Yes. Si. Oui. Ja. Ken. Hai. Sim.
In almost every language, "yes" is a little word. When spoken freely, without a sense of obligation, within the context of love, our "yes" carries power. It indicates a freedom of choice and a motivation of love and trust. (Outside the context of love, the word "yes" is often a lie, but that's another discussion for another day.)
God raised Adam and Eve in a garden of yeses. Only one tree was off limits. Why was the tree there? For the sake of free choice. Would they choose life or death? Truth or lies? Obedience grounded in the conviction of God's goodness or their own way based on the fear that God didn't really want what was best for them?
Unfortunately, we're all too aware of the answer.
I've striven to raise my children in a garden of yeses, but it's difficult to do in a dark world. I say "yes" whenever I feel like I can because I believe God still says "yes" to us whenever he can. Moreover, I believe he plants specific desires in our hearts to which he prepares the "yes" ahead of time in Christ Jesus (Psalm 37:4).
Sing it with me: "All Your promises are Yes and Amen."
As a six-year-old little girl, God had my "yes." I prayed he would make me a missionary. In my early teens, I wanted to give him everything, even if that meant becoming a martyr, like many heroes of the faith I'd read about. I went several places, sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
My health declined in my 20s until I became a shut-in at age 29. My circumstances appeared to say, "You'll never be a missionary again." Fortunately for believers, circumstances never get the final say in our lives. Like everything, except for the God we serve, circumstances change. God healed me, and then prompted a friend to invite me to go with her on a mission trip to Brazil with Global Awakening in September 2016.
When she invited me, I wasn't completely healed. I was still adding foods to my diet and figuring out how to spend my newfound freedom within the confines of my limited energy levels. Even still, I felt the Holy Spirit whisper, "Yes." He whispered that same, "Yes," to my husband. And so, I went to Brazil.
There, I met many amazing people. God performed mighty works through the prayers of ordinary people like me. One woman I prayed for approached me with tumors she could feel through her skin. I prayed for her and led her in a forgiveness prayer, and the tumors vanished on the spot! That's my Jesus!
There are many amazing people in Brazil doing the work of the Lord in their home country. One is a girl named Jaqueline Natal. The mission team visited her church near the end of our trip. On the last night at her church, the Holy Spirit was moving powerfully, and the team didn't have enough translators to pray for everyone who had come for prayer. I needed someone to deliver a word the Lord had given me for a young man. Someone retrieved Jacqueline, who happened to be free at the moment and was willing to help however she could. (Yes!) She did a great job helping me communicate what I felt the Lord was saying to the young man.
What I didn't know at the time is that Jaqueline was there because God had given her a dream several weeks before, waking her with the words, "Global Awakening." She researched the words and found that Global Awakening was coming to her old church. She said "yes" to the invitation of the Holy Spirit and served as a translator during the crusade. We crossed paths and became Facebook friends.
When I published my guide, Ten Tools for Inner Healing, last Spring, she read it and followed the teaching videos I posted to my Facebook group, Following the Thread. The tools so enriched her walk with God that she wanted to make them available to her friends in Brazil. Just as God had put it in my heart to share the tools that had changed my life, he put it in her heart to do the same!
For the past several weeks, she and a friend of hers have been working hard to translate the guide into Portuguese. We are in the process of polishing our work and hope to be ready to distribute to Jaqueline's friends in Brazil soon!
And all because of a handful of little yeses that began several years ago with a small group of people who would learn about a few awesome prayer tools, use them to help me find healing in Jesus, and train me to use them in ministry and my personal walk with God!
Never doubt the power of your little "yes", my friend. When you say it out of love and from the heart, the effects are far-reaching. Your "yes" is like a stone thrown into a lake. It creates ripples that expand outward, far beyond the point of impact. You never know what God might do!
Note: Neither Jaqueline F. Natal nor Nayara Hansen received any financial or material compensation for the translation of this project. Like me, they simply wanted to make it available to others who might benefit from the material.