When Love Says No

Love does not always say Yes. Sometimes love says No. But God is loving, right? Yes, God is loving. But sometimes God says No. We are called to love, right? Yes. But sometimes God calls us to say No. God recently called me to say No to a loved one, and I look back and wonder how different our lives would have been if I had not so automatically said Yes in the past. No is hard to say, I cannot deny it. But No is sometimes necessary. And I have just experienced how very hard it is. But I have also witnessed the freedom that comes in obedience and the amazing way the Lord can move when love must say No.

The Lord had me say No with a specific action, and I was deeply humbled at the immediacy of freedom I felt once I took the action. I figured I would have a mini meltdown after the action I took to say No, but instead I had a wave of deep peace and an indescribable trust that all would be well. I readily admit this was followed by a few days of strong emotion and unfortunately doubt, but the overall satisfaction I found in my obedience surpassed everything else.

Then, I had the privilege of watching the Lord move through my action that said No. Within days, He moved phenomenally in the other person’s heart. And I was privileged to hear the results firsthand. I am quite sure my saying No and the other person’s response were but a mere beginning to the work the Lord has begun in the other person’s life. And it is hard to imagine that my saying Yes as I did so often before might have created just the interference the devil needed to hamper the plans of the Lord to transform the person’s heart and life.

In retrospect, I am astonished at how selfish I was in thinking that my saying Yes would make the other person happy as well as please my own flesh as it faced its menu of temptations. I simply could not see past my own agenda in the past, and in the brief moments where I could see past myself I did not have the strength to say No as I needed to.

This time around, I am in an entirely different place. I am strong in the Lord because I am filled with His Holy Spirit, I study and learn to apply His Word daily, I have a beautiful church and a pastor on fire for Jesus, and I have accountability with fellow followers and exceedingly strong prayer support.

So this time around, I said No. And when I said No, God said Yes. Yes, He had an open door now to do all that He desires. Yes, He was pleased with my obedience. Yes, He blessed me with seeing the very beginning of the work He will do. Yes, He gave me the gift of seeing a spark of hope in the other person’s heart that had likely not been there for a very long time.

The best part of my decision to say No is that God through His Holy Spirit in me gave me the wherewithal to say No in love. Sometimes love says No, but No can be spoken in love. The most important thing is to say No when God says to say it, and to say it with His love.

“But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Toobey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.”” (1 Samuel 15:22 KJV)

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