Remember when you asked your parents if you could do something or go somewhere and they didn't ’answer but gave you that look? It was usually because at some point in the past they told you that you couldn’t or shouldn’t do that, or go there. They had also given you enough information for you to know that if and when you asked that the answer would be "No", but you asked anyway. It may have been something they had done before with bad results, or they may have known someone else who did it with bad results. So when you asked you just got that look…….no answer.
God has done the same thing for us. His Word, the Bible, gives us complete instructions on how we should live our lives, our relationship with Him, and our relationship with others. Many people use an acronym for the B.I.B.L.E. “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth”. Study of the the Bible will alert us to those things that are both bad and good for us. It tells us those things that result in blessings…..a "Yes" answer, and those where the answer will be "No".
2 Peter 1:2-4 (NKJV)2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
Psalm 119:133 (NKJV)133 Direct my steps by Your word, And let no iniquity have dominion over me.
Psalm 48:14 (NKJV)14 For this is God, Our God forever and ever; He will be our guide Even to death.
Psalm 32:8 (NKJV)8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
Quite often when we pray we ask God for things, a new job, a spouse, a house, a car, a good grade on a test, etc. We’ve been told that if you ask anything according to God’s will that He will answer with a "Yes". Maybe not right away, but eventually with a yes. In that case we say He either answers “with a Yes” or with "Wait".
When it’s clear that we asked something outside His will we already know the answer is "No". But what about those times that we have really done out best, in our opinion, to please Him and we’re pretty sure that what we asked was not outside His will and there’s no answer at all? I say that silence, much like that of our parents, means the answer is "No". There is no thunder and lightning or someone coming to us to confirm a no answer, but we know the answer is "No" and we knew it even before we asked. In other words no answer is "No!"
1 John 5:14-15 (NKJV)14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
I believe it's that same way with God. The believer who is in fellowship with God will not ask anything that is contrary to God's will.
Two reasons we may get not get an answer (No!)
James 4:3 (NKJV)3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
Do we really expect an answer when our prayers are to Fulfill An Inner Lust, Dreams, Or Illusions. God won’t answer a prayer that would add to our honor or assist our temptations.
Psalm 66:18 (NKJV) If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.
Have we forgotten?
Psalm 24:1-5 (NKJV)1 The earth is the LORD'S, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.2 For He has founded it upon the seas, And established it upon the waters.3 Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place?4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully.5 He shall receive blessing from the LORD, And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Prayers that start with lust need quick answers or we plain often to the point of saying that God doesn’t hear our prayers. Clean your hands and your heart with the help of the Holy Spirit and then “receive blessing from the LORD”....a “Yes”.
Could it be that we don’t get an answer because we want to dictate when qnd how we should get the answer?
When we don’t trust someone is when we usually give the terms of the answer that we want. If we trust God we will leave the complete answer and it's terms to Him.
Some no answers are simply … unexplainable. No matter what form a no from God seems to take, choose to believe that He is sovereign—that He alone fully sees, fully knows and fully understands the past, the present and the future. Then determine that you will trust Him through the good and the bad.
Silence Can Be Golden
I talked about those times when we already knew the answer would be No before we asked. However there are times where there is silence and the answer isn’t No. We know that what we’ve asked is within the will of God for us. We know that that we are not asking to satisfy any lust, we really asked that God do it His way. It’s at those times when we don’t get an answer that we must exercise our faith in God and our belief that He keeps every one of His promises. It’s at these times that silence is golden.
Throughout scripture we see that God is not in a hurry.
How long did Abraham and Sarah wait for the son promised in their old age?
Genesis 17:1-6 (NKJV)1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.2 And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly."3 Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying:4 "As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations.5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.
Ten years later, at age 100, Abraham and Sarah finally had their son.
Genesis 21:1-5 (NKJV)1 And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had spoken.2 For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.3 And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him--whom Sarah bore to him--Isaac.4 Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him.5 Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
How long did the Israelites wander through the desert after leaving Egypt on their way to
the Promised Land?
Numbers 32:13 (NKJV)13 So the LORD'S anger was aroused against Israel, and He made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation that had done evil in the sight of the LORD was gone.
Forty long years. It certainly doesn't take 40 years to get from where they started in the Nile Delta to reach Jericho.
What about Simeon? The old man in the temple when Mary and Joseph came to offewr their sacrifice and dedicate Jesus.
Luke 2:25-32 (NKJV)25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.27 So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law,28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:29 "Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word;30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel."
In order to patiently wait on God’s timing and not “freak out” with stress and anxiety we have to know that God acts on our behalf. We have to rely on Him and his timing to guide our lives, not our own schedule and timing. What we can see and know is limited but God’s knowledge is unlimited He knows the end from the beginning.
Isaiah 46:10 (NKJV) Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, 'My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,'
It really doesn’t matter what you are waiting on God for; a job, a spouse, a house, a car, a child, healing, whatever it is God’s timing is always perfect. So whatever you are praying and trusting God for wait patiently, even if it’s very hard to do.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV) For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
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Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.