Responding is the giving of your time, your thoughts, your words, your self. Responding is paying attention to something and making a difference about it. There are good and bad responses, but every answer changes the game. It shifts the boat. It gives another angle.
What if your entire life is a dialogue with God?
Every day, God sends you messages. Not in written form, by the way, but with movements. Something dynamic. Something interactive. Not just the two-way discourse like having someone speak at the other end of the phone. God sends you messages through situations, through people, through timing. We can imagine them as phrases, sentences, paragraphs, with different endings:
- Question mark, for things which strikes your intellect.
- Exclamation point, for intense feelings, of joy and sadness.
- Commas, for things with follow ups.
- Periods, for closed doors.
You can think up of different situations for each sentence-enders. You finally land a new job. You and your brother had a fight. You’re slowly struggling with health problems. There’s this officemate that gets on your nerves…
Now here comes the serious part.
Your actions are your response to God.
It could be a Yes. It could be a No. It could be Later, Lord but it cannot be a maybe. Your respond must be on-point, immediate; circumstances do not wait for you. You can Pass, but that moment will not come back again, like a familiar question on a test paper. Take the disciples for example:
“As He was going along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.”
– Mark 1:16-20
Levi (Matthew) also did the same; he left his tax collector post (Say what? The best way to steal money!) and followed Jesus.
So you may think responding is something that doesn’t matter. Think again.
Your response is a factor on how God will respond to you next.
Peter answered Jesus’ call, and he became the cornerstone of Christian faith. Matthew, despite his stinky, taxpaying background, had his sins forgiven and was given the chance to make up by being one of the authors of the Gospels. And we can cite a few more Biblical personalities whose lives were changed because they took that one step. And then what happened? For sure, we’ve read how God’s amazing power surged in their lives, transforming them, catapulting them into bigger personalities they never imagined. Take Abraham. Take Jacob. Take Paul. And take a look at the people around you; some of them already responded and are still responding.
Right now, God is giving you situations that, with the right response, can change your life.
Maybe you’re called for a ministry. Maybe you’re called to confront someone who has offended you and make peace with him. Maybe you are asked to forgive someone who didn’t even ask pardon, but God wants you to let go of the bane out of your throat. Maybe you’re asked to quit a habit or vice you’ve been carrying on for so long.
God is making conversations with you, everyday of your life.
You can choose to be passive. You can say no. But here’s the thing: you’re missing out. Not the fun. Not the experience. You’re missing out on the great, mighty, miraculous power God is going to manifest through you. Ridiculous as it may sound, situations are created to your advantage. Good or bad they may seem at first, God’s intent is to reveal that gold underneath that flesh. Right now, there’s something shining inside you, and God wants you to see it.
God wants you to see HIM work through you.
And all it takes is one step forward. One response. One yes. See:
“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out into a place which he would later receive as an inheritance. He went out not knowing where he was going.”
– Hebrews 11:8, MEV
God doesn’t want you to be perfect (we all can’t). He doesn’t want you to be spotless, clean and blame-free. He knows how helpless we can be, which is why He sent Jesus to take care of the sin.
What He wants us, however, is to be brave.
When we become brave, we are slowly transformed.
Taking courage like David. Obeying without knowing like Abraham. Jumping into God’s orders without hesitation. When we take our fears, pull it out of our chests and put it in our pockets (or throw it far, far away), we become someone different. Someone better.
Worldly situations often limits us. We live in the day where everything is fast paced by we still feel lacking. Not much time. Not much finances. Not much chances.
But God is talking us through amidst all that. He’s telling us we’re something more. He’s telling us that there’s a miracle round the bend, and all it take is just a few steps and some courage to keep our legs stronger. God is bringing you to the rough roads because He knows, with His help, you can fly over the valleys. You are capable. You have Christ in you.
“But we all, seeing the glory of the Lord with unveiled faces, as in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord.”
– 2 Corinthians 3:18, MEV
Your response to God is your offering to Him. And you, in return, becomes a gift to God’s people. It is giving in the fullest form! May every day, you learn to respond to God, in such a way that His majesty shines.
God, this is my response to You. Thank you for the favor. Blessed be Your name. Amen.
“Life Talk” is my first speakership opportunity in our home church, Atlag United Methodist Church. This sermon was initially done to inspire the Young Adult sector to be transformed into joining in local ministries. But I only managed to talk what was true to me, and this is what I managed to reach out.