Hey BCU Family,
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I was asking the Lord what to chat about this week and the Matthew 7 came up in my heart. The Lord gave me this thought awhile back and impressed upon me to share it with you as a wonderful reminder that “no” can be a beautiful thing.
Let’s take a look at Matthew 7:7-11
v7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
v8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
v9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
v10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
v11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
While we should ask, seek and knock, focusing on verses 9 & 10, we have to ask God to help us discern if what we are asking, seeking and knocking for is not a stone or serpent. In our limited wisdom and knowledge, we see and desire many things! And while they may resemble bread or fish, it’s really a stone or serpent–we just can’t see it. Many times we ask, plead, beg, fast and pray for that something or someone that is NOT a good gift–and will bring us BIG trouble.
The earliest account of disobedience to God’s “no” is in Genesis 3. The highlights are the subtle serpent (hmm, see the correlation?) walked up to Eve and asked her about eating off the one tree God said NOT touch or eat from, lest they DIE. (translation: that was a clear “NO”). Naturally, the serpent discounted what God said, talked up the fruit and it’s benefits to the point where Eve ate it and gave some to Adam. Notice God did not take away the free will of Adam or Eve–they made the decision to disobey and had to suffer the consequences of overriding God’s “no”. Same thing for us–God tells us what we are to do and we can skip His will for ours, but there will be consequences. In the first couple’s case, the serpent (who used to walk) was cursed, now crawls on his belly and is an enemy of ours, Eve got us multiple sorrows, pain in conception and childbearing, along with husbands ruling over us, and Adam now had to work the ground in order to survive. Their consequences were passed down to us! Our decision making should be carefully considered as we do not know how we will effect our future or the futures of our families, friends and anyone we’d come in contact with!
Well, what about a situation that’s not a clear “no” in the Bible? The Word of God has us covered there as well. Turn to Joshua chapter 9. Once again, I will not read the entire Scripture, (please read it when you get a chance), but the mighty Joshua who led the people after Moses passed away and winning all these battles with God’s help, lost a big battle this time.
The Gibonites, who had heard of Joshua and what the Lord was doing through him, were afraid and wanted “asylum”. So these crafty folks, who likely lived within a few miles from Joshua, dressed in old clothes, beat up shoes, brought moldy bread, old wineskins, saddled up and came to Joshua pretending to be ambassadors from a far country, who needed protection–in fact they insisted that Joshua went into a league or peace treaty with these them. While Joshua inquired some more (obviously he was not sure he believed them–that was likely the Lord saying “no”), he eventually made a peace treaty with these slick enemies! Joshua 9:14(b) says “…and [they] asked NOT counsel at the mouth of the Lord”.
The point here is we need to seek counsel from God on that thing that looks good or seems harmless–and be prepared to take “no” for an answer. Is it easy or pleasant to hear “no?” Do we like our requests to be denied? Do we skip away with glee after a “no”, especially when it’s something you really want–that ministry, job, car, house, opportunity, person? While it may hurt now, in many cases, we will see up the road that God protected us from being stoned or bitten. As we look back over our lives, how many of us can tell the Lord thank you for the “no”? I know I can! GLORYYYYYYYY!!!!!!
As we prepare to wrap up, going back to Matthew 7, please understand that we SHOULD ask, so it will be given, seek so we can find, and knock, so it shall be opened–no doubt there! Just know that if what we are seeking, asking or knocking for what is not a good gift, we accept that with His grace. We do not want to keep asking for that opportunity disguised as a stone, that job that’s more like a serpent, right? Remember in Matthew 7:11, Jesus says, that if we, being evil (fallible folks striving for perfection), know to give good gifts to our children (you would not give a six-year-old your car keys or let your pre-teen only eat goodies and sweets) then how much MORE shall your Father (who made everything, all of us, knows the end from the beginning, what the best plan is for our lives) which is in Heaven give GOOD things to them that ask Him? Let’s trust God and wait on the good stuff, BCU Family! What do you think? We want to hear from you!
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Until we are together again, may God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you–and #StayOnTheWall!