Time to be a little transparent….yes, I’ve fallen victim to placing myself in the “waiting” column when I was in denial about an answer God had already given me. It’s funny how we think we can change God’s minds on things. I remember praying to God about a particular guy situation a while back and asking Him to make it clear to me what I should do. So I prayed and I waited, prayed and I waited, prayed and I waited. But here’s the thing….the whole time I was “waiting” God was making it beyond clear to me that His answer was no for the relationship. That’s not the answer I wanted to receive so I actually convinced myself that He didn’t say no, He was just using all of the MILLIONS of red flags to say wait, it will get better. No my friend, this in fact is NOT how God operates. When God wants you to move or not move, He will make it plain to you either through His word or through another believer….and we know when God is making something plain to us. Amen somebody.
"God is a very specific God, He's too great to give you a general non-descriptive answer...and when something is for you, it will undoubtedly be for YOU."
Now allow me to interrupt your thoughts if I could, because I feel like someone just read that “through another believer” part and got real excited because your best friend told you that God told them you were going to be famous one day in be in front of millions of people. Now that sounds real good, but the truth of the matter is your friend and any other believer for that matter will always be confirming what God already told you through His word and will be specific to what God has already laid on your heart. Meaning….your friend won’t be telling you something that God didn’t already tell you. So stop allowing people to come up to you after church and whisper vague and generic blessings in your ear. God is a very specific God, He’s too great to give you a general non-descriptive answer…and when something is for you, it will undoubtedly be for YOU. I’ve had to remind myself of this quite a few times after I realized “prophecies” that I was allowing other people to speak over me were NOT being fulfilled.
"Eating fruit out of its season is poisonous"
So now that we’ve finally come out of denial to what God is saying, it still leaves us with the question, “now what?” What do I do after God tells me “no”? Well first before we can really ask that question we have to realize that God never just says, “no.” He never leaves us hanging out in the open without any resources or direction on where to go next. Notice, I didn’t mention that He gives us an explanation to the “no.” God doesn’t always reveal the “why” to us. In fact, out of all of my quiet time dates we’ve had or the long talks I’ve had with Him in my car and even the low points in my life where I’ve cried out to Him has He ever shared the answers to every question on my test of life with me. Why? Because it’s not about “why” He said no…it’s about us trusting that He has our best interest at heart and whatever it is that HE has is better. You’re asking for [this] and He wants to give you [THIS]. Yeah that initial “no” may sting a little (or a lot) but I think we can all agree that we want the better God has for us.
So having said all of that….here’s where it might get a little tricky. This may sound cliché’ but I also don’t think “no” necessarily means never. What you’re praying for may in fact be something that God wants for your life….it’s just not for you at that time. You might ask what’s the difference between “not the right time” and God telling you to “wait?” Well, waiting to me is God saying, “I have what you’ve been praying for but I’m still setting it up, I’m still putting some finishing touches on it.” Meaning it’s within your possession but it’s being delayed until God finishes working everything out. Now, “not for you at that time” means it’s going to be given to you….but it could be in a completely different season in your life in a completely different way then what you prayed for….ultimately resulting in “no” for right now. Either way, if God is giving you the red light whether it be a permanent “no” or a temporary “no” it should no longer be your focus. A good friend once told me, “eating fruit out of its season is poisonous.” When we’re requesting something from God, we always have to have the mindset that He honors our request according to His will. So that means we may not get everything we pray for or when we pray for it….but it does mean God will give us the very best possible thing instead. Now that’s a win-win situation isn’t it?
So to answer the question, “what do I do when God says no?” It’s simple, accept His answer and pray for redirection. The Bible tells us in Psalm 37:4 to “delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” When you redirect your focus back on Christ, you’ll find you get more and more of your hearts desires….because it will be HIM putting the right things in your heart to desire. So be thankful for God's "no" it just means, He loves you too much to let you have your own way.
*For more information on this topic, check out the following scriptures: