Saturday, July 8, 2017

The answer is still no...

No is one of the hardest words to hear
It puts those things that we desire out of reach
Why is it that when I hear "no" from another human
it is easier to hear than from God?
Is it because from another, it feels temporary?
and when I hear it from God...
if feels final
it is final

One of the truths of being a child of God
is that sometimes He says no
I know He does not promise to fulfill all my wishes and desires
So why do I assume He will?

Scripture tells me to bring all my concerns, everything to God
To pray

In my life right now I know of friends who have been told no..
no to good health
no to a long life
no to stability
no to having children
no to marriage

My heart hurts for them
My heart knows what it feels like to be told no
to something that seems good and God honoring

It can feel so confusing
It cracks the false floor we have been building our hopes and dreams on
It isolates us from others who have what we want

So lonely feeling
So confusing

How do I know when to keep being persistent in my prayers
and when to let go?

I must be careful when seeking my answer in scripture
It would be so easy to connect my own dots
to create the answer I want to see

God is not here to grant my wishes
The Bible is not a book of magic words

I must be careful
or I will miss the whole point of what His position is in my life

So here is the exam I must take
when the answer is still no

1. Has this thing I am asking for become an idol? can't be, I am a child of God, I wouldn't do that.
Would I?
Deeper still, I must ask the question...
Is it on my mind more than anything else?
Am I pursuing this more than anything else?
Is it keeping me up at night?
Am I beginning to question Gods love for me?
Does life seem unfair due to me not having what I desire?

It is a slippery slope
idols come in all shapes and sizes
and I can find myself holding on to one with all my might
before I am even aware

2. Is there a log in my eye?
Has my vision for what God has for me been clouded 
by something in my life that I need to get rid of 
in order to see His direction for me more clearly?

3. Is my priority to know God more deeply or 
has my priority shifted to know more about what I desire?
Research is so easy these days. 
I can google anything and read tons of opinions and facts.
Am I spending more time researching and reading about other things 
and assuming that I already know all there is to know about God?

These are painful questions
and I don't always like the answer to them

But what if I can honestly say no
no, this desire is not an idol in my life
no, I have no logs
no, my priority has not shifted

If these things are true
then when God's answer is no
I have a heart that is able to accept

As I plead my case as did the widow in Luke 18 
I must hear and accept the words of Jesus...
In regards to justice (not desire)
Luke 18:7-8 (ESV)
 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? 
Will he delay long over them?  
I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. 
Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

I plead and He I faithful?

And for the things I long for and desire
I humbly lay them at the feet of the cross

I believe Psalm 37 gives me 
the Dos and Don'ts
to keep walking in faith...

be upset or jealous of others (believers and unbelievers)
be angry when other's plans succeed and yours don't
be proud
wish or plan against good people
grind teeth in anger
choose abundance with corruption
do evil
borrow without paying back
be cruel

trust the Lord 
do good
feed on truth (God's Word)
enjoy serving the Lord
depend on the Lord
wait on the Lord
receive the peace of God through humility
be content with little
be honorable
stay innocent 
follow God
lend freely to others
keep Gods word in your heart and mind
wait on the Lords help
be honest
be at peace with others

Turning my eyes away from that thing I so desire
and towards The One who wants my full attention
This is the beginning of accepting
the no
the not now
the wait here
and even when He says yes

Psalm 37 (NCV)

 Don’t be upset because of evil people.
    Don’t be jealous of those who do wrong,
 because like the grass, they will soon dry up.
    Like green plants, they will soon die away.
 Trust the Lord and do good.
    Live in the land and feed on truth.
 Enjoy serving the Lord,
    and he will give you what you want.
 Depend on the Lord;
    trust him, and he will take care of you.
 Then your goodness will shine like the sun,
    and your fairness like the noonday sun.
 Wait and trust the Lord.
    Don’t be upset when others get rich
    or when someone else’s plans succeed.
 Don’t get angry.
    Don’t be upset; it only leads to trouble.
 Evil people will be sent away,
    but those who trust the Lord will inherit the land.
 In a little while the wicked will be no more.
    You may look for them, but they will be gone.
People who are not proud will inherit the land
    and will enjoy complete peace.
The wicked make evil plans against good people.
    They grind their teeth at them in anger.
But the Lord laughs at the wicked,
    because he sees that their day is coming.
The wicked draw their swords
    and bend their bows
to kill the poor and helpless,
    to kill those who are honest.
But their swords will stab their own hearts,
    and their bows will break.
It is better to have little and be right
    than to have much and be wrong.
The power of the wicked will be broken,
    but the Lord supports those who do right.
The Lord watches over the lives of the innocent,
    and their reward will last forever.
They will not be ashamed when trouble comes.
    They will be full in times of hunger.
But the wicked will die.
    The Lord’s enemies will be like the flowers of the fields;
    they will disappear like smoke.
The wicked borrow and don’t pay back,
    but those who do right give freely to others.
Those whom the Lord blesses will inherit the land,
    but those he curses will be sent away.
When people’s steps follow the Lord,
    God is pleased with their ways.
If they stumble, they will not fall,
    because the Lord holds their hand.
I was young, and now I am old,
    but I have never seen good people left helpless
    or their children begging for food.
Good people always lend freely to others,
    and their children are a blessing.
Stop doing evil and do good,
    so you will live forever.
The Lord loves justice
    and will not leave those who worship him.
He will always protect them,
    but the children of the wicked will die.
Good people will inherit the land
    and will live in it forever.
Good people speak with wisdom,
    and they say what is fair.
The teachings of their God are in their heart,
    so they do not fail to keep them.
The wicked watch for good people
    so that they may kill them.
But the Lord will not take away his protection
    or let good people be judged guilty.
Wait for the Lord’s help
    and follow him.
He will honor you and give you the land,
    and you will see the wicked sent away.
I saw a wicked and cruel man
    who looked strong like a healthy tree in good soil.
But he died and was gone;
    I looked for him, but he couldn’t be found.
Think of the innocent person,
    and watch the honest one.
The man who has peace
    will have children to live after him.
But sinners will be destroyed;
    in the end the wicked will die.
The Lord saves good people;
    he is their strength in times of trouble.
The Lord helps them and saves them;
    he saves them from the wicked,
    because they trust in him for protection.

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