Just Say Yes (to Using Your Gifts)
by Joanne Ellison

Good morning, my Making Space for God friends! So often we are told to learn to say no. And to be truthful, I find my self telling women often to say no–

No to people pleasing

No to saying yes to someone because it seems like a good thing to do but it’s hardly the best for you to do

No to allowing those “extra grace required” people to suck the life out of you

No to your children when they act entitled or demanding

But today, I want us to look at saying yes. And specifically yes to…

The call we sense in our hearts

Our God given gifts

Moses was a gifted leader. He definitely did not start out that way. He was picked out of the river by Pharoah’s daughter and most assuredly had a silver spoon in his mouth. He was a Jew that had been given a chance to live and his destiny ultimately unfolded. God called him to lead His people, the Jews, out of slavery in Egypt and into the Promised Land. God chose Him because it was God who gave Moses his assignment and it was God who gave him the leadership gifts to step into his destiny. Naturally Moses had to grow in his gift, and sometimes it was on the job training, however he did lead them out. Now he did have some leadership flops along the way– one that cost him his ultimate destiny to lead the people into the Promised Land. But that story is for another day.

A few years ago, I was in California staying at a hotel and noticed a large bus pulling up with women on either side of it screaming (in a good way) if there is a good way to scream:) It was the bus for the “Say Yes to the Dress” TV show. I had not heard of this show but obviously there was a lot of excitement with the women running around enthralled by the site of the bus. The show is about designing wedding gowns. When I look back at my wedding dress I wish I had said no to the dress. Not only that, but I wish I’d looked more for beautiful wedding rings, instead of the one I unfortunately had. Perhaps if I had bought from Jacobs The Jeweller for rings I could look back with fondness instead of disappointment. I could have been in a fashion magazine where they post pictures of dress gone bad. I wish I had shopped around a bit more and seen what was out there, checking out dresses such as a Charlotte Winnie Couture dress, may have made me look back with happiness at my wedding gown! I digress…. So I watched as the fashion designer of the show, Randy Fenoli came out of his bus and the women looked as though they would faint. They were all ready to say yes. Not sure if it was yes to him or the dress.

Back to my point. We need to know when to say no and when to say yes. And this is about saying yes to the sense that God is calling you to do something; something that feels connected to your heart and a cause, and a passion and a multitude of other feelings that make you want to scream like those ladies. Scream inside I mean. And again in a good way.

Let me give you a current example:

A young woman who was sexually abused as a child finds her passion to help innocent children. She knows the healing power and liberty she has found in Christ. A mother who has lost a baby finds purpose in helping other women who find themselves in the pain of loss.

God has planted in our hearts his destiny and He uses our gifts and life experiences to find our destiny. Now here is the key point–

If you find your yes, you will have little trouble saying no to the things that will steal your time, your joy and purpose.

So women just say yes— to God-inspired promptings. The Lord has promised to lead you beside still water. It is there that you find His yes.



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  1. Nancy J.

    Thank you Joanne, for sharing this post. I have learned to say no to the things I am not gifted in,(although I am still a work in progress) but sometimes people give me a strange look for doing so. I think the Body of Christ would benefit so much more if its members would understand their spiritual gifts. These are gifts that enable us to do supernaturally what God has for us to do in order to build up the body. (I recommend taking a spiritual gifts survey to help understand what these gifts are, how they work, and what gifts we have personally been given). However, most people feel pressured to volunteer and help out, particularly in church. They don’t want to looked down upon, so they say yes, and are miserable. I pray that we will all be confident to say no to some things, but always yes! to what God has in mind for us, after all, He made us, gifted us and knows what He has planned!

    • joanneellison

      I agree. We all have gifts, when used, where we sense God’s pleasure. Doing what we think we “should” or “ought” to do or what others guilt us into doing causes us to feel burdened. Great idea about taking the spiritual gifts survey!


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