Being Prepared To Say & Accept A “No”

It’s the end of May of 2020 and I’m just amazed at how quickly time is flying by. With this pandemic it seems as if the days are all rolling into one and every time I turn around, it’s a new month. My heart’s cry for the past few months more than anything is that I find myself prepared and in position when God is ready to move. You know that song, Lord whatever you’re doing in this season don’t do it without me? Well that is where I find myself, whatever it is He has for me to do, whatever He wants to do, it’s my earnest prayer that I’m prepared and in position to move with Him as He wants me to move. With that, I was led to Matthew 25:1-13 where Jesus told the parable of the 10 Bridesmaids.

Now the story is told of these 10 women who were all going to a wedding feast, to meet with the same bridegroom, but the Bible says that 5 of them were foolish and the other 5 were wise. Now what made 5 foolish over the other 5? As we read, we see that there was 1 major difference between them, and that was preparation. Half of them thought to themselves, hmm, we don’t really know how long this guy is going to take to come so let’s just take some extra oil for our lamps so we don’t find ourselves in a sticky situation. The other 5 clearly did not think ahead and figured they’d take along just enough.

Now the time came when they were all there and waiting quite a while for the bridegroom to show up. The Bible says he was delayed, they fell asleep and then he finally arrived. They all got up and started to prepare their lamps and but the 5 poor bridesmaids realized their lamps were going out and they asked the other 5 for some oil. To my surprise, the other women said no flat out, and told them to go to the store for themselves. Now to be honest, I felt a type of way when I read that, because I immediately felt sorry for these ladies. I’m the first to give to someone in need so I know I would have spared a little oil for at least one of them so I thought the 5 wise bridesmaids were “mean”. But the Bible did not make a mistake when they called them wise. In fact, the very act of them refusing to give oil to the other women, was an act of wisdom.

Am I saying that being “mean” is exercising wisdom? Absolutely not. But what I am saying is, in some situations, there is wisdom in saying No. You’re not any less giving or any less loving when you say No. It doesn’t mean you have a bad character or that you’re mean but sometimes there is wisdom in no. Lord, help us to learn when it’s time to say No!

God always deserves our yes, but there are certain people, and certain situations that will call for you to say no.

And that no may help you balance your work and home life or it may help ensure that you are fully prepared when God is moving in your life.  Another thing that the Holy Spirit whispered to me while doing this study was the fact that, No, is not always from the enemy. And I asked what do you mean? He said, a lot of times, when we hear no, we automatically assume it is the devil blocking a blessing, someone being mean, or something trying to stop us on our journey. But the Holy Spirit said no, is not always from the enemy. There are times that a no could save our lives. There are some doors that just should not be opened for us because the path therein lies death and destruction. We can’t see what’s behind that door but sometimes the door is so nice & shiny that we just want it and we pray for it and at times it seems as the only thing we need in our lives. But because God knows what lies behind door #1, He orchestrates a no that would save our very lives. Trust Him and thank him for the nos in your life and ask him for the wisdom to know when is the time to say no and the wisdom to know when to thank Him for the nos.

Okay so back to the scripture, it says while the 5 women went shopping to get some oil, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast and the door was locked. Only the ones who were prepared made it in to the marriage feast. Lord help me to be prepared!!  And it says later when the other 5 bridesmaids arrived, they stood outside knocking. But he called back, believe me, I don’t know you. The story ends in verse 13 saying, “So you too must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.” 

It is my prayer today, that we would begin to prepare ourselves for our Lord and Savior. Prepare ourselves for what He wants to do in our lives yes but also prepare ourselves for His return. We see so many crazy things happening in this world and it’s been spoken that He is coming back soon and we know this to be true. Whether it’s tomorrow or next year or in the next thousand years, no one knows. But we know that He has plans for us in our lifetimes and that we need to be armed with the wisdom to know what it is He wants us to do and whose lives He wants us to impact. So be prepared in your walk with Christ, learn when to say no, be prepared to accept a no and finally know that God has a plan for your life!

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