Summary: Using David as our primary example, let me suggest five right ways in which to respond when God says “No.”
Title: How to respond when God says “No”
David is up in years. His hearts desire to build God an house. It seemed a wonderful holy request, but God said, “No.” How you respond when God says “No” reveals your true spirituality. Using David as our primary example, let me suggest five right ways in which to respond when God says “No.”
1. Praise him for all the times that he has said “Yes.”
David was a king. He lived in a grand palace and was surrounded by a loving family. God had brought him from the days of being a shepherd boy into being the greatest man on the planet. Life was good!
Before you get angry with God for telling you, “No,” remember all of the times that God has said “yes” to your prayers!
2. Pray and ask him for wisdom on why he said, “No.”
Why did God say “No?” It was not as if David was asking some illicit request. What a great desire, “To build God an house.” And yet God said “No.” Why?
Let us remember that God is infinitely wiser than we are. We need to begin with that. God is not simply up in Heaven wanting to makes our lives less happy. He wants what is best for the kingdom. And what is best for the kingdom is what is best for the king!
In verse three, God gives the reason. David had been a man of war. He had shed much blood. Now think about this. A military leader does not always make for the best president.
The building of the Temple was to be done at a time of peace. God did not want his ushers taking up the offering with machine guns and machetes! He wanted people to respond because they loved God in their hearts.
The building of the Temple would require the mind of the wisest man who would ever live. I give you that David was a courageous warrior, but his son, Solomon, would outrank him in brain power!
3. Know that when God says, “No.” He means “No.”
David did not try to go around God’s directive. He did not ask God for a second opinion. God had said, “No.” And that was that.
4. Know that one day God will finally say “Yes.”
Guess where I think that you will find David when you get to Heaven? I am sure that you will find at the entrance gate somewhere shaking hands, and greetings the saints entering into the holy city. David had always wanted to be a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord. David wanted to be in the ministry. Heaven is the place where God will give to us all of the righteous desires of our human heart.
5. Help someone else to achieve the desires of their heart.
Now here is a beautiful picture. Continue to read the rest of this chapter. See David as the old king with his teenage son, Solomon. David gets out the blue print for the Temple. He told Solomon that God had revealed to him the pattern for the building on the Temple. In your mind’s eye, envision this Father and Son team leaning over a desk and studying the pattern of the Temple together.
David did not quit his ambition. He still wanted to build a Temple for God. God had told him “No.” Instead of pouting and quitting, he made every effort help someone else achieve this desire.
That is what Jesus did. Jesus said that he did not come to this earth to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. Jesus lived every day of his life helping others to achieve their hearts to desires. To the blind man, he gave him sight. To the deaf man, he caused him to hear. To the woman at the well, he took away her loneliness.
How do you respond when God says, “No?”