Joshua Swanson: Welcome to The Walk, a devotional podcast for worshipers. For many years, our guest Yancy has held a special place in our community of creatives as a steward of the Kid’s worship movement. She’s a speaker, author, songwriter, and artist, but most importantly, she’s a mother to her kids and to her ministry.
We’re honored to have her on this podcast today, as she gives a word about obedience. Here we go.
Yancy: Okay. So I want to tell you guys a story. really changed my life. A handful of years back, I had an opportunity to go and visit Ark Encounter. Uh, and if you’re not familiar with that, it’s a place in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. It’s actually right over the state line in Kentucky, but they have built a true-to-life actual-size replica of Noah’s Ark.
And you know, I am someone that I’ve grown up in church. I’ve was a ministry kid. You know, I’ve. As far back as I can remember, I’ve had a call to do ministry, and so, you know, I certainly am familiar and have heard the Noah story many times over the years. But I can’t tell you what it was like to, to stand there and actually see it with my very eyes. Just the size and the magnitude of it and so I was walking through that day with my family and started thinking about the fact that Noah obeyed. Like Noah obeyed God and it was just this thing that I kept thinking about as we got back in the car that day and we drove back home to Nashville. In the days that followed, I just kept processing and thinking about the fact that Noah obeyed.
I mean, the fact that you and I are sitting here right now having this conversation is because of Noah’s obedience. And just thinking about the fact that Noah was so convinced that he had heard God speak to him, he was confident in that enough so that he actually took the instructions and he got the supplies that were needed and he, you know, built whatever ladder or thing that they had back then for him to build something of that magnitude and he took action to it.
I just was so moved by that because In that season of my life, I’ll be honest with you, I had been procrastinating, uh, making what would be my next music project. Um, as so many of us have the best of intentions, but you know, sometimes due to life and things that are going on, it can be so easy for us to kind of just move that thing from the immediate to do list to, you know, I’ll get to that eventually.
And so, I had my reasons as to why I’d been procrastinating it and, you know, I felt like it was a justified reason and, and to be honest with you, I didn’t have all the money that I needed in the bank to complete the project.
Joshua Swanson: We’re going to take a quick break and we’ll be right back with more from Yancy.
Yancy: I just felt like in that season, well, if I can’t, you know, complete it, why even bother starting? And so. I, after this experience of, you know, being there and thinking about Noah’s obedience, I really just was convicted and knew that God was asking me to take action. Now my procrastination was to such extreme that like I had song ideas on my phone ready to write songs and complete them that I just wasn’t even bothering completing the song idea because I was like, “well, why, why bother? There’s not dates on the calendar to go in the studio and there’s not a plan for how this would be released. So I’ll just kind of keep waiting.” And in this season, I knew that God was asking me to take action and so I started doing the things that I could.
I, I honestly, I was like, you know what, it takes zero money to write a song. And so I can pull up these ideas and I can finish them and I can get them ready. And if I’m honest, I can, actually, you know, call the studio up, put the dates on the calendar to record the music. I’ve got enough funds, I can make that happen.
It was really just the video budget is the part that I was kind of struggling with, but I knew that God was asking for me to just start taking steps of faith and to start moving it along. And so I, I did all the things that had the dates on the calendar, I sent emails, I got the budget for what the video would cost and, and, know that I prayerfully walked into signing the contract and moving forward on those videos. And, and, you know, in that season, I thought, Oh, God’s going to someone, someone across my path to just write me a check to make this happen. And that wasn’t what took place. I started kind of putting things out there and trying to raise some money for it, but it was just very ordinary things. It was someone like donating 25 bucks here and there, just it crazy ordinary, but every single month of the process. I had what I needed and God had provided.
Okay, so fast forward to kind of the end of the process. I had all the things, you know, the music was done, the video was wrapping up, and one day I got a, uh, a message from someone that I’ve known for a long time, a family friend, um, and he had called me up and he knew at that point I was still raising some of the funds for this project.
And he told me, he was like, I feel like God’s, you know, told me to, to write you a check for the balance. And so, you know, he asked me some questions all about that and was like, I’ll, I’ll put a check in the mail tomorrow. And, you know, kind of instantly I’d had what was, you know, my grand miracle thing of God providing.
But the, the true part of it is that God had been faithful every single step of the way over that, those months and those seasons. Now, the super crazy part is this phone call happened very, very early March of 2020, like literally a couple of weeks before the world shut down. And even within that, I will pause here in the story just to say that I learned something in this process that the ripple effect of your obedience goes farther than you could ever imagine.
And we can see that in the Noah story, but we can see that in our life and in the lives of those around us and those that have just ministered to us in some way throughout the years. And so, you know, as my friend kind of, you know, called that day and gave me the miracle that I needed, the crazy part is I got a testimony back on their end of things, the very next day, because they had actually been in a building program for a new facility and had been getting quotes for some work to be done on this land. And these quotes were like $800,000 kind of quotes, like the major stuff. And the same day that they made that commitment to be obedient to what God was asking them to do and sow that, that money into my ministry to help me complete this project. The mayor and their town, they actually voted that the city would pay to have this work done.
It was like a 44 time return on the seed that they had sowed literally in less than 24 hours. God showed up in their life. And, and my friend, he said, I knew God told me to give you that money and to sow into you. And, you know, he sowed into me and at the same time sowed into an answer for a miracle and need in their life. But it all comes down to taking action and taking faith to do the thing that God has called you to do. And the thing is that God is asking for our obedience.
And sometimes that looks like something that seems really big and large, like Noah building the ark and taking on that undertaking or for me in that moment, you know, starting that project and entering into, you know, a financial commitment to, to make this, it seemed like a big undertaking, but I knew that God was asking for my faith to do it. And, you know, at the same time, God sometimes is asking for our obedience, literally in the smallest things like smiling at the person that’s checking you out at the store and talking to them about their day or their family or something that’s going on. It could look like for you and your ministry, you know, choosing to put that song that in some ways doesn’t make sense to you why you’re putting it in that worship set, but yet in your spirit, you know that you know that you know that God is leading you to put that song in there. Or it could mean sending a text to a member of your team or setting that coffee date to just, uh, love on someone and empower them and encourage them.
Our obedience looks like a lot of different things in our life, but I am convinced that God is seeking and asking for our obedience. And something really incredible and special happens when we say “yes.” We enter into just a covering and a protection in our life. We, I can tell you for myself that I’m not the same person that I was when I entered Ark Encounter that day, years ago. I’m not the same Christian that I was before taking that step of faith.
I’m not the same wife or mother, or minister, or friend. Like God has enriched my faith and my love for him throughout this process and this journey, but it’s all because I gave him my yes. And you know, in Genesis 6, 9, it says Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation, Noah walked with God. And later in that same chapter, verse 22, it says that he did all that God commanded him. I want that to be said of you and I, that we do the thing that God is asking us to do.
Joshua Swanson: When we come back, Yancy talks about her song, Ready, Set, Go, and how it took on a new meaning thanks to Noah’s willingness to follow God’s request and do the seemingly insane.
We recently announced our Worship Through Israel tours and this week we’re excited to announce two special guests. We’re headed to Israel the first week of February for a life changing experience and we would love for you to join us. This is not your typical Israel tour. It’s important to note that this is also not just for worship leaders and creatives, but for everyone who loves to worship.
Our experience will be full of music, devotional moments, touring, and of course, education, prayer, and lots of sung worship moments alongside worship leader Meredith Andrews. And we’re also excited to announce that both Michael Bahn and Third Culture Worship will also, be coming along to lead us in some incredible worship experiences in locations that will blow you away.
Okay, back to Yancy to close us out.
Yancy: So if I kind of go back to my, my part of the story, um, I, one of those song ideas that I had had was to write a song, um, called Ready, Set, Go. And, you know, I initially just thought this song is going to be kind of about, you know, first Corinthians nine 24 running our race. Such a way to win the prize, you know, finishing our race well. That whole concept. But as I sat down to actually write and complete that song on the other side of just this aha moment and revelation of Noah’s obedience, it took on a totally kind of different angle and meaning and so much more about listening to God’s voice and walking in obedience like we see so many other people in the Bible do so, but something happened for me because of this ready, set, go concept, I kind of became obsessed with the checkerboard pattern that, you know, it’s on vans, it’s on so many things in our life these days. We see it in graphics, we see it on gas stations, like, It’s just all over all the place. But I became obsessed with it because for me, it serves as a monument to remember that my obedience matters to God.
And so I want to give you a challenge from this day forward. When you see a checkerboard pattern, I mean, whether it’s literally on a game of checkers or it’s on a pair of vans that you might have or wherever you go, I want, when you see that pattern for you to stop and pause and remember that your obedience matters to God.
And there are so many people in this world, we can talk about finishing our race well, but there’s so many I believe even Christians in this world that don’t even need to talk about finishing their race well because they haven’t actually begun the race that God put them on earth to do and they haven’t started doing the thing that God is prompting their heart and their spirit to take action to do.
And so I just hope that you’ll be inspired today to give God your yes, whatever that looks like. In your personal life, in your ministry, as you lead worship every single day, when it’s hard and when it’s easy, when it’s an uphill battle, when it’s a mountaintop moment in your life, give God your yes, because he always rewards those that earnestly and diligently seek him and I believe that God wants to do some amazing things in your life.
Always remember the ripple effect of your obedience goes farther than you could ever imagine. And there’s people in your life, in your circle, in your realm of influence that need your yes. And your life is going to touch theirs in some way. And then they’re going to do the same thing and take the same steps of action and faith and their life is going to affect someone else. And you know, when we get to the end of this life, when we get to heaven one day, we’re going to look around and there’s going to be all sorts of ripples that are so much bigger and grander than you and I ever had an idea of today. But let’s choose to be more like Noah, who was confident in the voice of God and gave God his yes and his obedience.
So If I add one more little layer to the story for you guys, um, when I was growing up, oftentimes I would feel like I’d heard my parents say my name and I would, you know, run across the house, show up to them and be like, you know, what, what is it that you wanted? And they would say, we didn’t call you. But if you hear it again, say, “speak, Lord, your servant is listening.”
And I realized later in life, I told that story to someone and I could tell by the look on their face that that experience had never happened to them growing up, but I felt like it would happen in my house. I’d be at the mall, I’d hear my name. And I think my parents instilled something in me over the years of listening and being ready to hear God’s voice.
So today I want to invite you into that same heart posture that we saw Eli give to Samuel in first Samuel 3:9, where he said, go and lie down and if he calls to you say, speak Lord for your servant is listening. I believe if we will open up our ears to hear God, I believe he’s speaking all day long throughout so many elements of our life, but we need to prepare ourselves to be ready to hear his voice so we can take action and do the thing that he is calling us to do. Our obedience matters so much to God. And so let’s choose to give him our yes.
Lord, I thank you so much for every single leader that’s listening today. Lord, I thank you for the calling that you have on their life. Lord, I thank you for the things that you have put them on this earth to do. There are things that you need them to do and God, I just pray that you would help them to clear out the noise in life.
That they would just posture themselves in a way where they are more aware of you and your presence in their life. Lord, I pray that they would look and that they would listen for your voice and Lord, I pray that that you would just give them the faith and the boldness to take action and do the thing that you’ve called them to do when it’s easy and when it’s hard. When it’s simple and when it’s something big and major God, because I know that you want to use them to do your work on earth.
Lord, we pray that your kingdom would be done on this earth, and I thank you that you’re doing it through the hearts and the lives of these leaders. We love you so much. Speak to us and have your way in Jesus name. Amen.
Joshua Swanson: Thank you Yancy for sharing your heart with us. It’s always amazing to me when a Bible story that you already know takes on new life. Noah was more than his ark. He was obedient and God blessed him. So good. We’re going to play out this episode with Yancy’s song, Ready, Set, Go. We’ve embedded the animated video on our podcast page, so be sure to check that out and show it to your kids. It’s really fantastic.
As always, special thanks to Matt McCartie for producing and editing today’s episode. Jacob Fairclough produced our theme song. The Walk is brought to you by Worship Leader. I also want to thank the team at Life Audio for their partnership. If you go to lifeaudio.com, you’ll find dozens of Faith Centered podcasts.
They’ve got shows about health and wellness, parenting, current cultural events, and more. So check them out at lifeaudio.com. I’m Joshua Swanson. Here’s Ready. Set. Go.