My most difficult times, and yet the best of seasons, is when God’s answer is “no”. What should our response be in those moments of prayer when the answer is, “no”?
This morning I read of someone of faith who received such an answer.
His heart was right,
finances in place
detailed plans divinely inspired!
And the answer remained the same,
“You are not to build a house for my Name…”
I Chronicles 22:8
Then God gave his reason for the “no”. God always has good reason when “no” is a far better than “yes”. He is not mean or cruel; even in his “no” there is always love and mercy.
“I have taken great pains to provide for the temple of the LORD…” (14) “Great pains” groan the words. We have all painfully
pushed forward against the unmovable
bandaged broken knees and wounded hearts
pushed back tears of agony and rejection
pressed down frustration and disappointment.
Few have not suffered for the sake of others or the cross. Mine pain a shadow of others; others miniature mine. All of us have paid pain’s price to move forward, if but even at tiny step.
In the “no” came an incredible opportunity for David! He could stand at open window and breathe deep of the refreshing scent of no’s grace or follow the trend of others:
- turn your face to the wall and plead with God like Hezekiah
- go back to bed, get angry, sulk, and pledge a hunger strike like Ahab
- throw in the towel and hope for death like Elijah
I could go on because the bible is full of illustrations of raw humanity in the face of disappointing “nos”.
Seeing God’s Perspective
David opened his eyes enough to see things from heaven’s point of view. Not easy in our upside-down thinking! David chose to say, “Yes” to God’s, “No!”
“Yes, Solomon is the one!” echoed David to the heart and will of God, “Solomon will do what I will not.” Why? Because Solomon was
“a man of peace and rest” (9)
in relationship with The Father (10)
walked in God ordained authority (10)
had discretion and understanding (12)
obedient to the law (13)
strong and courageous (13)
Sounds like an excellent candidate to me! Wouldn’t we all love to be surrounded by women and men with this kind of supreme character? Good choice God!
Sometimes it is only in hindsight that we see what a great decision God’s “no” has been in our lives! It is at that point that our reluctant “yes” becomes a very thankful “yes”.
Pass It On
So, David came into wholehearted agreement with the will of God blessing his son
in prayer (11)
with direction (12)
in financial resources (14)
with labourers (15)
commissioning his work (16)
commanding leaders to support him (17)
In every feasible way David gave Solomon the instruction, the authority, and resources to walk out the vision. He held nothing back! What was his, with open arms, he gives liberally to his son. Then he throws the biggest commissioning party ever; the whole nation celebrates the “no” over one life with a profound and joyous “yes”! (You can check it out in I Chronicles 29.)
“Now devote your heart and soul to seeking
the LORD your God.
Begin to build….”
I Chronicles 22:19
In my mind’s eye, I see this father hugging his son and placing a firm pat on his back, “You can do! Go for it!”
Reminds me of another Leader hundreds of years later,
“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible,
but with God all things are possible.”
And the tradition carried on! We see it again with Paul and Timothy, with Barnabas and Mark, Priscilla, and Aquilla with Apollos. It is God’s intention for us to join others younger in the faith, or not fully mature in their understanding – equipping, motivating, encouraging, and enabling them to go higher and further than us!
What a joy it is; a joy that reflects God’s heart! It is what He is doing in us all!
David didn’t waste vision or passion; he passed it on, even when God’s answer was, “No!”
Solomon built the temple and experienced the reward on the back of his father’s faithfulness. Without his father support would he have achieved such personal success?
May we always remember those who have paved the way for us
breaking through glass ceilings
breaking down walls of resistance
fighting unseen countless battles on our behalf
at the cost of personal sacrifice and risk
praying for a generation that would follow
What beautiful and powerful illustration of generational synergy because of God’s “No!”
When the Answer is “No”
Lord, I thank You for saying “No”.
What do you want me to learn here?
What can I only see in You through this closed door?
May I have heaven’s perspective
I set aside disappointment and discouragement.
Show me the sons and daughters
I can invest my life in.
You mercy towards me is outrageous!
How loving you are!
More on prayer here: