Recently in my own life I have been dealing with my heart concerning a prayer that was answered with a no. It was something that I had prayed about for years and at different times had high hopes that the prayer would be answered with a yes. It is not easy to finally come to the understanding that what you are praying about is not in your best interest or is supposed to be manifested in your life. In fact, at least for me it causes that rebellious streak to want to come out and display itself in all of its glory. Yet I know that I am not all-knowing. I know that I have no ability to see the future. It is because of that knowledge that I once again willingly submit to what Jesus sees as the best interest for my life.
So what do you do when God says no?
- The first thing I do when God says no is to evaluate the direction that I have been heading. Is the path I am on really producing the best things in my life. You see, I am convinced that God is not out to get us, or to trick us into having some type of life that is gloom, doom, and heartache. Do you remember the old Hee Haw song? Gloom Despair and Agony on Me I do not believe that God has that type of life intended for any of us. So I re-evaluate the direction I am going in life and if there is something that is not working, I change it.
- I remind myself that God loves me even more than I can love myself. The apostle Paul when he was praying for the Ephesians to be strengthened in their inner man prayed that they would understand how big the love of God is. Eph 3:14-19 It is when you understand how big the love of God is for you that you come to terms that whatever He said no about is really for your own good. I am reminded of the story of one fairly prominent pastor who started a church even though he was as of yet still unmarried. He had many ladies try to catch his attention and He would pray about if they were the one and each time he would get no for an answer. Then the Lord turned his eye towards a lady that was not the most glamorous, nor had the most physical beauty, but who had been just being a servant to him behind the scenes. That lady ended up being the one who God said yes about. Today she has blossomed into the most beautiful middle-aged lady both inside and out. God knew what He was doing and He loved that pastor enough to say no to him concerning those women who would not stand the test of time.
- When God says no, I take time to check my heart. The Bible says that if we delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart. Psalm 37:4 I ask myself if there is any area of my life that I am not delighting myself in Jesus. Have I allowed other goals or focuses to cloud that delight. Where are my sights set? I do this because I have found that God really does like to give good gifts to His children and does not take relish in saying no. Usually if I am delighting myself in Him, then I rarely hear the word no. If you are like me, you hate hearing the word no. So I do what I can so I can avoid hearing that word.
I thank God for the times He has said no. As I look back at some of my stupid ideas and directions I wanted to travel, I think about what would have happened if He had just left me to my own devices and didn’t say no. I know I would have been in a world of hurt. How about you? Can you see the loving hand of God in your life when He said no to something you wanted?
Now that is something to think about!
This article was first published on my website Taber's Truths