Laurie Coombs is a passionate writer and speaker on the issues of forgiveness, redemption, and the hope found in Jesus. She is the author of Letters from My Father’s Murderer: A Journey of Forgiveness, an incredible true story of grace, mercy, and the redemptive power of God. Her story was featured in Billy Graham’s film, Heaven, as well as on many other national and regional radio and television programs. She is a contributor to Zondervan’s NIV Bible for Women and writes at LaurieCoombs.org. Laurie and her husband, Travis, make their home in Nevada along with their three daughters.
My girlfriend and I have been looking at marketing strategies lately. With my book coming out next June, we want to ensure we're doing all we can to disseminate the message I've been entrusted with to the greatest extent possible. I'll be talking more about that as time goes on, but I wanted to tell you about a comment my friend said to me the other day. It was a text, actually, and it said, "So I am thinking the marketing plan should be... SAYING YES TO GOD...it's amazing how even when you don't want to do some of what He calls us to do...if you keep saying yes, He takes care of you...He has constantly given you favor Laurie! Kudos to you for saying Yes..."
I had just been given another ridiculously amazing opportunity to share my story in a major publication, and let me tell you––this assignment was most assuredly God-sent (more on that later!). As was the case with the Billy Graham film, it was dropped into my lap by God Himself, without me seeking it––without me even knowing about the opportunity, in fact. And I once again was stunned by God's outpouring of grace. Quite honestly, I think I could write an entire book about the favor God pours out upon His people when we're committed to following His will over our own (and I just may write that book someday!).
My friend was serious about her text, in one sense, because this is just how my friend thinks––she is most certainly a woman who seeks after the Lord––but I think she was also teasing me a bit.
I texted my friend back and said, "I agree!!! I will always say yes, even if I'm resistant! ESPECIALLY when I'm resistant!!!! But I do think I need a plan for launching the book..."
"I know...I am teasing," was her response.
"No, but you're right on!" I wrote. "That IS my marketing plan!!! No joke! And if my marketing plan ever looks different than that, I'm in real trouble!!!"
I think what we were writing about was tension between the work we do and the work God does. Both my friend and I know that we need to actively pursue the call to shine floodlights upon the glory of God through faithfully pursuing His call on our lives, but ultimately, we know that it's God alone who makes any work possible. First Samuel 2:9 says, "for not by might shall a man prevail"––a truth echoed in Psalm 127:1 which says, "Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain." But someone still needs to build that house and watch over that city!
Yes, God does the work, but He's called us to work alongside Him. We have a part to play. We get to enter into the storyline He's been writing since creation. We get to join His work, bringing light and love and healing and peace to a lost and dying world. What an incredible honor!
The Christian life is not a life of passivity––it's intended to be active––and so we need to be people committed to saying yes to God. Now, I certainly haven't always done that perfectly. There are many times that I fail and falter, but I'm not sure it's our lack of perfection God looks at as much as the direction of our heart. If I remain committed to saying yes to whatever He calls me to, His grace will abound despite my resistance and inability to execute it perfectly. There are most certainly times that I feel resistant to the will of God, but I remain committed to saying yes even then because I know God's way will always lead me toward the best life I can live. Like I said, I don't do this perfectly, but by the power of the Spirit, I try. And I sure hope you'll join me in that.