What If God Says ‘No’?

What If God Says ‘No’?
Mother and son praying at the Nativity Church in Bethlehem

2 Sam. 7:1-17

My goddaughter asks her older sister, “Can I play with your iPad?” “NO!” My nephew asks his dad, “Can I have the car to go to the gym with my friends?” “NO!” An overworked friend asks her supervisor, “Can I take Friday off?” “NO!”

“NO!” We’ve all been there, heard that. We know the sorrow, the anger, the bitterness from being turned down, from being refused. But what if the “NO!” is from God? What do we do, how do we handle it when God says “NO!”?

At this point in the scripture, David is riding high; he’s experiencing the good life. And it occurred to him that while he was living in a great palace, and the people had all they needed, God had no permanent dwelling place. So why not use his time and energy, his resources and his skills to build a glorious temple for his great God? David was thinking of the honor and glory of God; he loved God and wanted to do what was best.

Certainly you have had premises in your life as well. Ask yourself, “What is the premise in my life?” Maybe you really would like the job you just interviewed for. What’s the issue for you when it comes to discerning God’s will?

The plan is only right when the plan is right to God. No boat with God on board will ever sink, so get God on board! Every plan needs God on board. Proverbs 16:3, 9 states “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established…The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps.”

That premise you’ve tucked in the forefront of your mind? Consider this: Have I asked God if this is right? What have the Scriptures revealed to you? Have you prayed with conviction and earnestness? Its’ all part of the deliberation process: Is God on board? God can and does say no. Sometimes our plans are God’s and sometimes they are not; sometimes the plan is good and right, but not for us. Sometimes the plans are right but the time is not. A no to our plans may be the prelude to God’s greater plan. When God withholds or denies our plan, He often offers another grander one.

Prayer: Gracious and loving God, remind us to always look to you as we make our plans. May we always remember that a no from you is a yes to something better. Amen.

Gail Douglas-Boykin is on the Board of Directors and is the Chair of the Governance Committee.

Posted or updated: 12/15/2016 11:00:00 PM

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