If you’re a parent, you probably have lots of practice saying “NO”. No – you can’t turn a flip off the trampoline into the pool. No – you can’t eat 5 Twinkies before supper. No – you can’t go away for a weekend with your friends. No – you can’t have any money. No – you can’t stay up to midnight just because it’s summer.
But although we might be well-practiced at saying NO to our kids, we don’t always no how to say no to others. Sometimes we have a family member who wants to take over our world. Sometimes we have a needy person wanting to monopolize all our time. Sometimes we are asked to help with a need, ministry or service project that is more than we bargained for.
I’m a firm believer that if God calls you to do something He will equip you for the task. He will show up. He will be faithful. He will do something amazing that only He can get the credit for. And that might mean stepping outside our comfort zone. It might mean laying down some rights. It might mean taking on something you never dreamed. If He calls you to do it, then go for it. Don’t be afraid. God will be glorified in it and you will be blessed.
But, I also believe that there are times we say yes to people and activities when we should be saying no. For example, I’m a mom to 5. Nobody else can do for my kids what I do. But there’s a lot of good things out there calling for my attention. They are great opportunities and amazing acts of service. But if I say yes to all those things then my kids will suffer for it and ultimately I’m saying no to the main thing God has called me to do. What an awful thought, that I would say no to God in order to say yes to other people. I’ve done it before. You have too.
Is there something that God has called you to do but you are distracted by all the other good things you’re doing? Ask God what He wants you to do for the kingdom. When opportunities come your way, ALWAYS ask God what His plan and agenda is before answering. Trust Him to show you what to say yes and no too and then obey. To do otherwise is disobedience. If you say yes to service that God intends for someone else to do then it won’t be blessed and someone else will not have their chance to serve. It’s bigger than you. At the same time, you need to be sure that you are not putting pressure on someone to do something they are not called to do. If you feel passionate about something, then it’s probably your calling and not theirs.
Rely on the Holy Spirit to be your teacher and your guide and then obey His voice. The way to live the abundant life is through obedience and saying yes to God when He calls. Don’t sacrifice God’s best for the good things that attract your attention. If it’s not your calling, then get out-of-the-way, so God will call someone else to that place of service. You simply do what He’s put in your heart to do.
“Spiritual disciplines are not about getting God to love you — but about getting your heart in a place so you can hear Him say it.”. – Ann Voskamp