Just to show up and make myself available to the Lord, as young Samuel was instructed to do, is good but it is the bare minimum. I must go further--to listen attentively to God's voice and then obey.
The mother of Jesus simply instructed the servants at the wedding feast in Cana, “Do whatever He tells you.” It is not enough even to call Jesus “Lord, Lord.” When I hear His voice, I must do His will.
I belong to God because He created me and also because He purchased me at such great cost on the cross (1 Corinthians 6:19). God wants my body as well as my soul. When God asks for my body (Romans 12:1), my only acceptable response to His appeal is to say YES to all that He asks of me.
Saint Philip Neri (1515-1595) reminded us that the only response acceptable to God when we experience losses, illnesses, disappointments, adversities, and problems of any kind is, “Yes, Lord!”
“We must accept the adversities which God sends us without reasoning too much upon them, and we must take for granted that it is the best thing which could happen to us. We must always remember that God does everything well, although we may not see the reason for what He does.”
When I surrender myself to God, it involves total acceptance and a continual “YES!”
Receive whatever God gives me—with joyful heart and continued thanks.
“Yes, Lord, I thank You for Your goodness” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Be content with what God withholds—companionship, health, material things, even life itself.
“Yes, Lord, I bow to Your loving will and plan for my life” (Psalms 84:11).
Endure what He allows in my life—in His strength, not my own.
“Yes, Lord, without complaint” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Hold all things of earth loosely—living with Eternity’s values in view.
“Yes! Even so, come Lord Jesus!” (2 Peter 3:11-12).
Live today for Jesus only—celebrate each moment as a love-gift from God.
“Yes, Lord, to the praise of the glory of Your grace” (2 Corinthians 5:15).
A little chorus is still tucked into my memory backpack from my early walk with the Lord. It is just as good in the vintage season of my advanced calendar years--perhaps even better:
“Yes, Lord, YES! to Your will and to Your way
Yes, Lord, YES! I will trust You and obey
When Your Spirit speaks to me
I'll listen attentively
With my whole heart I’ll agree
And my answer will be:
YES! LORD, YES!”
I make it a habit to repeat this little prayer-chorus mentally or in a whisper as I drift off to sleep after checking in with God: “Here I am, Lord, speak to me while I sleep if there's been too much static during the day to hear Your voice clearly. My answer will be “YES! LORD, YES!”