When God says “No”


We’ve told our kids no a hundred times. We’ve said no to those who demand our time. We’ve said no to the unwelcome solicitor at the door. When someone tells us no—it stings. But what if it was God who voiced the nay?

What His “No” is not

No is not a statement of condemnation. If there is condemnation, it is not from God but a lie from the enemy.

Let’s say I need to cut down on sugar. When I hear a no while reaching for the chocolate dessert, I can withdraw my hand and thank Him for helping me. But if I take it and hear such thoughts as: You’ll never be thin. You’re too weak. Give it up, then the enemy has taken residence in my pantry and my mind.

No is not directed at us personally or at our relationship with God. His no does not affect His love or plans for us. His answer is never a denial of our relationship with God in Christ. That relationship was sealed by the Holy Spirit at the time of salvation. If God desires to withhold the fudgy chocolate dessert from my food choices, He is showing He loves me and this is not the best choice right now.

No is not directed at His promises. His promises are always and forever yes in Jesus. His promises to hear us, work in us, direct us, and guide us are still secure. He did not change and become unfaithful when He interrupted our plans with His veto. Back to my dessert example, God is not punishing me and withholding His love or promises. His no is simply to the gooey, fudgy, chocolate dessert.

What His “No” is

No is for this particular request, for this particular season, for this particular place. But it always has a purpose and that purpose is different for each person or request.

No is a yes to something better. God has a bird’s-eye view of our life. He knows our past and can see our future. He will move in our life according to that perspective. Our omniscient God wants us to draw closer to Him until that something better in the future is revealed.

No can mean not now. The timing is not right. The person or project is not the one God has picked for us. You or I could be the one who needs to mature in Him before He’ll allow us to move forward. His no is not always written in permanent marker.

If your life has been interrupted by a denial from God, take a deep breath and pause. Talk to Him about it. He said no to Adam and Eve in the garden. He said no to Moses when the Israelites crossed into the Promised Land. He said no to Joseph as he languished unfairly in prison. He said no to Paul during his missionary journeys.

If God said no to you, you are in good company, my friend. The question is now, “Can you still trust Him?”

God’s answer to that? Yes.


When has God said “no” to you?



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