Life is a constant barrage of choices. It can be overwhelming if we always say yes in an effort to please others. We can end up doing things we’re not good at or even interested in and not doing the things we are good at and interested in.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we learned to say no to the wrong things so we would be free to say yes to the right things? This is goal of Lysa TerKeurst’s book The Best Yes.
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The Best Yes
“In God’s plan, you’ve got a part to play. If you know it and believe it, you’ll live it. You’ll live your life making decisions with the Best Yes as your filter. You’ll be a grand display of God’s Word lived out. Your undistracted love will make your faith ring true. Your wisdom will help make decisions that will still be good tomorrow. And you’ll be alive and present for all of it.” ~ Lysa TerKeurst
Watch Session 1 of The Best Yes Video Bible Study
(As you watch, use the outline provided to follow along or to take additional notes on anything that stands out to you.) A heart must have godly wisdom or it will follow the pattern of foolishness.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. – Psalm 111:10
Head knowledge of the fear of the Lord:
- Fear: There are two Hebrew words for “fear” in the Bible. One is pachad (pakh’-ad), which means terror. That’s not the word used in this verse. The word used is yir‘ah (yir-aw’), which means a reverence for God.
“The expression describes that reverential attitude or holy fear which man, when his heart is set aright, observes toward God” (Matthew Henry Commentary). To observe toward God is to look for the hand of God in everything. When we have a reverential attitude and look for the hand of God in everything, we start seeing things from the perspective of wisdom. This becomes our focus.
- Lord: I need to anchor my heart to the Lord so I can set my heart to the wisdom of God.
Jesus is “the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24 NIV). In Christ “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3 NIV).
- Once Jesus is the Lord of our heart and the focus of our heart, we have unlocked the door to obtaining God’s wisdom.
Heart knowledge of the fear of the Lord:
- Accept my words. Get into God’s Word.
- Store up my commands. Let God’s Word get into you.
- Turn your ear to wisdom. Listen to wise instruction from God and wise people.
- Apply your heart to understanding. Apply wise instruction to your current situation.
- Call out for insight. Ask God for insights you wouldn’t think of on your own.
- Cry aloud. Pray out loud over situations where you need wisdom.
- Look for it. Actively look for God’s revelations. Look for the hand of God in everything.
- Search for it as hidden treasure. Treat wisdom as one of the greatest treasures you could acquire.
We have to choose to follow the Lord, not just with our salvation decision but also with our daily decisions.
Wisdom and folly both want to control our lives, and we have to make a choice about which one will.
1. What part of the teaching had the most impact on you?
2. Which of the following statements would you say best describes your schedule right now?
❑ Time to spare. I am mostly unscheduled and have quite a bit of discretionary time.
❑ Time accessible. I am lightly scheduled and have a fair amount of discretionary time.
❑ Time enough. I have a good balance between scheduled commitments and discretionary time.
❑ Time limited. I am heavily scheduled and have little discretionary time.
❑ Time shortage. I am overscheduled and very rarely have discretionary time.
- What three words would you use to summarize how you feel about your current schedule? For example: challenged, bored, energized, exhausted, resentful, engaged, productive, etc.
- How we schedule our time is based on the decisions we make — what we say yes or no to. Overall, how much control do you feel you have over your schedule right now? In other words, to what degree do you feel free to say yes or no to the requests and opportunities that come your way?
- What factors, if any, tend to make you feel afraid or anxious about saying no?
The Fear of the Lord
3. Even small fears can derail our decisions if left unchecked. Therefore, we need to flip the fear in our decision making into a much healthier fear that leads to wisdom:
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His precepts have good understanding. – Psalm 111:10
Read the following verses that describe various aspects of what it means to fear the Lord. As the verses are read, keep in mind that you are looking for connections between the fear of the Lord and wisdom. Underline any words or phrases that stand out to you:
- Psalm 33:18
- Philippians 2:12-12
- Psalm 130:4
- Psalm 145:19
- Psalm 86:11
- Psalm 128:1
- In order to fear the Lord in the way we’re learning, we have to know Him and understand what He’s like. Briefly review the passages and focus on the words describing God’s actions. Overall, how does God relate to those who fear Him? What is the image of God these passages convey?
- The passages also characterize those who fear the Lord. What stands out most to you about what it means to fear the Lord? What connections might you make between these characteristics and what it means to practice wisdom?
- If part of what it means to fear the Lord – to have wisdom – is to rely on God’s unfailing love and faithfulness, what do you think it means to be foolish in this regard? In other words, what else might we choose to rely on instead (especially when making decisions)?
- When you feel anxious or afraid about saying yes or no, which passage(s) might help you to flip your fear of the decision into a healthier fear – the fear of the Lord that leads to wisdom? Share the reasons for your response.
The Best Yes
4. It’s easy to think that our daily yes and no decisions aren’t all that important, but over time, they can add up: The decisions we make dictate the schedules we keep; the schedules we keep determine the life we live; the life we live determines how we spend our soul – and how we spend our soul matters. Recall a recent decision you made about your time that you later realized was unwise.
- How did that decision impact your schedule?
- How did your schedule then impact your life?
- As a result, how would you say you spent your soul in that situation?
5. The promise of The Best Yes is that we can learn to move beyond the limitations of yes and no and seek out a third option: the Best Yes. A Best Yes decision is a choice that allows us to play our part in God’s plan – to spend our energy, focus, and passion on the assignments that are really ours.
- Sometimes we miss our Best Yes opportunities because we fail to heed the warning of the whispers within: I’m tired. I don’t want to say yes. I’m a little overwhelmed and a lot worn down. Looking back on the situation you described in question 4, were there any warning whispers you failed to heed? If so, what were they?
- What do you imagine a Best Yes decision in that situation might have been? In other words, what decision would have enabled you to play your part and spend your energy, focus, and passion wisely?
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Join the conversation on our blog! We would love to hear from you about living the Best Yes life!
We hope you enjoyed this first session from The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst. Using Biblical teaching and practical insights this study will help you be more equipped to discern the best yes answers for your life. The study guide and DVD contains six 18-20 minute teaching sessions with Lysa, as well as weekly personal studies for in-between the video sessions and ideas for individual and group activities. Learn more about purchasing individual or small group copies to continue with sessions 2-6!