“What Do We Do When God Says No?”

“What Do You Do When God Says No?”

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

We will read from “Our Daily Bread about how Dr. Helen Roseveare, missionary to Zaire, told the following story. One of the mothers at the mission station in Zaire died during childbirth.  The missionaries tried to improvise an incubator to keep the infant alive, but the only hot water bottle they had was beyond repair. So they asked the children to pray for the baby and for her sister. One of the girls responded, ‘Dear God, please send a hot water bottle today. Tomorrow will be too late because by then the baby will be dead. And dear Lord, send a doll for the sister so she won’t feel so lonely.’  

That afternoon a large package arrived from England. The children watched eagerly as it was opened. Much to their surprise, under some clothing was a hot water bottle! Immediately the girl who had prayed so earnestly started to dig deeper, exclaiming, ‘If God sent that, I’m sure He also sent a doll!’ And she was right! The heavenly Father knew in advance of that child’s sincere requests, and 5 months earlier He had led a ladies’ group to include both of those specific articles.”  

The most interesting part of this story is the acknowledgement of God’s faithfulness by the girl who prayed earnestly. She said, “If God sent that, I am sure He sent a doll! There would be times when we will get a yes from God.  There would be other times we would get a no from God. Sometimes God’s NO is a WAIT, “I got something better.” When we get a NO from God, God reminds us of what he has done, what he can do, and what He is going to do. This means that God is faithful. In such time, we need to acknowledge all that God has done for us.  He is reminding us that He has a better way. He is God! He carefully sits on His throne and carefully orchestrates every human activities. Despite being God, He is faithful to His creatures. David had a good plan, but

God says no because His greatness did not depend on David’s dreams or vision (1 Samuel 7:5-11).  The Lord essentially tells the prophet Nathan to inform David that He does not need a house. He recounts the fact that He has dwelt in a tent with Israel, and He has never asked for a permanent home. He also reminds David that he was just a shepherd boy when God reached down and anointed him as King. He has been with David through it all (1 Samuel 8-9).

The bottom line of God here is this: “I do the building son, not you. I will make the plans, son, not you. My glory is not dependent upon your dreams.”

We are given a very fundamental and basic theological lesson by the Lord. It is this: the freedom and independence of God. The importance of that statement is that God is God and we are not. He is the initiator. He is the sovereign Lord who builds up and brings down. We must be careful when we pray that we remember this.

Memory verse: Malachi 7:9

“God never takes away something from your life without replacing it.” Billy Graham