We began a teaching series on Sunday about going the extra mile to live excellent lives. Jon Weece reminded us about Daniel’s full devotion to God. Daniel had the discipline to say yes and no to the right things so he could be completely available to God and His plans.
I’ve thought a lot about this week about yeses and nos, primarily as it relates to our choices. But Daniel’s interaction with God reveals another reality: God says yes and no, too.
There are some verses in the Bible, today’s focus verse included, that seem to indicate that Christians have an “ask and you’ll get it” arrangement with God. (Read the verse above again.) But we all know that God does not always answer prayers the way we think He should. At times, He says no. It’s not always easy to think of God as good when He says no, but He is. In fact, He’s probably kinder when He says no to us because we so often miss what He ultimately wants for us. We have our own ideas about how things should go.
A clue that you’re growing as one of His chosen children is when you begin thanking Him for no every bit as much, if not more, than when He says yes. A posture of gratitude, either way, is your acknowledgment that He can be trusted; He is in charge. I once heard a preacher say that we will all one day be more grateful for unanswered prayers than answered ones.
God said no to His chosen people, Israel. He also said no to Moses, Elijah, James and John, and the Apostle Paul, just to name a few. He has and will say no to you. Pray now about responding to His no with gratitude because the Father has something better in mind.