I've said yes many a time, to many a question. Sometimes, I've even said yes in frustration when the question seemed rhetorical in nature, yet awaited an answer.
This morning, while reading from John 21, God clearly showed me that there are times when "Yes" is simply not enough. You remember the passage. The disciples have spent the night fishing without anything to show for it. Jesus appears on the shore and tells them to cast their net to the right side of the boat to find fish. They obey. And the catch is abundant.
They join him on shore for a much needed meal of fresh fish and bread when Jesus asks Simon Peter if he truly loves Him. Peter's response, three times over is "Yes, Lord, you know I love you". And three times over, Jesus responds with a command. An action.
Read it for yourself...
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these? "
"Yes, Lord, " he said, "you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Fed my lambs."
Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?"
He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep."
The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?"
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, 'Do you love me?" He said, "Lord you know all things; you know that I love you."
Jesus said, "Feed my sheep, I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old and you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go. " Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!"
What a call to action this passage is. What a reminder. We don't serve a passive God. Our God acts. And as children made in His image, we too are to act. We are to share His love, to serve.
Peter learned this as he spoke with Jesus next to the fire. Peter's frustration grew as Jesus continued to ask Peter the same question. Not because Jesus didn't know the answer. Jesus did, however, love Peter enough to make clear His point. James 2.17 clarifies further yet, "Faith without action is dead."
I understand Peter's frustration. Boy, have I been there before. No doubt, I will find myself there again. But this I know, I will be make every attempt to attach an action to my yes, from here on out.
How about you?