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Tuesday, July 9

A Soul That Longs For More

(Below is a little peek into my book, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God – the story of how I really got started on this life-long “yes” journey. And I thought it just might speak into someone’s heart today. Find out how you can dig deeper into the book at the end of this post!)

It all started the day God told me to give away my Bible.

I was exhausted from traveling and speaking. All I wanted to do was to get to my assigned seat on the plane and settle in for a long winter’s nap. Imagine my absolute delight at being the only person seated in my row. I was just about to close my eyes when two last-minute passengers made their way to my row and took their seats.

Reluctantly, I decided to forgo my nap. The last thing I needed was to fall asleep and snore or, worse yet, wake up with my head resting on the guy’s shoulder beside me. No, I didn’t need another most embarrassing moment, so I pulled a manuscript out of my bag and started reading.

“What are you working on?” the guy asked. I told him I was a writer and I was working on a book titled Leading Women to the Heart of God. He smiled and said he thought God was a very interesting topic. I agreed and asked him a few questions about his beliefs. Before long, I found myself reaching into my bag and pulling out my Bible, walking him through some key verses that dealt with the issues he was facing. He kept asking questions, and I kept praying God would give me answers.

All of a sudden, I felt God tugging at my heart to give this man my Bible. Now, this was not just any Bible. This was my everyday, highlighted, underlined, written in, and tearstained Bible. My kids had even drawn pictures in this Bible. I started to argue with God in my head, but His message was clear. I was to give away my Bible.

I emptied it of some old church bulletins and other papers, took a deep breath, sighed, and placed it in the man’s hands. “I’d like for you to have my Bible,” I said. Astonished, he started to hand it back to me, saying he couldn’t possibly accept such a gift. “God told me to give it to you,” I insisted. “Sometimes the God of the universe pauses in the midst of all His creation to touch the heart of one person. Today, He paused for you.”

The man took my Bible and made two promises. First, he said he would read it, and, second, someday he would pass it on, doing for someone else what I’d done for him.

Before I knew it, the plane landed and we were saying our goodbyes. As I stepped into the aisle preparing to disembark, the woman on the other side of the businessman reached out and grabbed my arm. She’d been staring out the window the entire time we were flying, and I thought she’d been ignoring us. But her tearstained face told a different story.

In a tone so hushed I could barely hear her, she whispered, “Thank you. What you shared today has changed my life.” I put my hand on hers and whispered back, “You’re welcome.” Then a knot caught in my throat as tears welled up in my eyes. I didn’t have another Bible to give away, so I gave her one of my books and hugged her goodbye.

It has been said that we are to tell the whole world about Jesus, using words only if necessary. I saw this powerful truth come to life. Though I never spoke to this lady about Jesus, she saw Him through my obedience.

How humbling. How profound.

As I got off the plane that day, I could barely hold back my tears. Three people’s hearts were radically changed.

I believe the businessman came to know Jesus as his Lord and Savior. I believe the same is true for the lady. But my heart was changed in a dramatic way as well. While on the one hand I was overjoyed at what God had done, I was also brokenhearted by the flood of thoughts that came to mind recounting times I’d told God no.

How tragic to miss God’s divine appointments.

I just kept wondering, How many times have I told You no, God? How many times because I was too tired, too insecure, too uncertain, too busy, or too selfish have I walked right past Your divine appointment for me and missed experiencing You?

I lifted up my heart to the Lord and whispered, “Please forgive me for all those noes. Right now I say yes, Lord. I say yes to You before I even know what You might ask me to do. I simply want You to see a yes-heart in me.”

Several minutes after exiting the plane, I was weaving in and out of the crowds, trying to find my connecting gate, when I spotted the businessman again. He stopped me to tell me he had been praying to God and thanking Him for what happened on the plane. We swapped business cards, and, though we lived several states apart, I knew we would stay in touch.

About a month later he called to tell me his life had totally changed. He’d taken a week off from work to read the Bible, and he’d already shared his testimony with numerous people.

When he said this to me, my mouth dropped open. I couldn’t bring myself to tell him that I’d never taken a week off from work to read the Bible. God was definitely pursuing this man in a serious way!

When I asked him what his favorite verse was, he said it was Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” I thought to myself, Wow! Look at how God has already answered that for my new friend.

He also told me that after reading the Scriptures he knew he needed to get involved in a church, so he’d decided to visit a large church in his town. On his way there he passed another church, and a strong feeling came over him to turn his car around and go back to that church.

So he did.

When he got to his seat in the sanctuary, he opened up his bulletin and gasped. Inside the bulletin he saw my picture and an announcement that I was to be the speaker at an upcoming women’s conference. He said he felt as though, once again, God had paused just for him.

That day on the plane, when God impressed on my heart to give this man my Bible, I did not know what would happen. This man might have thrown my Bible into the nearest airport trashcan, for all I knew. Normally, I would have come up with a hundred reasons not to give my Bible away, but that day something changed in me. That day, for the first time, I truly heard the call of a woman who says yes to God: “Whatever God says to do, do it.”

Over 14,000 women have signed up for the Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Online Bible Study of What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, and you can too! Click here for more information and to sign up.

And here’s a fun giveaway to prepare you for the study… five commenters will be chosen to win a copy of the book today.

whenwomensayyes

Tell me about a time when you’ve answered God’s call to be obedient.

Discussion

  1. 612
    Tura Klepfer says:

    I know I’m to late for the drawing but I have to tell you one day I was in the grocery store and they had a pink breast cancer BIBLE. I just felt compelled to buy it. I carried it in my purse would take it out at church and underline in it mark notes when reading your books . Then one day several months ago a co-worker let us know she was battling breast cancer. She was always a private type of person and didn’t always talk about herself much. We were all working to support her and let her know we supported her . Someone got the idea of placing pennies all around the department ( we work in an emergency room) for her to find and she was told every time age found one she knew an prayer was said for her. I had never felt compelled to do this before but I knew I had to give her my pink breast cancer BIBLE. So I taped a penny to it, wrote a note inside it to let her know that this BIBLE was to help her get through her treatment and that I would be praying for her. I left it I. Her locker and when she came in to work I was not there. She called me to thank me for the BIBLE and was touched that I would do this. I told her I hoped it brought her comfort and strength. It was great to be able to do as GOD was telling me to. I can’t wait for the OBS to start. Your book Made To Crave is very dear to me. Thank you

  2. 613

    This is a space to write about a time when I have been obedient to God. I’m struggling terribly with this right now. I’m always 2nd guessing every thing and want to be in control. Last summer I pulled out a bible study of yours I purchased many years ago at a Heart-At-Home conference. It had been sitting under my bed undone, but I felt the desire to work though the “Living Life on Purpose” book & journal. I understood myself so much better and looked forward to reading, praying & completing the workbook each morning. Now, a year later, I’m struggling with a decision about education for my 4 children . Public school? Private christian school? Work? Stay home? This morning I pulled my “living Life on Purpose” workbook off the shelf and began reading. How wonderful that my P.U.R.P.O.S.E. was clearly written last year. I feel another confirmation of God directing my life and family – something he set-up for me to revisit at a later time. Thanks for all you do ~ I feel my life has been redirected by God through both you and Proverbs 31 Ministires. I look so forward to the online bible study “What Happens When We Say Yes To God.” I’m ready to take that step in faith and watch God turn my life in a way that can only be explained as “it’s a God thing!” :-)

  3. 614
    Sandi Eslinger says:

    Just wanted to share this with you, my husband and I are preparing to go to Kenya as missionaries. We never thought we would spend our retirement serving The Lord in another country “but God”. I have a plate in my kitchen that says “yes Lord” and I always tell people “this is the only thing I will take with me” just a reminder to always say yes Lord, God has the perfect plan and though we don’t always see it we want to say yes to Him, walking in His plan what better place to be. Thank you for the encouragement. In Christ, Sandi Eslinger

  4. 615

    I am so excited about this study I can hardly wait. Only my second one. Thank you for all you do!

  5. 616

    I love this post. Proverbs 3:5-6 is one of the first verses that I memorized as a Christian. I have been a Christian for 11yrs and struggle daily. I need to put this verse somewhere I can see it every day. I have heard God’s voice 3 times. You are one of my favorite Christian authors. I would like to see you in person someday.

  6. 617
    Joy Rickner says:

    I love this post! It’s now always easy to obey God but it’s always wonderful to see the fruit of that obedience….
    I am a foster parent and sometimes I don’t see the fruit of obeying God by taking children into my home right away, (most recently at 4am with no details but that they needed a home for a 2 year old) but I always do see God’ hand and His fruit.
    I’m praying I win a copy of this book if God could use it to encourage me…
    God Bless you for your ministry!

  7. 618
    Lisa Eberly says:

    Lysa,
    I just wanted to let you know that I am currently reading this book, What happens when women say yes to God. My husband and I went through a failed adoption this past year. We know God led us to the journey of adoption. I have a hard time understanding why he did for us go through this heart ache. As of now we are waiting on what God has for us next. But this book seems to be exactly what I need. I am really enjoying it. Thank you for saying Yes to God!
    Sincerely,
    Lisa

  8. 619
    Jodi Smith says:

    Lysa,
    Just a few weeks ago I was in our local library at the check out counter. I looked up and from way across the room, this woman caught my eye. I could only see her from a far distance but “something” about her caught my eye. I was walking out of the library when the Lord spoke..”Tell her I love her”…I tried to act like I didn’t hear Him and pushed on through the door. He spoke again and said “Everyone says they want revival but no one wants to be the hands and feet it comes through.” I was pegged so without further hesitation I walked straight to her and told her I knew it would sound crazy but the Lord wanted her to know that He loved her. To my absolute amazement, this woman had a satanic pendulum around her neck. The real deal. I am not sure who was more surprised in that moment…me or her. But I knew the love my God has given me…He wanted to share with her. God help us to love a hurting world!

  9. 620
    Angie Miller says:

    I obeyed God in taking my first full time job, and it has blessed my family for over 10 years. Now I’m able to work that same job from home while keeping my two precious boys. God is good!

  10. 621
    Keisha Lewis says:

    I’ve been reading this book lately, and it has touched me. Too often have I not done something God was touching me to do because of fear.

    Yesterday I had a bad situation, one of the farmers and I met at a bad section of road, I went into the ditch to avoid getting hit. I was scared, and for me that means I was mad. I drove back up the road to the farmers house, I was going to tell this farmer how he ran me off the road and to slow down. The situation went from bad to worse, things that were not meant were said, and tempers flared. I was indignant. I came home sure of how right I was and how wrong he was.

    Today as I am coming home the farmer is sitting outside of his house, I drive by and he waves. Then I felt it, God touching me telling me to stop and talk to him, to apologize. I continued to my house and as I was sitting in my driveway I decided to say “Yes” to God. I turn around to head back to his house. I am scared, neither of us said very nice things yesterday, and can’t I just wait till my husband gets home and he can deal with it? I start to pray, “Lord, give me the words to speak, let this man’s heart be receptive, be with me because I am scared”. Guess what happened? Forgiveness happened, for both of us. It was just a baby step, but that is where it starts.

    Thank you Lysa, thank you for your words of encouragement, most of all, thank you for being a woman who said yes to God.

  11. 622
    Sue Nabb says:

    I can hardly wait for the study to start. I want to extend a warm thank you to all you incredible women that are involved in the study. I cannot imagine how much time and effort must go into it. God bless you all, your work is greatly appreciated. Sue

  12. 623
    Jeri Reiman says:

    I received the email about this Bible Study and it was like a tug at my heart.
    It has been a very long time since my last study and I am so looking forward to this one. I feel God has lead to me this study.
    Thank you

  13. 624

    I am so looking forward to the Yes to God study! One huge time when I said yes to God was 3 years ago when I left my abusive marriage – and just a few months after that my parents home (for the same reasons). I began a relationship with a friend who is now my soulmate, my husband, the answer to the prayers I’d prayed since I was a little girl – and no doubt the one God intended for me. Since I said yes and did all of the hard, terrifying things, He has blessed my beyond my wildest dreams!

  14. 625

    I had been writing devotionals every now and again and created a blog but had not done anything with it for quite some time. I will admit that I spend more time on social media than I should, and it had begun to be a negative component of my life. Early this year, I felt that the Lord was telling me to take some time off from facebook and focus on the blog and writing about what He was doing in my life. The day I decided to delete my facebook and write on the blog, I met with a friend for our weekly coffee and told her the plan with a great excitement. I typically would leave my phone in my car during our coffee time and when I returned to my car at her house, I saw a message sent via facebook from a family friend asking me to be a blog contributor for a similar women’s ministry website! I took this as a resounding confirmation from the Lord that I was doing exactly what he intended for my life at that time. I proceeded with deleting facebook and spent the next couple of months having undistracted, lengthy prayer and bible study times and great time spent with my small group and friends from church. Love it when He shows up like that!

  15. 626

    Wow, powerful indeed the day I say yes to God, am trully blessed and looking foward to reading more of your work

  16. 627
    April Sweetman says:

    Saying Yes to God! Dying to self, self’s wants, self’s needs, self’s selfishness…Its difficult. Its FAITH. I have just left my entire family, lifelong deep friendships, where I grew up ,my adult daughter, my church family, my income, a position of leadership and love in the church I have served in and alongside of for 15 years. My husband of 18 years has chosen to seek God first in our lives, to see this man grow in the last 5 years and God answer my prayers for a deeper walk with Him has been incredible. We felt the Lord stir our hearts, it was time to step out in faith and seek His will for our lives. My husband is involved with Man in the Mirror Ministries out of Orlando FL. We have taken a step of faith, sold our just finally right, (in 2 years) almost paid off home, moved our 16 year old son, our dog and a 28 foot trailer load of stuff 2571 miles from “home”. God has a plan for us, we want ALL He has for us. I woke up in a hotel room this morning with a heavy heart. Missing my “people, my home, my own bed”. Then we went to Life Fellowship in Davidson NC. I showed up, and God was there too! An amazing pastor and congregation. He lifted me up into His arms and let me know, He see’s that I AM SAYING YES! Lysa, we listened to you on KLove in our 11,000 sq foot church thrift store, you and Prov 31 ministered to us and an unsaved community everyday. Many of my staff including myself are lifted up daily by your online devotionals. Thank you for Saying Yes. Blessings to you all.

  17. 628

    Amazing testimony. We cannot begin to measure the way God uses his people when we simply obey in faith to act upon what the Spirit is stirring and calling us to.

    I too have left from restaurants, airplanes, stores, etc. absolutely jaw-dropped because of what God had done through a simple gesture of love and grace. This is the beauty of the mission of the Church.

    Say “YES”!

  18. 629

    When I said yes to accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior my whole life changed. I was no longer all alone. I always knew He was with me. As I became acquainted with reading the Bible and learning Scripture verses God showed me that He loved me so much that He allowed His only Son, Jesus, to come to earth and die for my sins. He showed me the further I read how much He loves me, will never leave me nor forsake me, and cares about my every need”. I didn’t know how to handle this at first.

    Now on a “weak day” I know I have to go back to His Word, look for those promises He has made to all of us who accept Him as Our Lord and Savior and rely totally and completely on Him He says, “He will take my burden, His load is easy and He will carry me through the tough times. Like when my husband was recently told his job will end soon. Immediately those feelings of fear, loneliness and worry all started to take over.

    It was then I remembered, He says, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, those who come to me will have Everlasting Life.” I know when I am weak, He is strong, when I feel alone, He is always right beside me. What an “Awesome God” we have who knows our every need and is just waiting for me to call out to Him and to know that He knows already where the next thing is going to happen and when. I just have to “Trust and Obey”. It sounds so easy, but some days, when I try to do it on my own, I am often likely to mess up. So I say, “Lord, Help me to give it all to You today. You always know what is best for me.” I am going to find my Bible now and hear what He wants to tell me today. Thank you Lord for your many promises and always caring for my every need. Your Child, Mary