While we were living in South Carolina our pastor asked Gerri and I to fill in for him on a Sunday morning. The night before, the Lord gave me two skits to do for the service! First of all I don’t do skits. I had never done anything like that! Gerri is the drama queen! However, I pushed through my fear and it turned out great!
Now, let me share the skit having to do with God saying ‘no’. I played a 14 year old boy. I asked a friend in the service to play my Dad in the skit. My instruction to him was no matter what I say your answer is to be ‘no’ and then ad lib. Here is the skit…
Dad comes home from work. The moment he gets in the door I jump him with “Dad! Dad! I really need your help!”
“OK son. What’s up?”
“On the way home from school today I passed the car dealer on the corner and guess what? “
“There’s a brand new, bright red Ferrari right out front! I looked it over real good Dad and it’s awesome! Dad you know I have a new girlfriend and Dad I just gotta have that car! I mean Dad, don’t you see my girl would never look at another guy if I had that car to take her out in! Please Dad. It’s only $350,000! Please Dad!”
“Son, it’s obvious you are really excited about this car and your girl, but Son you are only 14 years old. You can’t drive yet and you know we don’t have that kind of money! So I’m sorry, Son, but the answer is a whopping ‘no’!!”
So was this Dad mean and unloving by telling Son ‘no’ to his request or was Dad using common sense and wisdom by telling his Son ‘no’? In reality, Dad had no option but to say ‘no’ to Son’s request. From the adult perspective Son’s request was absurd. From Son’s perspective his request and its justification was not only reasonable, but essential to his life and happiness!
Now back to real life! Dad is God and Son is you. When you pray do you ask God for a Ferrari? Probably not. Seriously though have you ever asked Him for something you thought was very reasonable or necessary and He said, ‘no’. If so, how did you feel? What was your response; simple disappointment or a tantrum? In saying ‘no’ was God protecting you from potential pain and suffering or was He punishing you, or was He trying to stop you from interfering with His plans for your life, or was He trying to stop you from interfering with His plans for someone else’s life? The bottom line is this: He sees the end from the beginning and He always has the right answer even if we don’t like it! His plans for us are rooted in love and care! If we will follow His directions we will accomplish the purpose and destiny He has planned for us. The route He uses to get us there may be difficult for our flesh and worldliness and not make much sense to our natural mind but He will not lead us astray! Faith and obedience are essential for success!
Now as I mentioned earlier sometimes God says ‘no’ when we ask for ourselves. We all know that and it should be expected that He could say ‘no’ in some situations, but when it comes to our prayer and desire to help others, is the situation any different? No because He has a plan for each one of us. When we hear of a need from family, friends, church family, neighbors, etc. do we just jump in and try to meet the need or do we ask God what we should do? For goodness sake, if someone is bleeding, you don’t have to ask God’s permission to help! Of course, if you pass out at the sight of blood, wisdom might be required! Seriously, in some situations God is allowing a time of difficulty and struggle in a person’s life in order to ultimately bless and strengthen them. If we jump in and rescue them from the situation they will just have to go around the mountain again to hopefully accomplish God’s purpose.
Have you ever heard the phrase ‘what’s in the well comes up in the bucket?’ Think about that in regards to stressful and difficult times. When you are out of sorts with life, what comes up in your bucket? If we have unhealed or unresolved issues they usually surface during stressful and difficult times! At first this may seem negative, but it can be very positive! If they surface they can be identified and taken to God for healing and the captive can get free and life dramatically changes! So you see that our desire to free people from difficult situations is loving, caring, and honorable, but if God is in the process we could ultimately interfere with the blessing He wants to bring to that person’s life. Can you see if they are not bleeding, it might be good to ask God before you decide to jump in and help resolve the issue. He might say ‘no’.
Testimony: Very early on in our ministry here in Colorado we had a couple who had become good friends. They were older than us and in their retirement. The wife was diagnosed with stomach cancer and was not doing well. One morning in our prayer time the Lord spoke to me and said we should go and pray for her. We got excited because we assumed she would be healed! We called their home and asked her husband if we could come and pray for her. Naturally he said ‘yes’. So off we go anticipating a wondrous time of prayer and miracles. When we arrived she was laying on the living room couch. Gerri and I got down on our knees on the floor next to her and told her what the Lord said and we asked if we could lay our hands on her and pray. She said ‘yes’. We did that and I began to pray when the Lord said very clearly, “Don’t pray for her healing. This is a root of bitterness!” Wow! What a shock! I knew immediately that the sin had to be confronted! I told her what the Lord had said and she immediately started to cry! I asked where the unforgiveness and bitterness was directed and she said, “My mother and my sister.” I told her you know that unless you forgive and repent for your bitterness there will be no healing. She said, “I will NOT forgive them EVER!” In sorrow we left and shortly thereafter she died still full of unforgiveness and bitterness.
God said ‘no’ to our desire to pray for her healing even though that’s what we thought He sent us there for. All the time, He wanted to heal her of more than the cancer! He wanted to heal her of what caused the cancer in the first place! For she and her husband and for Gerri and I, our focus was the cancer. God saw what was hidden that was the root cause of the cancer. So had she been willing I believe she would have experienced healing of her obvious woundedness and her cancer! What an opportunity for new life missed. This was God’s love for her in action. She rejected the opportunity and lost her life! The Word says if we will not forgive others their sin against us we will not be forgiven! The Word also says bitterness is like a cancer that seeps down into the bones!
So keep this in mind…when God says no He usually has a better yes in mind!