Sometimes the Lord speaks to us loud and clear – other times it’s subtle; either way it’s up to us whether we’ll listen.
I believe the Lord has been subtly speaking to me for some time in different areas of my life but I’ve been choosing not to listen; until this Sunday when He spoke loud and clear.
You know when you hear a message and it just speaks to you, just like the scripture says, “the word of God is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires” (Hebrews 4:12) that’s exactly what I experienced, the word of God cutting through all my pride, piercing my heart and exposing my innermost desires.
The sermon was titled ‘When God says No’ (hence the title of this post) and when God speaks to you like this, you listen!
Father Knows Best
Hearing ‘No’ from anyone can be a hard pill to swallow, especially when we so desperately want it to be a ‘yes’.
As humans we’re prideful and stubborn by nature so when something doesn’t go as planned or turn out our way, we are not happy. However, sometimes it’s not other people telling us No – sometimes it’s God telling us.
I don’t know about you but when God tells me no I tend to look inward instead of upward; for one, I fail to realize that God’s in control and I usually interpret the no as a failure on my part and then I start doubting myself or worst of all I start doubting God (especially when it’s something I’ve been continually praying about).
What I’ve come to realize is that God’s not a genie in a bottle.
Yes, prayer is powerful and we are to pray for all things but that doesn’t mean all things will be given to us.
God will always answer our prayers but it’s not always going to be a Yes – sometimes it’s a ‘No’ or even a ‘Not yet’.
We see this perfect example in children; they want what they want and they want it right now!
As a parent, you know that the thing they desire is not good for them (i.e. candy for breakfast, lunch and dinner) or maybe what they want could be harmful to them (i.e. that cool flamethrower they saw on YouTube – true story) or maybe they have their heart set on something but you have something so much better in store for them.
The point is, as a parent you know what’s best for your child, it may hurt you to say No to them but ‘they’ll thank you for it later.’
God is the same way, he knows our heart’s desires; unfortunately, our heart does not always desire what’s best for us and oftentimes is in conflict with what God desires for us.
This has been a hard one for me lately; God has been saying No to some things in my life but I’ve been so prideful and intent on getting what I want that it’s blinded me and has kept me from fully understanding God’s plan for my life. I’ve been so focused on what I want or what I’m not getting that I have no room to focus on what God wants.
I heard this quote in church this past Sunday and it pierced my heart:
If you cannot have what you hoped, do not sit down in despair and allow the energies of your life to run to waste; but arise, and gird yourself to help others to achieve. If you may not build, you may gather materials for him that shall. If you may not go down the mine, you can hold the ropes. No true ideals are fruitless; somehow they help the world of men. No tears are wept, no prayers uttered, no conceptions honestly entertained in vain.
So often we’ve prayed about something over and over again only to continually find God saying No and instead of being content with it, we doubt God, we get frustrated with him, we lose patience and eventually we either try to find our own way to get what we want OR we do nothing at all and just sulk.
What if instead, when he tells us NO or Not Yet, we are thankful because he knows best; what if instead of sulking and wasting our gifts we asked God to use us as he wishes; what if instead of trying to make our plans happen, we went out and helped others achieve theirs?
Oftentimes the blessings come and the prayers are answered when we’re busy blessing God instead of waiting for him to bless us.
Where are you in this? Have you been sulking and allowing the energies of your life to run to waste?
Have you been trying to make things happen for yourself even though you know it may not be what is best?
If so, I would say it’s time to humble yourself before the Lord.
As someone recently said, “you’ve got to Let Go, to Let God.”
Ask him to reveal his will for your life and to give you the wisdom to know the difference between your wants and his desires.
I am putting this into practice today, I am letting go so that I can let God do the wonderful work that he has planned.
Father, I come before you in complete humility; I am not worthy of all the wonderful blessings you’ve poured upon me and forgive me for continually wanting more. You tell us that what you provide is sufficient for the day and that you know the plans for our lives. Help me to bless you instead wanting to be blessed; help me to serve you and do everything for your glory and praise – not my own. I surrender all to you Lord, so that you may use me as you so desire. Renew me every day so that I can focus on you. Forgive me when I stumble, because I know I will but thank you for your never ending grace. I pray in Jesus’ name – Amen!
I would love to hear your feedback; is God currently telling you No or Not Yet?
Are you trying to do things your way? Or maybe you’ve surrendered and God is now using you in amazing ways?
Wherever you currently stand we’d love to hear about it.
Thank you for visiting.