It’s solid oak and it’s gorgeous, but it’s formal. Very formal. So describes our dining room furniture. Since moving to the coast, we downsized and have quickly adapted to a more casual lifestyle. I’ve prayed for the last year or so for new dining room furniture which would better fit our lower-keyed lifestyle. What I desire to purchase, even though it’s simpler and more relaxed, is still a substantial sum of money. My husband was not 100% on board with my objective, but was willing.
But God’s answer was, “No.” Maybe another time; maybe not at all. The Lord impressed me to use the funds to protect the investment we already had—our home. It needs a new coat of paint, which certainly isn’t as glamorous as new furniture.
I understand my particular situation isn’t life altering, but what about other petitions we take to the Lord and our spirit hears, “No”?
Perhaps it’s a job change you desire, but after praying about it you feel no peace.
Maybe you feel it’s finally time to move to a new location, but all you’re hitting are roadblocks.
It could be you’ve been dreaming of a big trip or vacation, but nothing is falling in place for it to happen.
Or, possibly it is a big purchase and the Lord tells you to spend the money elsewhere.
During the Apostle Paul’s second missionary trip, he deeply desired to travel into the province of Asia to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Scripture tells us the Holy Spirit turned Paul and his companions back, and instead, God directed them into Macedonia. “… having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.” (Acts 16:6b-7, NIV) From there, they traveled down to Troas, bypassing Mysia, and Paul received a vision of a Macedonian man pleading with him to, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” (Acts 16:9b, NIV) When the Lord reordered Paul’s steps, the result was abundant fruit, beginning with the salvation of Lydia, the first documented convert to Christianity in Europe. From there the gospel spread throughout the continent. God’s plans were definitely larger and better than Paul’s intentions.
What blessings might we miss if we go our way instead of yielding to the times God says, “No”?
Perhaps in the future there will be a good time to donate the dining room furniture we have, and purchase something more practical. However, right now, the house needs painting and there are ministry opportunities which need financing.
Father God, It seems I’ve been praying so hard about a certain desire or situation and I’m impressed it’s not something you wish for me at this point in my life. Help me to yield to your Spirit and realize “No” is not a bad thing, as you have superior plans. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Psalm 32:8 (NIV): “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.”
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV): “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
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