When God Says ‘No’

I don’t know about you, dear friend, but it takes me a long time to learn the lessons God is trying to teach. It is undeniably a fact that I do learn the hard way. I never just sit in God’s classroom as a casual observer and take notes. It is like I don’t pay attention to what He is trying to tell me until I begin to hurt. Usually that ‘hurt’ is emotional in nature and it comes in the form of someone telling me “no!”.   
It seems that I forget that God is the One who calls and it is He who gets to decide. I am learning, and one day I will actually apply this truth that we can make plans but God always has the final say. And as His follower I give Him room to direct, to open doors and close them as He sees appropriate. 

We don’t know how the Lord closed the door for Paul the Apostle when he wanted to minister in the area of Asia and to Bithynia (Acts 16:6,7), we are not told the circumstances, only the result. We do know this, Paul was sensitive enough to the Spirit’s leading that he did follow where the door was open for him to serve and as a result many people came to know the Lord. I believe there is a correlation because Paul put God’s agenda first, not his own.  

There is no denying the fact that at times God does give us the desires of our hearts as far as where and who we serve in ministry. But it is on the anvil of the “no” experience that God does His best work in our lives. He uses these events and situations to form our will into His own, so that we begin to understand that we serve Him first and foremost above everything else.  

What is God’s best work in us? How can we identify it? It is when we say, “Not my will but Yours be done.” It is when we stop demanding our way and let God do in us what will ultimately bring Him greater glory. That type of attitude and action requires us to swallow our pride and admit we are not God! It is painful process when we have to tear ourselves away from what we think best. But at the end of the day, where we serve and who we serve is God’s responsibility. 

My goal today is to live in what God desires for me, not in what I think best. God does have my best interest at heart and I gladly submit myself to His good will because He is still working on me to make me what I ought to be! 

To God be the glory great things He has done and continues to do!

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