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  • Bayo Afolaranmi
    Dear Beloved, I am bitter as I am sending my weekly devotional message to you this week. The reason is that God had said no to me again last week in one of my
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 18, 2006
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      Dear Beloved,

      I am bitter as I am sending my weekly devotional message to you this
      week. The reason is that God had said no to me again last week in one
      of my most desired goals in life. I am still trying to console myself
      and praise God for His goodness over my life in spite of the denial of
      my desire. This will make me resend this abridged text of one of my
      sermons to you. People that have been in my mailing lists for the past
      three years will remember the sermon. It came to my mind again as I
      was reflecting on the incidence. Here is it:

      (2 Samuel 7: 1-28)

      "If Jesus says yes, nobody can say no." Undoubtedly, the saying is
      correct. No one can negate what God approves. However, what if God
      negate an idea, a plea, or a request? Can anybody change it? Someone
      has said that God answers our prayers in any of the three ways, vis,
      yes, no, or wait. When God says NO, what would be your reaction to it?
      Let us look at a situation in the Bible where God said NO.

      King David was a unique man - a man after God's heart (Acts 13:22). He
      was a man that served as a good model for the subsequent kings after
      him because of his right standing before God. He was such a king that
      would not do anything without first enquired from God. God in turn
      made him successful in his entire endeavor, but only in one that God
      said NO.

      David had had rest from his entire struggle to stabilize his kingdom,
      and he was living peacefully in his mansion-palace. The desire of his
      heart was to build a befitting house for the Lord. As usual, he
      enquired from the Lord by informing the Prophet Nathan - the man of
      God of his time. Prophet Nathan approved this plan to build a house
      for the Lord, but God said NO.

      One may wonder why God said no to such a good heart desire of David.
      Let us consider the comprehensive answer of God in 2 Samuel 7:5-16,
      "Go and tell my servant David, 'This is what the LORD says: Are you
      the one to build me a house to dwell in? The LORD declares to you that
      the LORD himself will establish a house for you: When your days are
      over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to
      succeed you... He is the one who will build a house for my Name.'"

      God did say NO to David's aspiration. However, the NO answer was with
      a promise (see verses 11b-16). When God says NO to our request, He has
      something better for us. The reason is, "'For my thoughts are not your
      thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the LORD. 'As the
      heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your
      ways and my thoughts than your thoughts'" (Isaiah 55: 8-9), and "'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'"
      (Jeremiah 29: 11-12).

      How would you react to such an answer from God? Would you be like that
      pastor that told his congregation that, "When God says NO, say YES"?
      How did David react? He reacted by praising God in counting his
      blessings (see verses 18-29). The "NO" answer made him to praise God!
      It made him to draw closer to God. It made him to claim God's promises
      (vv. 28-29).

      It should be noted that David did not question God when God said NO to
      his heart desire. God did not tell him either. Nonetheless, David knew
      the reason later. In 1 Chronicles 22: 7-8, we have a clue. God has a
      reason for saying no to most of our prayers. We may not understand
      now, but sooner we will.

      David accepted the NO answer of God to his desire, and God fulfilled
      His plan for him. Solomon - his son - eventually built the temple to
      David's credit (see 2 Kings 8). Hezekiah was a different man. God told
      him that he would die (2 Kings 20:1). Instead of him to accept the
      will of God for him, he prayed against it. God, in His permissive
      will, added fifteen years to his life. Unfortunately, those added
      years were the dismay of his life (see 2 Kings 20: 12ff).

      Jesus Christ accepted NO when He prayed that God should take the cup
      of the cross from Him (Luke 22: 44). He even cried on the cross to
      demonstrate the agony of the "negative" answer He received from God
      (Mark 15: 34). However, the NO answer of God to Jesus, and His (i.e.
      Jesus') acceptance of it gave Him a name above every other name
      (Philippians 2: 10-11). This singular action of Jesus Christ has also
      given every Christian the hope that is beyond any other hope that if
      we die today, we are going to reign with Him.

      What is your attitude when God says NO to your prayer? Are you the
      type that will not take NO for an answer? Are you ready to accept
      God's "negative" response to your heart desire? When God says NO to
      your prayer, He wants you to reflect on His goodness to you, and
      praise Him for His blessings. God will not always say yes to our
      prayers. When He says NO, let us accept it in good faith that it is
      for our own good. Remember, "… God causes ALL things to work together
      for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to
      His purpose" (Romans 8:28, NASB).

      In His service,

      Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

      "I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will
      have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted
      in my body, whether by life or by death. FOR TO ME, TO LIVE IS CHRIST
      AND TO DIE IS GAIN" (Philippians 1:20-21, NIV).
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