, stop that!” Instead we phrase our desire for her in the form of a positive and happy command, “Alexis, talk properly!” She will comply happily. Then whenever I get silly she will mimic my command, “Talk properly, Papa!”
Now when Papa says “No!” she knows it’s fairly serious, because I use “no” so sparingly with her. I believe this is how God the Father deals with us. 2 Corinthians 1:20 (KJV2000) says, “For all the promises of God in him are yes, and in him Amen, to the glory of God by us.” Some parents have inoculated their children from paying attention to the word “no” because they use it so frequently. “No” from an authority figure ought to bring us to a frozen standstill! In the case of not crossing the street or avoiding other danger, obeying the single command “No!” can save our life!
If you really know God as Father, you will realize that God easily and frequently says “Yes!” to us. Some people teach that God says “yes” to us only when it’s for our very best, but that’s not true. The Bible shows us several instances when God was persuadable by His children. He thought one way but changed His mind to say “yes” to His children.
The Bible even uses the word “repent” on God, not because God had done wrong and needed to say sorry. The only way God can repent is by following His children instead of His own wishes. Then on occasion He regrets it. In the case of Israel wanting a king to rule over them, both God and the prophet Samuel viewed it as a rejection of Israel’s unique theocracy, but in the end the children of Israel had their sway over God. God conceded and gave them a king named Saul, even though clearly it wasn’t in their best interest. Their history would prove that out.
In the case of Sodom and Gomorrah, God was open to Abraham’s suggestion that He withhold destruction on the condition that 10 righteous persons were found living in the cities. Unfortunately there weren’t even 10 believers left. God, like any good father, loves to hear from His children and is more prone to say “yes” to their request than “no”. That’s what it means, “In Him are yes, in Him Amen.”
God is in the habit of saying “Yes!” to us. We ought to be in the habit of saying “Yes!” to Him.
What has the Lord been saying to you that you have been saying “no” to? Are you ready to say, “Not my will, but Yours, be done”? Why don’t you practice these two magic words right now, “Yes, Lord!”