July 4: Yes, No, Not Yet
Sometimes it feels as though the Lord is not answering our prayers; however, when we say that, we usually mean we prayed but didn’t get what we wanted. We were expecting a yes answer when God has other options besides the affirmative.
At times, God says, “No.” When Cain took an offering to God in Genesis 4:4-5,
“the LORD respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering.” In essence, God told Cain, “No, what you’re bringing Me is incorrect.” God also said no to Jesus. When our Lord knew He was about to face the excruciating crucifixion, He asked God for an out. Matthew 26:39 tells us Jesus “fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me” (NJK). We know that God said no to this request, and that’s why we have our salvation today.
At other times, God puts a hold on our requests with a “not yet” answer. King David wanted to build a house for the Lord, but God told him “not yet.” Solomon, David’s son, would be the one to build the temple. (See I Chronicles 28:1-6)
The thing to remember about prayer is that its main purpose is not about collecting; it’s about connecting. Prayer is conversation with God and the ultimate goal is supposed to be about strengthening our relationship with Him. God wants to be more to us than a Sugar Daddy or a Deep Pocket. In fact, we complain about people who just throw money at their issues rather than roll their sleeves up and do the hard, personal involvement work of actually making things better. Why do we expect of God what we don’t even approve of in people?
We will get yes answers from God only when we pray according to His will. First John 5:14-15 clearly says, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (NKJ). The question is: how do we know we’re praying according to His will? We can hedge our bets by knowing His Word well enough to know what to ask and what not to ask; however, sometimes we don’t know. Cain thought his offering was great. David thought building God a temple was a good idea. Jesus wanted to avoid all that coming pain. All three of these men did what we have to do: ask God and find out what He’s going to say. We’ll know we’ve hit the mark on God’s will when God says, “Yes.” But no matter whether He says yes, no, or not yet, we can be excited that God is talking to us.
Worship God today for being the prayer-answer-er.
©2014 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
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Boomerangs to Arrows: A Godly Guide for Launching Young Adult Children
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Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame
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