What if He says, “No”?
“Therefore David enquired again of God; and God said unto him, Go not up after them; turn away from them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees. And it shall be, when thou shalt hear a sound of going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt go out to battle: for God is gone forth before thee to smite the host of the Philistines. David therefore did as God commanded him: and they smote the host of the Philistines from Gibeon even to Gazer. And the fame of David went out into all lands; and the Lord brought the fear of him upon all nations.” 1 Chronicles 14:14-17
Now, God does not usually give me that much instruction all at one time. I mean, that is a lot of information to be given at one time, some of it very detailed. God definitely does, however, tell me no quite often. Plain and simply, “No.”
Let me elaborate. Early in my walk with Jesus, I became involved in a relationship with a young woman with whom I thought The Lord had brought me. Of course, there was this sinking feeling that it was not ordained by God, but I stuck with it, believing that it was and that the struggles that came with this relationship were to test my faith. Well, several months into it, I was given a dream that was as clear as day to me.
I generally do not remember my dreams. That and, usually, I dismiss most of the ones I do recall as my brain organizing and making sense of the information taken in the previous day. I’m slightly scientific like that. But this dream…
I was watching before me a replay of the moment I first spent any time with her at all. She was laying on the sofa, holding her daughter in her arms, and they had both fallen asleep while we were watching television at a sister’s house. I know this memory well because it was when I first thought about spending my life with her. It was being shown to me as though on the big screen, because there came in front of it, as if floating on water, a clear plastic rectangular Tupperware-like dish. In the dish were two tea light candles (you know, the little ones), both were aflame, but were on opposite ends of this dish. As it floated slowly, turning counterclockwise, an unseen finger touched the dish and it split into two smaller square ones. There were no ripples in what had to be water, but the two candles slowly drifted apart. One remained in the center of attention, and the other headed off out of view. As the second one went away, the memory faded into black, and she was gone. What seemed like a eternity passed, and that unseen hand brought a second candle into the small square dish, right along side the first, and both grew brighter. Then I awoke.
Even now, recalling this dream, I’m tearing up. God was telling me no, and it hurt. I had allowed myself to form feelings and desires to be with this very special daughter of Christ which I should not have, and it was all to my own detriment, because God wanted something else for her, and for me. It was hard, but I went, crying like a child, to her and told her about the dream and how I could no longer come to the house because God said I had to separate myself from her. I found out, he spoke to her that same night, too, from her sister who was also crying for us both. We all thought… but God knew better. It was difficult, but I must tell you that this wonderful sister in Christ is now happily married to the man with whom God brought her together.
And so, I listened, and healing took place and we all grew, all because God said no. But shortly thereafter, He told me no again, only this time, I heard it in my spirit, no dream necessary.
I met another daughter of Christ a year later. She was beautiful, vulnerable, and I thought that she could be the one. But, even within those first few moments speaking with her at the Christian bookstore, He plainly told me no. I remember I even told her He said no. Our conversation was about her problems with a guy she had been seeing, and I was trying to encourage her to wait on The Lord, as I knew rushing into things only caused grief. We exchanged numbers, and I told her to call if she needed to talk some more. Not even a day later, temptation took it’s toll and I texted a Merry Christmas, in the hopes she would respond. She did, and a relationship began.
This time, I totally ignored the warning and directive God had given to me and proceeded to do as I pleased anyway. Needless to say, we were quickly engaged to be married. The church I attended (which I brought her to whether she wanted to go there or not) required newly engaged couples to undergo premarital counseling before the pastors would agree to perform the ceremony. We went to one meeting and were given the guidelines. I was ecstatic. I believe she was, too. But there was another situation in my life that was causing me great grief. Only a few days later, I was asked to come to a meeting with the pastors and another woman, in whom I had no interest yet whom had “claimed” me and was doing all that she could to manipulate my life and get me to interact with her, even if it was negative interaction.
I was very upset that the meeting was called at a time when I was supposed to be at my place of employment and totally against my wishes, as I wanted nothing to do with her. Yet, as a disciple following my church leadership, I went. On the way, I was basically venting as I raised my voice in anger at how the situation was totally wrong and that she had no right to do what she was doing to me. My fiancée was privy to that and she got scared. Though I was not yelling at her, she heard how anger could come from me, and she feared the day that it might be directed at her or her two boys.
She tried to express her feelings to me, but I got defensive because she used trigger words for me, like when she suggested I would beat her boys. That upset me because I knew I would never do that. It was brought into our next counseling meeting and she stormed out when the pastor agreed with me on the Biblical principle of spanking. That was it for her, and she ran. She called off the entire thing and refused to further communicate. Do you see how God took care of things?
I wasn’t listening to The Lord. He said no, and He had kept saying no. So, when I wouldn’t listen, He gave the devil leeway to bring strife between us, and we were separated anyway. God’s will is going to be accomplished, for He is sovereign. He knew what it would take to bring about the best for His children. So, he allowed fear and doubt to enter in, and His will was done.
Now, this second time I didn’t listen at all to His no, and after, I spiraled out of control. I wanted nothing to do with this life. I felt like Jonah. I ran from God. So, things became worse for me. I was brought to the point of having nowhere else to turn, and He reminded me that He was still there. Praise God for His mercy, patience, love, understanding, and grace!
Two different times He said no and their were two different reactions. One, decisive and immediate. Painful, but surrendered and still joyfully loving God. The other, rebellious and long and drawn out. Painful to a much greater degree with no joy and no peace.
So, what if He says, “No”?
Take it from me, it’s better to receive that no joyfully and move forward with Christ than to rebel against it. Look at David, for a more Biblical perspective.
He had asked God if he should go after the Philistines the first time.
God said yes and they defeated them. When the Philistines regathered, David inquired again and God said no, but God gave him a different plan, and there was victory in a different way. God may not give us the different plan, but if He tells us no to one, we should trust Him and accept that He knows best.
Looking back, God did give me more than just no. He showed me that when the time was right, if I will just trust Him, He will bring the right woman into my life, and our lives will both be better, for we will both burn brighter for Him!
So, I ask you this evening, because it’s on my heart to do so: what if God tells you, “No”?
Feel free to share your experience below. And… if this spoke to you, or if it encouraged you, please, let me know. God bless you.