Cesar felt abandoned by his dad and betrayed by life. By the time he was 25 years old, Cesar was angry all the time, running with a bunch of tough guys, working a dead-end job and looking for life playing soccer for five Toronto teams. His mother began attending a church and three teenagers came to visit him. Mary told him, “He loves you; He died in your place to pay for your sins; He wants to come in to your life. Will you let Him in?” When the truth about Jesus was shared with him Cesar invited Jesus into his life and he began a new journey into God’s provision for a changed life.
It was soon tested. Connie Cavanaugh writes about that first test in Following God One Yes At a Time:
Even though he felt different, like something had happened to him when he hasked Jesus in, Cesar didn’t think it would last. Nothing ever had. But the next day, on the soccer filed, a strange thing happened. A player on the opposing team, a new guy who obviously didn’t know Cesar’s reputation, tripped him and then, for good measure, kicked him in the ribs. Everybody froze. Neither team wanted to miss the beating Cesar would deliver once he got back on his feet.
Jumping up and facing his attacker Cesar balled his fists but before he could take a swing, something stopped him. God loves you and gave His Son to die for you, he remembered. You are a new creation. His hands relaxed. He shook his head and told his opponent who was crouching, ready to defend himself, “Iss okay, man. Fogedaboudid. Less play.” He ran back to his position. Shockwaves rippled across the field. Cesar’s first Christ-like act generated so much buzz that he eventually introduced almost every player on his team to Jesus. Nobody had told Cesar not to fight; it was the voice of the Holy Spirit he heard and said yes to. He was beginning to grow in the simple way God designed–one simple, immediate, possible yes at a time.
It’s stories like this that inspired me as I read Connie Cavanaugh’s book Following God One Yes At a Time: Overcoming the 6 Barriers That Hold You Back. The life stories from her own life and that of her family and friends readily illustrate the biblical truth she presents to help us take a first step in following Christ again when we have gotten stuck. God wants us to keep in step with Him. But at different times in our lives we may find that we have a our feet nailed to the floor by fear, pride, guilt, shame, comparison or doubt.
Connie, who previously authored From Faking It to Finding Grace, has given us an book that is fuel for faith. She celebrates discipleship in real life by rooting faith in two Gospel realities: 1) Following Jesus is a call to say “Yes” to Him everyday of our lives. And 2) God is faithful to reveal Himself and provide enough for us to move on. You can learn more about this Canadian author at http://www.conniecavanaugh.com . I enjoyed Connie’s book and was equipped and inspired to follow God one “Yes” at a time!