When God says “NO”

There are moments in our Christian lives when God says neither “yes” nor “wait” but contrary to our religious ideas gives us a loud “no” when we least expect it.

To make a long story short that is exactly what happened to me this year. I had a desire on my heart that I had brought before God time and time again. Knowing part of my calling from God, I got frustrated with where I was and started longing for where I could eventually be. Don’t get me wrong…I believe we should constantly strive to reach the best we can be at what God gives us, however I started despising what God had given me. Deep inside my heart, there were moments when I only exercised frustrated obedience to what God had last instructed me to do. However that is a long way from being submissive and surrendering unto God.

So beginning of this year, it finally seemed as if God was getting to move in the direction I had hoped for so long. I made an enquiry… a short one…doubting if I’d ever get any answer to it (as I had not received answers to similar enquiries in the past) and within hours basically got offered a job. My dream job as it seemed. They continued to pursue me and over the next couple of months ALL doors imaginable seemed to open. It even seemed God was preparing me for the job.

I then went overseas to meet the team in May. The idea was to see if I fit the team before signing contracts. Two weeks before my flight, I broke my foot surfing. From that moment on, it strangely seemed like doors that God had opened were closing. The question remaining: “Is it God showing me that this is not what He has for me, or is it the devil trying to keep me from my destiny with God?” I decided it was the latter. So I still went overseas…on crutches.

When I got there, everything seemed perfect. The teaching was solid, the possible colleagues were really friendly, the ministry seemed to flourish. However the joy I had had up to the point of breaking my foot about it, didn’t set in. So I started to pray for God to reveal to me what was going on.

I received verses from people I trust… and from God, which I didn’t quite understand…and although they seemed to imply something positive, I was hesitant. Only when receiving the full verse I understood why. Psalm 106:15

Then a dear friend that I shared my dilemma with made me aware of something essential. For the past 6 years, I had been reluctant in my obedience to God. I had never embraced what He had given me, but instead had behaved like being on the platform of a train station, waiting for my train that would say: “calling”. Whilst I was still talking to my friend, God’s voice clearly called out from my inside: “Is what I have for you, not enough?”

Long story short, I didn’t need more invitations to repent than that. I deeply repented, then put my dream and the prospective job on Gods’ altar, allowing Him to do with it what He seemed fit.

The next day it happened that I was reading the story of Balaam (Numbers 22:23-27). It was one of those moments, when the Bible starts becoming alive. It matched my own story SO much… Balaam going where he believed he was supposed to go, the donkey moving off track to avoid an angel from God with a drawn sword, Balaam hitting the donkey, the next time the donkey thus moves aside to the other side, crushing Balaams foot. Only THEN Balaam sees the messenger from God.

To me Gods’ will was clear now. I declined the job. Shortly after the event, joy was restored. My heart was even filled with gratitude for Gods’ correction to my life.  When I returned home, it truly felt like home for the first time. I decided to fully embrace my job, not waiting impatiently for Gods’ next move, but loving with all my strength, leaving it to God whether He thinks it’s time to move or not.

This “NO” was clearer than most “no’s” I have ever had in my life. It was painful and humiliating to accept it initially. But God provided even in these moments. Often we fear Gods’ “no” so much, however all He wants is to help us stay on track so we can walk within His will. I trust Gods’ plans are higher than mine and His thoughts better than mine. I am grateful for His “no” and am excited about God.

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