Note: Please roll over the Scripture references to view each verse.
I recently saw a billboard sign that stopped me dead in my tracks. It plainly stated, “What you say no to, defines you.” The fine print said, ‘No Preservatives, No Additives,” etc., but the point of that poignant slogan really hit home for me.
In our lives, as we walk with God, there are standards – holy standards – that He expects us to live by. And often those standards require us saying ‘no.’ Tweet that ‘No’ to worldliness (James 1:27). ‘No’ to the temptation to tell a white lie (Revelation 21:8). Even ‘no’ to subtly twisting God’s Word to say what would be convenient for us to “hear” in any given situation (2 Corinthians 4:2).
The truth of the matter is, that when you say ‘no’ to one thing, you are actually saying ‘yes’ to something else. Both your ‘no’s’ and your ‘yesses’ make statements about
Who you are
What you believe
What you stand for
Consider these possible life scenarios, and how saying ‘no’ to the ungodly standard, is saying ‘yes’ to implications that will bring the Lord’s blessing in your life:
You’re struggling in your marriage. Maybe not to the level of breaking point, but there are issues between you and your man that you simply can’t seem to get past as a couple. You hear of a psychologist in your area who is supposed to have a good reputation for helping marriages get turned around.
Saying “no” to consulting worldly people who have temporal solutions to overcome your marital struggles, means you can turn for wisdom to a godly believer, who will present God’s keys to examining where your heart truly is, and lead you to a how you can have your marriage healed using Biblical principles. Saying “yes” to advice and instruction by godly believers is a path that is strongly encouraged in Scripture (Psalm 1:1, Proverbs 19:20).
You have a few minutes and decide to hop onto Facebook and catch up on your friends’ news. Post after post you encounter joyful photos of happy children (as you hear your own engaged in World War 3 in the next bedroom). As you scroll down, you are confronted with praise reports of how God is blessing people, evidence of beautiful recipes that have been made, and exotic vacations that loved ones are enjoying. All too quickly envy, ingratitude, and discontentment creeps into your heart. You try to recall the last time you saw God’s hand clearly in your circumstances, and come up empty. You cringe at the season of flops your recipes have yielded lately, and financially you see no chance or hope of even a night away with your husband, let alone a vacation at a spot worthy of a Facebook post.
Saying ‘no’ to envy, ingratitude, and discontentment is saying ‘yes’ to focusing on the countless blessings that would come to your mind if you sat before Him, if only for a few minutes and meditated on these. Health, a roof over your head, intelligent children, a refrigerator filled with food, people who love you dearly and unconditionally. Rejoicing in your lot in the life granted you by a God who is sovereign and good is pleasing to the Lord, and wholesome to your soul.
Saying ‘yes’ to honing in on what you have, rather than what you lack is to accept that you are exactly where your Creator intended you to be at this very moment in time, possessing what He desired for you possess, and that He has equipped you with the gifts that you have to accomplish His works for your life. (Ecclesiastes 5:19, Ephesians 2:10, 1 Thessalonians: 5:18).
This one is the biggie, my sweet friend. God Himself has paid the price for you, a sinner, to be able to be forgiven and accepted by a holy God. He sent His Son, Jesus, to die in your place for your transgressions (past, present, and future). You may think you are a ‘good person,’ but if you have ever told even one lie, stolen as little as a paper clip, used God’s name in vain as a curse word, or looked at someone with lust in your heart, by God’s standard, you are a lying, thieving, blaspheming, adulterer at heart. You, like all the rest of us, are in need of His salvation.
Saying ‘no’ to, and thereby rejecting, the truth of God’s Word and ways, choosing not to believe in what He did for you, and refusing to repent (turn away from your sins), is the most serious ‘no’ you will ever make. The gravest mistake, that will cost you for eternity. Alternatively, saying ‘yes’ to His plan of salvation, will in turn lead to eternity with Him in Heaven, and an abundant life (Mark 4:20, John 10:10). Wow! What you say, ‘no’ to, does define you, beloved one. In fact, it speaks volumes to a dying world.
It is often counter-cultural and politically incorrect, but we who know God belong to the Almighty, to an imperishable Kingdom, which is diametrically opposed to so much around us. I urge you to stand and so ‘no’ to ungodliness in every situation that comes up daily, and by God’s grace, to choose ‘yes’ to the narrow way that leads to everlasting life. Does this concept resonate with you? I would love to hear what you can you say ‘no’ to today, that will mean saying ‘yes’ to a far godlier way of living?