Tuesday, November 17, 2009


"They asked him to stay longer, but he declined." Acts 18:20

Everything is going well. Paul loved the people of Ephesus. The door was open for further ministry. Yet Paul declined their invitation to remain. His life was surrendered to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. The driving force behind his response was not his own desires or rationalizations. Although he may have longed to remain, he surrendered to the Lord’s leading.

Do you have a difficult time saying ‘no’ when a request is presented? Children don't struggle with this word at all. My twin sister and I are exact opposites when it comes to responding to these inquiries. She is quick to say ‘yes’. I’m quick to say ‘no’. Neither is correct. So often the longing to please people, or please self, takes preference over God’s priorities.

One thing I have learned over the last few years is that just because a need exists, doesn’t mean God has called me to fill that need.

When a request seems honourable and good, we assume God wants us to step in and say ‘yes’, but have we even spent time seeking His will in the matter? What about when we’re presented with a great opportunity? We still must be convinced the open door is meant for us. We must continue to seek God’s heart and trust Him when circumstances seem to be guiding us in new directions and things appear to be a perfect fit. Our ‘yes’, or ‘no’, must be God’s answer.

We’re going to see in tomorrows reading that God had already planned who would fill the ministry position that Paul’s vacancy opened. God had His next chosen person in place. May this serve as a warning for us not to respond too quickly just because a need presents itself. If the Lord is prompting our spirit and we know we must answer the call, then do so with God’s blessing. But, if we have any hesitation, let’s be careful to be in prayer, listening for God’s confirmation, before we take a position that God designed specifically for another. If it's in obedience to God, don't be afraid to say 'no'.

post signature


On Purpose said...

Hello Girlfriend as I am praying and 'readying' (a new word I just made up :) for the next series on the blog I just have to let you know this post is from Our God...yeah!! Thank you!

Love to you my friend and prayers up to Him!

ps How are your mom and dad?

~Grace and Peace said...

"One thing I have learned over the last few years is that just because a need exists, doesn’t mean God has called me to fill that need."

Oh I am so guilty of this, especially as you mentioned, if the need is honourable & good. I just assume that God would want me to do that. Then come to find out I do not have the time, nor resources, nor the talent (ouch) to do a great job. It hurts to think I have robbed someone else of the opportunity to serve and glorify God.

My prayer is that I be reminded to STOP and pray first before responding. It's a battle for the long haul.

Thank you, dear sister, for this reminder.