Summary: When God says no.
Faith When the Answer Is No Part 2
Last week I started this message about what happens to your faith when you do not get something that you ask God for, something you really wanted, yet did not receive. I shared with you my experience when I was seeking a different job within my company that I did not get and the mental processes that I went through in thinking what could I have done differently. I also shared with you the scriptures that talk about the blessings that will come upon those who obey and trust in the Lord our God and how if we have faith we could remove mountains. The focus of the message was to help you evaluate where you are with four key beliefs that tend to dictate our responses to situations that do not work our as we are believe God they will. Let me remind you of the four beliefs:
• If I do not get what I want, it was not meant to be just a fact of life – no control.
• If I do not get what I ask for, then I did not have enough faith.
• If I do not get what I ask for, God said no and I trust Him because He takes care of me.
• God says yes, but this may not be the time – I need to wait and prepare.
Last week I was able to get through the first two beliefs and today I will complete this message. If you recall from last week, both religious and non-religious individuals hold the first belief. As I stated last week, it is very easy to go through life thinking that you have no control over anything and what happens to you was just a fact of life. Also I told you that the second belief was potentially more dangerous because it solely places the blame on you if you did not get something you were believing God for. The second belief says that if you did not get what you wanted you simply did not have enough faith. This morning I will start with the third belief that says “God said no and I trust Him because He takes care of me.” Although that is a very true statement that God takes care of each of His children, lets examine this belief more closely.
I. God Said No And I Trust Him Because He Takes Care Of Me
This belief can make you seem very spiritual. I would love to be able to blame God for not getting what I want. Can you see the benefit to having a “fall guy” to blame? Let me give you an example. I go on a job interview for an executive level position. I walk into the interview room and the interviewers are dressed in dark suits and red ties (the power ties). I am of course dressed to kill in short pants, a tee shirt and dirty sneakers. Now when I do not get the job, it would be so nice to say it was because God did not want that for me. Thinking this way allows me to not be responsible for anything – I am God’s child. He controls everything around me and if He says no, then hey, who am I to blame.
I know for a fact that there have been things that I went to God for and He has said no, it was not time. There have been many more times when things did not work out because of me or for other reasons. The problem is knowing the difference. Yes I believe that God is watching over us. Yes I believe that He is active in our lives, but again the Scripture does not support the thought that every time something does not work out it is because God said no. It would be nice if it was that way, but unfortunately that does not seem to be the case. Examine the following Scripture. In 1 Chronicles 28, David calls all of the officials together and he tells them this:
1Chronicles 28:2-3 “King David rose to his feet and said: ‘Listen to me, my brothers and my people. I had it in my heart to build a house as a place of rest for the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord, for a footstool of our God, and I made plans to build it. But god said to me, ‘You are not to build a house for my Name, because you are a warrior and have shed blood.”
In 2 Samuel, we find the story of David’s desire to build a temple to house the Ark of the Covenant. God had brought him peace from all of his enemies and David was grateful. As He thought about how good God had been to him, he talked with the prophet Nathan and shared with him his concern and his desires. David actually felt guilty that God had blessed and kept him and yet he had not in his mind taken care of the Ark. Nathan told David to do whatever he was desiring to do because the Lord was with him. The prophet Nathan gave David’s his blessing to build the temple because he assumed that God would be pleased. That was not the case. In a dream that night, God appeared to Nathan and told him to tell David that although he appreciates his concern and his desire to build the temple, it was not to be. God told David no, that it was not for him to build the temple. You must understand, when God told David no, it was not because David was a bad person, far from it, it was a simple fact that God had already chosen who would do it and it would not be a man of war. So what we find is that David, although his desire was good, was not allowed to do what he wanted. David accepted God’s answer and had peace because he now understood what God’s will was and that the temple would be built.