Throughout the Bible, we read inspiring stories of people who said “yes” to God’s call and purpose for their lives. Their obedience and surrender to God’s will paved the way for His plan of salvation to unfold. In this blog post, we will explore some of the most significant “yes” responses found in Scripture and what we can learn from them today.
Saying “yes” to God requires faith, courage, and trust in His promises. It means laying down our own agendas to embrace His. The Bible shows us that when we yield to God’s calling, He will equip and empower us for the task. Although saying “yes” to God can lead through difficulty, it ultimately results in living out His glorious eternal purposes.
This blog post highlights eight biblical characters who responded affirmatively to God’s call. They expressed full commitment to His will despite fears, uncertainties, and challenges. Their stories inspire us to also say “yes” to God’s invitations in our lives. As we do, we become part of His grand narrative of redemption written across history.
Here are the key takeaways we will explore:
- Mary – Her receptive obedience to a remarkable calling helped bring the Savior into the world.
- Abraham – His willing obedience led to the fulfillment of God’s covenant promises.
- Moses – Though reluctant, he submitted to God’s directive to lead Israel out of slavery.
- Joshua – He courageously committed to take the Israelites into the Promised Land.
- Ruth – She pledged wholehearted devotion to God and His people.
- Esther – Willing to risk her life for the salvation of her people.
- Isaiah – Despite intense doubt and guilt, yielded to God’s commission.
- Paul – His dramatic conversion led to full surrender to Christ’s call.
As we examine each life, we will consider how their example can encourage and inspire our own “yes” to God each day. May we respond to His call with faith, courage, and trust like those who have gone before us.
Mary – An Unlikely Choice
Mary was a young virgin engaged to Joseph when the angel Gabriel appeared to her with an astounding message. She had been chosen to give birth to the promised Messiah-King (Luke 1:26-38). At first, Mary was perplexed and afraid, which was understandable given the unprecedented nature of this calling. However, she displayed courage by asking thoughtful questions, willing to align her heart with God’s purposes. When Gabriel explained the conception would be through the Holy Spirit, Mary responded in humility and faith:
“Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38 NKJV).
With those words, Mary accepted an incredible responsibility that would change the course of history. The Son she bore would provide salvation for all humanity. Her story reminds us that God often chooses the lowly and unlikely for strategic purposes – so that His glory shines all the brighter. Though Mary recognized her own insignificance as a “maidservant,” she aligned her will fully with God’s. We too can say yes to God’s plans, even when they seem improbable or beyond our capabilities.
Abraham – The Call of Faith
God promised Abram (later renamed Abraham) that he would become the father of a great nation through whom all the world would be blessed (Genesis 12:1-3). At an elderly age and with no children, this seemed impossible. Yet Abraham obeyed God’s directive to leave behind everything familiar and follow Him toward an unknown land. After waiting many years, Abraham and Sarah miraculously conceived Isaac in their old age. Because of Abraham’s willingness to say yes to God’s improbable plans, Isaac’s descendants became the nation of Israel – the people God used to bring forth the Messiah.
Abraham’s story reminds us that saying yes to God often requires stepping out in faith rather than relying on what we can directly see or control. It means putting our confidence in God’s faithfulness rather than earthly securities. Though God’s promises may seem unlikely based on current circumstances, when we say yes in faith, we will see His miraculous provision and blessing. Abraham’s example encourages us to embrace God’s plans no matter how impossible they may seem.
Moses – From Reluctance to Obedience
When God first called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses responded with reluctance and doubt (Exodus 3-4). He felt unqualified and incapable for the task. However, after God equipped Moses with miraculous signs and promising reassurance, Moses said yes. His obedience led to one of the most incredible displays of divine power as God liberated His people through ten plagues and parted the Red Sea.
Moses demonstrates that God can use anyone – even the reluctant. When Moses got over his initial resistance and said yes, God worked powerfully through him. At times we may feel inadequate for what God asks of us. Like Moses, we may come up with various objections and excuses. But God often grows and strengthens us the most when we surrender our insecurities and say yes. Rather than counting ourselves out due to weaknesses, we can trust the Lord’s enablement.
Joshua – Courage to Conquer
After Moses’ death, Joshua assumed leadership of Israel. God commanded him to take possession of the Promised Land by driving out its inhabitants (Joshua 1:1-9). This daunting task required great courage, decisiveness, and dependence on God. Joshua demonstrated full commitment to the mission, declaring, “As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15). Throughout the book of Joshua, we read of his key victories and unswerving allegiance to God’s directives.
Joshua’s example reminds us that saying yes to God may lead us into fierce battles. Fulfilling God’s purposes often requires courage and fierce determination against strong opposition. Like Joshua, we must resolve that no matter what comes against us, we will serve the Lord with wholehearted devotion. This steadfast commitment empowers us to press forward into the fullness of purpose God has for us.
Ruth – Loyalty Bringing Redemption
Ruth’s story began amid family tragedy and crisis. After the deaths of her husband and brother-in-law, her mother-in-law, Naomi, decided to return to her homeland of Israel. Rather than staying comfortably in Moab, Ruth pledged unwavering loyalty to Naomi and her people, declaring:
“Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God” (Ruth 1:16 NKJV).
This vow led Ruth towards Bethlehem where she eventually married Boaz. As an ancestor to King David, Ruth became part of Jesus’ lineage. Her pledge of devotion serves as a powerful example of saying yes to God. Ruth was willing to go anywhere and align fully with God’s purposes rather than seeking security and comfort. Her story reminds us that saying yes to God may lead us on unexpected journeys. But when we follow wholeheartedly, our lives become intertwined with His redemptive work.
Esther – Born for Divine Purposes
Queen Esther demonstrated remarkable courage to risk her life for God’s greater plans. When the Persian king approved an edict to extermination all Jews in the kingdom, Mordecai appealed to Esther to intervene. This was no small act, as anyone approaching the king without being summoned could be executed. After initially shrinking back in fear, Esther aligned her heart with God’s purposes, declaring:
“If I perish, I perish!” (Esther 4:16 NKJV).
Esther then boldly approached the king, resulting in a dramatic turnaround – the Jews were spared and destroyed their enemies. God placed Esther in the palace “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14) – and she rose heroically to the occasion. Though Esther initially struggled to say yes, she responded to this pivotal challenge with courage and resolve. Her story reminds us that God has purpose for our lives. When we say yes to His cause, we can make an impact on the world around us.
Isaiah – Answering the Call of Holiness
Isaiah’s commissioning as a prophet began with a powerful vision of God’s glory filling the temple (Isaiah 6:1–8). In this divine encounter, Isaiah gained a vivid understanding of God’s unmatched majesty and holiness. Recognizing his own sinfulness and inadequacy before Almighty God, Isaiah cried out “Woe is me!” Yet graciously, God provided Isaiah cleansing and forgiveness.
When God then asked, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Isaiah declared: “Here am I! Send me.” Though Isaiah felt unworthy for this calling, he said yes to becoming God’s messenger. As he aligned himself fully with God’s plans, Isaiah was transformed and equipped for the task. His example reminds us that saying yes to God begins with recognizing His surpassing greatness and our need for cleansing from sin. When we humbly surrender our inadequacies, God fills and reforms us for His service.
Paul – Saying Yes to True Purpose
The Apostle Paul (first called Saul) was dramatically converted on the road to Damascus after directly encountering the risen Christ (Acts 9). What followed was a 180-degree turnaround as he surrendered completely to the lordship of Jesus. Paul began passionately preaching the Gospel – the very message he had previously sought to destroy. Through zealous evangelistic journeys, Paul spread the good news across the Roman Empire, planting many churches. He endured immense suffering to fulfill his mission of testifying to Christ.
Paul’s story reminds us that saying yes to God can transform even the most unlikely candidate. As we yield our agendas to embrace Christ’s call for our lives, we become part of His redemptive work on earth. This will require denying selfish interests and embracing God’s priorities as our own. Like Paul, saying yes may lead through hardship, yet living fully for Christ infuses our lives with eternal meaning and purpose.
Conclusion: Saying Our Own “Yes” to God
Throughout Scripture, we see the far-reaching impact when men and women said yes to God’s calling. Their examples both challenge and inspire us. As we reflect on these stories, consider what God may be inviting you to say yes to in your life right now. How is He calling you to surrender, trust, and obey? What step of courageous faith might He be asking you to take? God has handcrafted good works for you to walk in (Ephesians 2:10). Saying yes allows us to fulfill these divine purposes and experience the bless of obedience.
While saying yes will look different for each of us, the common thread is releasing our tight grip on personal control and agendas. As we yield wholeheartedly to Gods’ leadership each day, He will orchestrate circumstances and equip us to complete the good work He began (Philippians 1:6). During difficult seasons, we can cling to His promises and experience peace as we rest in His sovereign plan. God rewards those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6), coming to our aid when we align ourselves with His will.
No matter where we are starting from, let’s respond today with the courageous yes of Mary, the faith of Abraham, and the surrendered worship of Isaiah. God has put the seed of noble purpose within our hearts (1 Peter 1:3-5). As we say yes, even a willingness as small as a mustard seed, God will nurture it to fruition (Matthew 17:20). Our yes matters, more than we may ever realize. May our lives resound with a resounding chorus of “yes” to all God has for us. What adventure of divine purpose might He lead you into today?
- Saying yes to God requires faith and courage but results in fulfilling His glorious purposes.
- Mary, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Ruth, Esther, Isaiah, Paul all provide inspiring examples of those who aligned their lives with God’s will.
- Their stories demonstrate key attitudes for us to emulate – obedience, trust, surrender, and a willingness to embrace God’s plans.
- Saying yes may lead us through difficulty, yet brings meaning as we play our part in God’s grand narrative.
- God equips those He calls and works powerfully through surrendered lives.
- Our specific callings will differ, but all begin with humbly yielding our agendas to God’s leadership.
- Saying yes positions us to walk in the exciting good works God prepared for our lives.