Have you ever had the greatest idea ever? The best idea of what you should do that never worked. Was it a career… a fun vacation or a great gift idea? Maybe it was an opportunity to reach out to the community or a ministry, but it never worked. It can be so discouraging when things don’t work out the way we want –especially when we have good intentions. But sometimes God just says, “No”. He says no to good ideas with great intentions. Why? I really don’t know, but I do know He has a plan that we don’t always get. There have been so many times when God has told me no. Sometimes it’s in the idea phase, but sometimes it’s when I actually get started in a direction that I think is the direction God wants. He might say no so I can learn in the process to be in tune with Him and so I will listen.
God has been saying “no” for a long time. In Acts Paul and Silas are on their second missionary journey. They are traveling all over. Acts 16:6 and 7 say, “Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had told them not to go into the province of Asia at that time.” Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed for the province of Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not let them go.” Was this frustrating to them? Did they understand? The Bible doesn’t tell us, but my guess is that they probably didn’t understand. It’s ok not to have all the answers. We just need to keep an open heart, and be ready to do what God has for us.
Paul and Silas didn’t go home after the Holy Spirit told them “no”. They kept ministering; they kept going. Do you ever feel like giving-up when you hear –no? I do. We feel discouraged, or we get our feelings hurt. We think, we aren’t qualified, or we aren’t good enough. All those emotions might lead us to not see what God has next. No isn’t always bad. No might just be opening the door for what is best …God’s plan.