Cultivating a Heart That Says “Yes” to God

by Lysa TerKeurst June 15, 2023
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17 (ESV)

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

I was exhausted from traveling and speaking at an event. All I wanted was to get to my assigned seat on the plane and settle in for a nap. I was just about to close my eyes when two last-minute passengers made their way to my row and took their seats.

Reluctantly deciding to forgo my nap, I opted instead to pull a manuscript out of my bag and read. I didn’t want to chance the embarrassment of falling asleep on anyone’s shoulder.

When the guy sitting beside me asked what I was working on, I told him I was a writer and was working on a book about 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, tear-stained Bible. I started to argue with God in my head, but His message was clear: I was to give away my Bible.

I took a deep breath and placed the precious book 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, he said someday he would pass it on, doing for someone else what I’d done for him.

As I got off the plane that day after saying “yes” to God, my heart felt conflicting emotions. While on one hand, I was overjoyed at what God had done, on the other hand, I was also brokenhearted because of the flood of thoughts that came to mind recounting times I’d told God “no.”

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?

About a month later, the man I had given my Bible to called. We had exchanged business cards, and he wanted to tell me how his life had totally changed. He had taken a week off from work to read the Bible, and he’d already shared his testimony with numerous people. He also told me that after reading the Scriptures, he knew he needed to get involved in a church. God was definitely pursuing him in a serious way. And I was blessed and amazed by the way this man was responding.

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 submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (NIV).

What a perfect verse to represent what God had asked of me.

When God impressed on my heart to give this man my Bible, I didn’t know what would happen. He could have thrown my Bible into the nearest airport trash can, 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. We just never know what could be on the other side of our “yes” to God. After this experience, I resolved I'd always try to be a woman who’d do whatever the Lord asked of me. A woman who’d want to continue seeing God work miracles through small acts of obedience. When we do this, I believe we can walk more in step with Colossians 3:17: “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Lord, please forgive me for all of the times I have told You “no.” Right now, I say “yes,” Lord. Even before I know what You might ask me to do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


What if your next “yes” was attending She Speaks 2023: A Conference for Christian Communicators, happening July 13-14 in Charlotte, North Carolina, and online? She Speaks will help you find, own and use your voice to make an eternal impact. Whether you want to launch a podcast or grow your social media account, write a book or craft a message … you need to know how to take the next step. We’ve got the tools to help you actually do it. Don’t wait — sign up now! Click here to register!



Find real-life encouragement when you connect with Lysa TerKeurst here on Instagram.


John 14:15, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (ESV).

Is there anything God has been nudging you to do that you have been hesitating to follow? What is one small way you could say “yes” to Him today? Share with us in the comments!

© 2023 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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