David therefore sought God on behalf of the child. And David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. And the elders of his house stood beside him, to raise him from the ground, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them. On the seventh day the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, “Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spoke to him, and he did not listen to us. How then can we say to him the child is dead? He may do himself some harm.” 2 Samuel 12:16-18
Today is one of those truth moments y’all! I pray you are well and that you are remaining encouraged in this day and time!
When seasons change and the things we have prayed for manifest, we celebrate and shout! We look forward to the next prayer service, the next fast, or simply the next experience of God because He favored us with His answering of our prayer request in ways favorable to us.
But let’s be real, there are many times when the things we have prayed for don’t come into fruition. We pray and pray and that thing does not happen. We want it our way but God simply says no. Many refer to it as unanswered prayer, but I believe the absence of that thing is definitely God saying no. Whether God explicitly says no or denies you without what you think is a clear reply, what do you do in those situations?
If you look at David here, God had already told him that the child he and Bathsheba conceived in sin would die. He thought God would honor his fast and prayers and change his mind. David had gotten outside of God’s will and had sinned, and so there was a penalty here. Honestly, you will get a “no” from God when you have gotten off the appointed path He has planned for you and taken a detour on I Want It My Way Boulevard. You think that because He has said yes so many other times that this time will be just like the others…and when you don’t get what you have prayed for, you become bitter towards God. You get angry, you lose faith, and eventually you keep making additional detours, leading you further and further away from your destiny. Now, granted, a “no” is not to punish you, it just can mean that God has something better in mind. I’ve made my share of detours, but thank God for reeling me in and getting me back on track.
I’m going to share my testimony with a prayer answered no. So here goes.
For a few years now, I have known who I am supposed to marry. (Of course there is free will so this person may never step up, but I’m going to keep praying for him and trusting God for our appointed season…but that’s another devotion, another day lol.) Because things happened to cause me to give up waiting on him to come around, I have been dating others. One guy in particular had surfaced as my top choice and I was making plans in my head, like we women do lol. (Don’t you say you haven’t put his last name next to your first…I know you’re lying. Lol) I was thinking of telling him to consider that the distance will be shorter when I move and that I didn’t mind traveling to make it work with him. I had gotten so excited, because every time I saw him, he gave me everything I felt I wanted. So I prayed about him…well I did two things. First I prayed about all the guys I associated with, that God remove those who were not supposed to be there, and that I cut off any attachments preventing me from getting married. (Maybe this is a yes and NOT a “no,” lol) I also prayed about this guy…shocking to me, God was swift with that no, via a dream. The dream revealed that our relationship was to be solely platonic, and that I was actually to speak into and minister to him. I was supposed to lead him to the Word, a ‘new life’ in God, maybe even encourage a ministry to be birthed in him. I was not happy about that at all!! God threw salt all on the fire in my heart and threw a ocean wave on my plans lol.
I was all in my feelings about it too. I thought we would be perfect together and that we would have some pretty babies (yes I went there smh). Yeah, there were things that we had our differences on, but I had known him since college, so we had history. I pouted all last week about it, struggling with the fact that God did not have the same plans as me for me and this guy. To add insult to injury, God was crystal clear to remind me that the person He had previously revealed to me as my husband was, in fact, still going to be my husband (I’ll be honest, I still love him…but had settled for life without him in that role). Talk about feeling some type of way! I was really upset about it. I reached out to my prayer partners and had them all pray for me about it. I was really hoping God would change His mind, and let me have who I wanted or that I would get some peace with what I felt was a major loss. The spoiled brat behavior culminated last weekend when I made peace with the fact that God’s will was better than what I could plan or conjure up. I quickly got in line with His agenda and resumed prayers for my husband.
Much like David, I wanted things my way. I definitely did not go to David’s lengths of having Uriah killed to cover up his impregnating Bathsheba, but I prayed a senseless prayer when God had already spoken. (Now this is a distinction…yes God does have mercy–He had mercy on Hezekiah and gave him 15 extra years of life–but here and like David, I was outside of God’s will) I tried to convince God to change His mind to give me what I wanted, well who I wanted. I prayed about it, had been praying for him over the years off and on but God was clear that He had other plans.
I love this picture because I was her last week. I wanted who I wanted because I could not see how God could make the person He has revealed to me better for me. I couldn’t see it because my eyes were not looking from faith, but at past occurrences. Sometimes it isn’t always a “who”, but a thing, a lifestyle or a place that we want that is outside of God’s will.
Whenever you ask a question, and it is outside of God’s divine will for you, you always get a no. Don’t be stubborn and let that “no” lead you to rebellion–because you decide to do it anyway. Why, you ask? You will end up worse off than before. The beauty is that God’s grace and mercy are new every morning, so you can repent wholeheartedly and get back on track. BUT why get back on track, if you never leave His will? Don’t let a “no” set you back.
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11