when God says no.

One of my promises {that I’ve made to myself over the past few years} is that I will always write from my own experiences, from the lessons that I have learned and the awesome things that Jesus is working on in me.  I love my relationship with Jesus; I love the way he uniquely speaks to me, the way his voice whispers from his word and his perfectly timed tough love.  Jesus is taking me on a crazy awesome adventure; one that I never expected would look like this, but it’s an incredible story that I never could have imagined on my own.  I hope to share what Jesus teaches and shows me, and along with that, just plain experiences that I have walked through.  My struggles and battles, my triumphs and mountain tops.  I want to be vulnerable and transparent.  Authentic and raw.

And so with that promise to you… I share my latest word from Jesus. 

That word? No. {literally the word is “no”}

I’m not good with the word “no”.  {I don’t think anyone is really good with that word actually…}  Something inside of me {maybe it’s the independent, strong willed and quite often stubborn woman in me} that stirs up this rebellion to do whatever is in my power to make that “no” a “yes”.

But Jesus has said “no” to me twice this past year.  They weren’t just little things like “no Laura don’t eat that extra bowl of 52917364342914784_6kwbmxd0_cice cream”, but like monumental decisions.  The first: leading a small group for my church. Now I know myself, I know that I have a lot of experience in leadership.  I know that I have been a part of leadership for multiple ministries. I have been a camp counselor, small group leader and Bible teacher. So I know that I am qualified to lead a small group! {in my limited human rational of course} I just couldn’t understand why Jesus would say “no” to me…why in the world shouldn’t I be a leader? {that attitude lasted only a short while…then humility set in. thank goodness.}

I think I handled the rejection quite well. {I only cried a lil’ bit. I’m a tough cookie…but still uber emotional at times.}  But to be honest; the rejection was a total shot to my pride.  {life lesson: Jesus doesn’t like pride; he will root that sucker out.I know this from experience.} I felt like I had every qualification; and yet Jesus said no.

The second “no” moment; taking this semester off of school.  This one h.u.r.t.s!  For a girl who never stops {literally I am the multitasking, never resting, chaos driven worker bee} to say “no” to classes for this semester was so difficult.  To finally come to my senses and realize that a. I was burned out. and b. Jesus simply said no, was a huge step for me.  And to make the choice to follow what Jesus wanted was challenging, but I knew what his answer was, and I had to follow it.

I can beg the question “why did God say no?” all day long.  I can get emotional.  I can kick and scream, throw a tantrum or even get angry with him.  I can boycott reading his word or even spread my anger and frustration like a poison to my friends and family. However, I don’t think those responses will get me anywhere.  When God says no to us we can respond with our mini tantrums and outbursts, but I don’t think they will move us in positive, forward motion. {nor will they display a Christ like attitude}

So what should be my response when God says no?  

“speak for your servant is listening”

Jesus has a reason for every yes and no answer he gives us.  He opens doors and closes doors in his time for his purposes.  When God says no to us, we see the short term rejection instead of the long term blessing.  On top of that, sometimes the very nature of “no” is a blessing to us and we don’t even bother to consider that possibility!  

I have learned just two reasons why God says no to us.  These are the reasons that I believe Jesus has whispered to my heart recently.  They may relate to you, they may not. But the the most important principle I have learned in the past year is to have a humble and obedient attitude when we come before our loving Father to say truly, “speak, for your servant is listening.  Tell me Jesus what you have to say about these circumstances.” We can ask the question why, but it should come from a heart that is willing to actually hear what Jesus has to say! So here are the two things that Jesus has spoken to me about my “no’s”.  

1. He has some growing to do in me. In my small group situation I know that Jesus is trying to teach me what true 258675572319164375_RZDXOLJc_cleadership is from all perspectives, which includes being rejected as a leader!  In order for Jesus to make me the leader that I have asked him to mold me into, he has to allow me to endure many different circumstances.  In that moment of rejection, I learn a new perspective of leading, a new perspective of being on the other end of leadership, I learn how to follow well and submit to authority, I learn that while I think I’m qualified, it is God’s word that is final and I learn humility: to allow God to raise me up or keep me down in his timing and his plan.  I have learned that all in just one “no” moment.  But I wouldn’t have gained an ounce of it if I just sat pouting in my room boycotting reading God’s word or speaking with wise counsel.  

2. He has something else he wants me to focus on. I see God’s fingerprints all over my school situation.  I realize that Jesus sometimes says no to some opportunities on our path because he wants us to focus our energy and time on another specific opportunity or responsibility.  In my case, I said no to school {just for the semester} because I believe that Jesus wants me to focus on my teaching, my jobs, my relationships and simply rest! {okay…even that doesn’t sound like resting…but that work load is rest for me!} If I were to go on with classes and focus my energy on that responsibility, then I may miss something crucial that he wanted me to learn in these other endeavors!  Jesus has lined up my priorities for me in this season.  I have to be sensitive to that line up because there is something he has maneuvered behind the scenes that I do not want to miss out on simply because I was too busy doing something else that he didn’t even want me to do!

I have shared with you the two reasons why God said no to me.  To excellent reasons if I may add.  But I never would have heard that response from Jesus if I didn’t soften my heart with humility and then position myself to hear what Jesus actually had to say about it all. 

So I’ve shared…now you!  Has God said no to you recently?  Did you respond like a cranky pants or like the humble servant? {which trust me…I’ve definitely responded both ways…} What was God’s reasoning for saying no? Use your story for his glory… share the awesome truth he is teaching you! :)




4 thoughts on “when God says no.

  1. Laura, wow! You did a great job of breaking down your own story and message from it. I gained so much from this.
    When I was in college God also called me to drop out. I had just been selected a captain of the football team and had so many leadership positions, but he wanted me to leave school and go to Australia to do mission work. I battled it furiously, but finally gave in. The next semester in Australia was the biggest refinement that has ever taken place in my life. Without I would not be where I am today. God saying no (to my disgruntlement) changed my life. I hope he is changing yours, too.
    Thanks for writing and being REAL with your readers!

    • Wow! What a huge leap of faith for you! That is such a powerful testimony to God’s timing and plans! I am really excited about this next chapter of life; I know Jesus has some amazing things for me to learn and some incredible experiences waiting for me to live out! The “no” was difficult in the moment of decision, but the peace that God has given me in that decision is absolutely unbelievable. Very very stoked to see what Jesus does in this “no” season!

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