The word, ‘Yes’ means ‘Assent’. Typically, assent comes from either of a person higher up on a reporting chain, or a person equal in rank on a reporting chain.
Whenever a woman says ‘yes’ to romantic involvement with a man, it is a yes between equals — the two are equal in rank, but yet if their marriage is to work they must arrive at some sort of leadership arrangement. In this respect, every firm that ever has experimented with two CEOs eventually abandons the experiment, evidence that while all employees are equal in worth, still, always there is demand for clear identification of leadership. The benefit of clear identification? There is not any ambiguity as to who is to blame whenever things go wrong, meaning it is known a priori who is in need of ‘truly humble pie’. Whenever captaincy of a ship is not well defined, a ship merely drifts, can arrive at a destination that never was set.
If marriage is to be successful, every important aspect of marital life ought to have a designated driver, ahem, designated leader.
But then, I digress.
The word, ‘Amen’ is of Judaic and Christian origin, means, ‘so let it be’. Whenever a Christian mouths an ‘Amen’, he or she affirms sovereignty of God, Father of Jesus Christ, declares he or she desires to be whatever it is God has declared ‘is’. In this respect, it would not matter if a Christian mouths an Amen to another’s desire to commit murder — given the Amen is inconsistent with what God has declared to be good, and given the word, ‘Amen’ originated in context of man’s interactions with God, the mouthing of an Amen in relation to an evil embeds a redundancy, an impossibility.
The word, ‘Amen’ has meaning only in relation to whatever God has declared to be, or whatever God has declared to be good.
In 2 Corinthians 1:20, through Apostle Paul, the Holy Spirit admonishes believers in the name of Jesus Christ in respect of the interaction that subsists between ‘Yes’ and ‘Amen’ as follows. (words in brackets mine in spirit of an amplified reading of Christian Scriptures).
For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him (that is, our Lord Jesus Christ). That is why we utter the Amen through Him (that is, in the name of Jesus), to the glory of God (RSV).
In the Scripture cited, the Holy Spirit makes clear that if a believer in the name of Jesus seeks a Yes to prayer, the prayer must be rooted in a promise that already is made by God. It is not then the prayer itself that is source of a Yes, but rather the asking in relation to a promise that already is made by God. While it seems a fine line, importance of staying on right side of the line is evident as follows.
Prayer works, not because we pray, but rather, because in the asking in relation to a promise already made by God, we acknowledge God’s sovereignty, declare all we seek to be is rooted in what God already has declared, ‘is’.
But is it possible that God already has made every promise that facilitates every feasible prayer? Absolutely. This is part evidence for wisdom of God. Two broad promises suffice. The first promise?
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, “what shall we eat?” or “what shall we drink?” or “what shall we wear?” But seek first his kingdom (the things that are consistent with God’s declaration that Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords) and His righteousness (the character and divine nature of Jesus), and all these things shall be yours as well (Matthew 6:31,33, RSV).
The promise in Matthew 6:31,33 relates to things of this life, such as cars, houses, spouses, children, jobs, income etc. In essence, if we seek to exalt Jesus, meaning, to the extent it resides within our power, we seek and promote equality and right treatment of all, and love our neighbor, absent any direct petition from us, our Father in heaven promises to look out for our needs. It is not then prayer that is most important for accessing of a Yes from God, but rather, a living in accordance with His will. Whenever we do pray, our prayers have power for a Yes only because our lives accord with the will of God. Through Apostle John, The Holy Spirit expresses this as follows.
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His (God’s) will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask (because we know in our hearts that we ask according to His will), we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him (1 John 5:14–15).
Prayer works, not because we pray, but because our lives or petitions line up with promises already given to us by God.
What then about the pursuit of becoming like Jesus in character and essence. Do we already have promises, which invite us to pursue, and that guarantee achievement of the objective so long as we pursue in accordance with stipulations of our Father in heaven?
With respect to stipulations, if we file our taxes on time, arrive at work on time. are willing to file tons of paperwork for gaining of access to benefits that are provided by government — all of this in response to stipulations of fellow men — it cannot, simultaneously be rational to resent living in accordance with stipulations that come to us from God. As with stipulations that come to us from our representatives in government, the question to ask ourselves is, “Can the stipulations that come to us from God be regarded as rational and reasonable?”
If the stipulations that come to us from God are rational and reasonable, but yet we balk at conformance with said stipulations, our resentment of the stipulations is rooted in some deep seated rebellion (cognitive bias) against obedience to God.
With God stipulating we recognize Him as Creator in context of loving of each of our own self and our neighbor with patience, kindness, forgiveness, absence of sinful pride, absence of unseemly behavior etc., is it possible to assert that God’s stipulations are lacking in rationality and reasonability?
The promise from The Father in respect of becoming like Jesus in character and essence (spiritual nature)?
Because whom He did foreknow (in the spirit before they were born), He also did foreappoint (make preparation for all of the necessary events and challenges that would help shape them to be like Jesus), conformed to the image of His Son, that He (Jesus) might be the first-born among many brethren (Romans 8:29, YLT).
How do we know those that are foreknown? Well, via willingness to be conformed to be like Jesus in essence and character. But if there is something those who are foreknown are to do if they are to have recognition as being foreknown, does God not declare it is all who are willing to pay the price who are foreknown? If our decisions, choices, and efforts matter, it simultaneously cannot be that God is partial, that God has, via some lottery, chosen some and abandoned others.
The evidence that it is up to us to show we are foreknown by The Father? Well, consider these words penned by Apostle Peter under inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
The Lord is not slow in regard to the promise (of eternal life in Jesus Christ), as certain count slowness, but is longsuffering (patient) to us, not counselling (not predestining or pointing out) any to be lost but all to pass on to reformation (2 Peter 3:9, YLT).
As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these (the acting on the precious promises) you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust (2 Peter 1:3–4, NKJV).
Only those who act on promises already made by The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ — now our Father via His adoption of us through faith in Jesus Christ — are foreknown to acquire the divine nature and character of Jesus Christ.
We already have all of the Yes’ that we ever could need from God, and they all are domiciled in Jesus Christ. Knowing that all of the promises already are domiciled in Jesus, our goal must be to utter the Amen through Him. How do we utter the Amen through Him? By doing our part, by exercising willingness and effort that ensures we adhere to conditions enumerated in the promises, with outcome we are ‘in Him’. Given the promises find their Yes ‘in Him’, they only are fulfilled in those who remain ‘in Him’.
How then do we remain ‘in Him’?
If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love (John 15:10, NKJV).
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you (John 15:12).
The key to arriving at Yes from God, and capacity for uttering of Amen that has power with God resides, in entirety, in our willingness and effort for living in consonance with commands from God — all of which pass test of rationality and reasonability. If you seek Yes and Amen from God, it is not prayer that comes first, but rather an abiding in Christ, that is, the obedience of faith towards Christ.
‘YES’, that is, Assent from God is available to everyone who will act on His promise that His invitation to come to Him is open to all and sundry — to all who then will abide by conditions necessary for remaining in Christ.