Yes, No, Maybe

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. 2 Corinthians 1:20.

When God asks you to do something, be content with it. But if you want to do something else, ask. Don’t be afraid to ask. Sometimes you have to keep knocking, but that’s okay. God will answer.

And I don’t think His answer is “maybe.” I really don’t. God says yes, and God says no, but I don’t think He ever says maybe.

I don’t believe in a God that says maybe. What would that even mean? Suppose my son says to me, “Dad, can I have a candy bar?” I don’t say, “Maybe.” What sense would a child make of ”maybe”? Maybe what? Maybe when he’s good enough? It doesn’t mean anything! I really try not to do that. I tell him yes, you can have a candy bar, or no, you can’t.

When I tell him no, it might mean “no, not at this time.” He might say, “Well, when can I have a candy bar?” I tell him, “When the time is right.”

And I think that’s what God will say. He could say yes or He could say no. And He could say no, not at this time. But there is no “maybe.” I don’t think “maybe” ever comes into play with Him. God already knows what’s right.

Scripturally, “maybe” doesn’t make sense. I think sometimes the church resorts to “maybe” because it doesn’t know what else to say when the news is bad. Sometimes we think a loving God would never say no. Sometimes we can’t understand that. And when you can’t understand it when the answer is “no,” you might get confused or upset. When you ask for something and it doesn’t happen, you might be tempted to stop worshiping God. The church wants to save you from that, so it might tell you that God said “maybe.” But you can’t back “maybe” with scripture.

Sometimes, God says no. And you just have to be okay with that. God knows a whole lot more than you do. God might say no because allowing you to do what you want could corrupt or hurt you. Sometimes God says no because He loves you. I say no to my boys a lot. It’s because I love them!

The scripture says that all things in Jesus are yes and amen. It doesn’t say, all things that you ask. It says, all things that are in Jesus. Anything that allows His will to be accomplished in your life is yes. Always yes. “Can I have this, God?” “Yes my child, you can, because I think it’s going to be good for our relationship.” God will never say, “It would be good for our relationship, but no.” That’s just not how God works. Sometimes He says no, because it will not benefit you. Sometimes He says no, because it will not promote your relationship with Him. But if it’s in Jesus, He will say yes. In Jesus, it’s always yes!

Whatever You Request: Say a Prayer for Prosperity

“Believe me: I am in my Father and my Father is in me. If you can’t believe that, believe what you see—these works. The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing. You can count on it. From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I’ll do it. That’s how the Father will be seen for who he is in the Son. I mean it. Whatever you request in this way, I’ll do.” John 14:11-14

Sometimes when we read this passage in traditional translations, we only hear Jesus say, “Whatever you request, I’ll do it.”

That can produce a lot of skepticism! You hear people say, “Oh really, so if I want a Mercedes Benz, all I have to do is ask Jesus, and I’ll get one?”  Or, “I can pray to win the lottery, and if I really believe I’m going to win, then I will?” Continue reading

Sacrifice

Do you see someone skilled in their work?
They will serve before kings. (Proverbs 22:29)

Sacrifice is an intimidating word, but I’m here to tell you that it is a major component of success. God wants you to give some of what you earn to help others. That’s your sacrifice. He wants you to give cheerfully, but that shouldn’t be hard. After all, He’s promised to give you what you need.

It’s amazing, when you think about it, the way God has made the world. He doesn’t need people to push the Gospel. He could do it however He wants to do it. But that’s the way He set things up. He wants people to bring the Gospel to the nations. He wants us to use our own resources to love our neighbor. This is genius! It’s how we learn to serve. Continue reading

Ask Me and I’ll Help You

Continuing this week with my reflections on prayer:

Prayer is a really important part of our work to end human trafficking.  We have access to God, and God knows the best way to succeed in ending slavery forever.  We can ask Him, and He’ll help us.  So we should ask.  Success will come so much sooner!

Wounded Prayer

Last week, Jill asked how prayer fits with grace.  My podcast this week deals with prayer, and here’s Part I:

Next time, we talk about how prayer helps in the fight to end slavery.

Please keep the questions coming.  I love seeing them and I’m looking forward to offering some thoughts!  Thanks for listening, and I’ll see you next Monday.

Clay to be Molded, Part 2

The health, wealth, and prosperity Gospel might be a little bit mixed up.  It puts a lot of emphasis on the Bible’s promise that God will prosper you.  Unfortunately, people take that to mean that if they get saved, then Bam!  They become prosperous.

But that’s not going to work.  Just because you accept Jesus, that doesn’t mean you’re instantly transformed. So when the newly converted don’t become prosperous, they lose hope in God.  “Well, obviously there’s no God.  See, I’m not prosperous. They said I was going to be wealthy and prosperous, and my life’s still just as bad as it’s always been.”

There’s more to the lifestyle of Jesus than taking that first step.  Yes, you start by loving Jesus.  Yes, you embrace what He stands for.  You accept His sacrifice for you. But the time still comes when you have to figure out who you want to be, in Christ.  You have to decide who you want to be, in Christ. Continue reading

Clay to be Molded, Part I

People find themselves wondering why God hasn’t changed them. They have asked God for the things they want, but they still don’t have them. Or they have a picture of what the life of a believer should be like, but they aren’t there yet. They might be asking, “Why hasn’t God done something huge in my life? Why doesn’t God speak to me?”

I think the time comes in every believer’s life where we have to say, “God, I’m open to it.”

When you say, “God, I’m ready for a change,” I think God says, “Finally! Finally you’re ready.” But you have to truly give yourself up to Him.  Continue reading