Did you ever get the signal from the Lord to not pray a certain prayer again? “That’s enough. Don’t make that request again. Accept My position on the matter.”

One day, Moses was exalting the Lord in prayer:

‘O Lord GOD, you have only begun to show your servant your greatness and your mighty hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as yours?’

Then after the appropriate, respectful and God-honouring intro, Moses made his request:

“Please let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon.” (Deuteronomy 3:24-25)

Still fresh in Moses’ memory was the burning bush experience, when God painted a picture in his mind he would never forget.  “Moses, I have chosen you to lead My people out of the bitter bondage of Egypt. You are going to lead them out of this place and take them into a good land with lots of space and flowing with milk and honey.”

You can almost see Moses’ eyes dancing with excitement, as he told his people, from time to time, of that ‘good land’ to which they were going.  But then something happened.  In their travels, they ran out of water. The travelling crowd became agitated and verbally attacked Moses. Moses prayed. The Lord answered his prayer: “Just speak to that rock and the water will start flowing.”

Moses, quite frustrated with the people, lifted his staff high into the air and then, slammed it against the rock twice. Yes, the water gushed out in significant quantities; but something else had happened. Moses had sinned. He disobeyed God in front of everyone.  God told him: “Moses there are consequences for your sin. You will no longer be the one who will bring the people into that beautiful land.”

We don’t know how many times Moses prayed: “Please, please Lord, just let me place my feet on the soil of that land – just once, before I die.”  It was his dream and deep-seated desire. But we read in Deuteronomy 3:26-27:

“…the LORD said to me, ‘Enough from you; do not speak to me of this matter again. Go up to the top of Pisgah and lift- up your eyes westward and northward and southward and eastward, and look at it with your eyes, for you shall not go over this Jordan.”

Moses, the man of God bowed to the Lord’s will on this matter and never sulked. Bitterness didn’t gnaw away at his heart. He kept busy for the Lord, honouring Him and obeying Him until the time of his death.

When God says, ‘No!’ to me, how do I behave? Do I go on a spiritual strike? Or do I protest by conducting my own version of a union’s work slowdown? Do I try to punish God by doing the bare minimum?

The Apostle Paul had something in his life he did not enjoy or like. It was a huge thing for him. Three times he pleaded with God to take it away. But God said, ‘No!’  With that firm ‘no’, God whispered into Paul’s soul: “My grace is sufficient for you.” 2Corinthians 12:9. Paul never asked again.

Has God said ‘No!’ to you?

Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.

Warmly in Christ
Peter Ramsay

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