Why Saying ‘Yes' to Jesus Is the Most Important Decision of Your Life

All of us live in surrender to someone or something. All of us worship, we just get to choose who or what is our lord. Let’s say yes to God today. You will never regret it.

Christianity.com Contributing Writer
Updated Nov 07, 2023
Why Saying ‘Yes' to Jesus Is the Most Important Decision of Your Life

What do you think is the most powerful word you could say? Think about that for a second. That shouldn’t be too hard — you only have over a million words to choose from!

I think the most powerful word is the little word “yes.” Our lives are full of so many big and small decisions and saying “yes” to them can change everything.

For example, saying “yes” (or “I do”) changes dating partners to spouses. Saying yes changes a job candidate into an employee, a prospective student into a college freshman, and a house-hunter into a homeowner. Telling a coach yes turns a spectator into a player.

Saying yes can turn potential into reality. It declares “no” to all other options. As I look back over my life, I can see how saying yes at pivotal times really set me in a new direction.

Of course, those are positive examples, we could come up with some negative examples, too. For example, saying yes can hook you to a hurtful habit, destructive relationship, or regrettable mistake.

In fact, every adult in here can think of a “yes” in their past that they probably shouldn’t have said. But either for the good or bad, saying yes can change our lives and set us in new directions.

Why Are Our Decisions Important?

This is also why the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4 explains how important our decisions and choices are. In this chapter, he explains to the Ephesian believers how they get to choose who or what king they get to surrender their lives to.

Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity (Ephesians 4:17-20).

This is the path of someone who is far from God: their thinking is futile or ineffective, they believe lies, they cannot know the things of God because the Holy Spirit is not in them, they are separated from God, their heart is hardened, their conscious is muted, and they have given themselves up to a life focused on their own pleasure and an increasing desire to do whatever kind of sin they can come up with that they can get away with.

But Paul wasn’t criticizing them for acting like the world, he was telling Christians (and telling us) that since we have been saved and our identity has been changed to sons and daughters of God, then we must no longer “walk” or actively live in the same way that the world does or that we used to. Since we are not like them, do not walk like them.

And this is where our personal decisions come into play. The scary truth is that every one of us is capable of saying yes to the wrong things.

History (including what we read in the Bible) paints a bleak picture of how everyone will, apart from the grace of God and the work of the Holy Spirit, give in to their sinful nature and do as much as they think they can get away with.

That includes me and you. And because Christians still have to fight against their old, sinful flesh even after they get saved, every day we get the choice to say yes or no to the temptations to lie, cheat, gossip, steal, disobey, commit adultery, and kill.

Or, as Paul wrote, we get to choose whether we will walk like Christ or “walk as the Gentiles.” In Christ, we can no longer be lost, but we can certainly walk like the lost. And there is nothing but pain and shame to be gained from it. This is some scary truth.

How Do We Say ‘Yes’ to the Right Things?

So how do we say yes to the right things and live in the way that God wants us to? Paul explains how in the next few verses in our passage:

to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:22-24).

So first we must intentionally put off and say “no” to our sinful nature and the sins that we so easily commit.

Then we renew and refresh our minds by reading God’s Word, fellowshipping with other believers, giving of ourselves to the work of Christ, and making disciples of others.

Then we can “put on” and embrace the new re-created person that God has made us to be. We live in our new identity. We say yes to God. In Ephesians 4:25-29, Paul gives some practical examples of how we can do this.

Finally, Paul explains that this is not about a religion or checklist of do’s and don’ts, but it is about a relationship with God who loves us, who has forgiven us, and who has “sealed” us for the “day of redemption.”

So, today we have a choice. Do we give ourselves up to our sinful desires that will leave us dying lonely and unfulfilled? Do we just follow the pattern of this world and its evil systems which will always over-promise and under-deliver, leaving us empty?

Do we live to please others who will take what they can get, chew us up, spit us out, and run us over? If we make any of these our king, we will have to live in their kingdom — which only leads to death.

But thankfully we have another choice! Instead, we can say yes to Jesus taking his rightful place on the throne of our hearts. And why would we do that?

Because the Son of God humbly left the glories of heaven, gave up his own will and surrendered to the will of his Father, and allowed himself to be placed on a cross to die with the sins of the world on his shoulders.

He did this so that you and I can now have the opportunity to also give up — but not give into our sin, to the world, or to others.

No — Jesus gave himself up so we can give ourselves up to a loving and just king who has our best interest at heart, who cares about us individually, who will never run over us or leave us empty, who will forgive us when we fail, who will lovingly correct us when we stray, who will comfort us when we hurt, and who will help us live abundant lives.

And if we give ourselves up to God, he will treat us as his own sons and daughters, he will love us like he has nothing to lose, and he will one day welcome us into his own home that is full of everlasting life.

This is why Jesus said if you want to save your life, you have to lose it. Because even if you gained the whole world, which would feel great for a little while, you will lose your soul for eternity.

Like drowning in the ocean, we have to stop fighting against God, stop trying to save our own lives, and give ourselves to be saved.

Saying Yes to Jesus

We are not talking about one-time decisions or even living perfectly. It is about consistently and constantly saying yes to God. And when you fail, you can receive God’s grace and forgiveness, get back up, and say yes again. It is what Paul calls a “living sacrifice” in Romans 12:1.

All of us live in surrender to someone or something. All of us worship, we just get to choose who or what is our lord.

Let’s say yes to God today. You will never regret it.

For further reading:

Why Is it Important to ‘Let Your Yes Be Yes’?

Is Salvation Through Faith Too Easy?

Do We Contribute to Our Own Salvation?

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/tolgart

Robert Hampshire is a pastor, teacher, writer, and leader. He has been married to Rebecca since 2008 and has three children, Brooklyn, Bryson, and Abram. Robert attended North Greenville University in South Carolina for his undergraduate and Liberty University in Virginia for his Masters. He has served in a variety of roles as a worship pastor, youth pastor, family pastor, church planter, and now Pastor of Worship and Discipleship at Cheraw First Baptist Church in South Carolina. He furthers his ministry through his blog site, Faithful Thinking, and his YouTube channel. His life goal is to serve God and His Church by reaching the lost with the gospel, making devoted disciples, equipping and empowering others to go further in their faith and calling, and leading a culture of multiplication for the glory of God. Find out more about him here.

Christianity / Theology / Salvation / Why Saying ‘Yes' to Jesus Is the Most Important Decision of Your Life