Yes. No. Wait.
Megan Evans, Women’s Ministry Director, LHBC
2 Samuel 7:16
Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me[b]; your throne will be established forever.
Do you ever ask God for something and wonder if he really hears and answers us? We are quick to thank God for the “yes” answers, but what about the “no” and the “wait”? How do we respond to those? Does it mean we prayed the wrong thing? Did we just get the wording wrong? Forget to bow our head? It is easy to get caught up in “praying just right” so we get “just the right” response from God.
But that’s not how prayer works. God is not a manipulation of our words, thank goodness. What a mess we would make! No, God is the Living Word and the sovereign LORD of Lords. His answer to prayer does not hinge upon our articulation. In fact, Jesus spoke about this very thing in Matthew 6:7-8 when he explained that fancy babbling and repetition isn’t what moves God to hear and answer us. Jesus spoke these assuring words about our heart, “your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” We can pray and ask God for anything, but we also have the privilege of resting in His perfect answers.
Here is where it gets exciting. God is sovereign.
He sees more than our capacity to see.
He wants more than our capacity to want.
He loves more than our capacity to love.
This is WHO we pray to and why sometimes His answers surprise us.
David wanted to build a house for God. The tent that the ark was resting in outdoors just didn’t seem fitting against the backdrop of his own lavish palace. Even Nathan the prophet agreed it seemed like a worthy cause. But that night God spoke to Nathan and explained he didn’t want David to build a house for his presence to dwell in. Although it was a nice idea, the answer was “no” because God had a bigger and better plan: God wanted to build a house for David, and for us! Aren’t we thankful God said no!
It is hard to visualize anything better than our well-intended wants and wishes, even our good and godly requests, but David reminds us to trust God’s way. The Lord always has more in store than we can see and understand.
David’s later son, Solomon would have the honor of building the temple for the ark of the covenant. And greatest of all, this house and this kingdom that God spoke of in 2 Samuel 7:16 would ultimately be fulfilled in Christ. David’s descendants would end up listed in the earthly lineage of Jesus! The Messiah from his line would establish an eternal kingdom.
“Yay” and “thank you” are not always the first thoughts to emerge from our heart in response to a “no,” but we can learn from David. He believed God and trusted His promises. He didn’t fully understand the goodness that would come, yet we are told David believed and responded, “How great you are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you…” (2 Samuel 7:22). May we respond to God with a heart like David. In every “yes,” “no,” and “wait” let’s choose to trust in God’s sovereignty and praise His perfect promises.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, your way is always better. I praise your sovereignty and thank you for each yes and no answer. Help me to trust you and rest in your promises. Fill me with patience through your Holy Spirit when your answer is to wait. Give me wisdom and discernment as I seek to live for you. In Jesus Name, Amen
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.