We like to think that Jesus will give us what we want if it’s a good thing. If our motives are pure, and our heart is in the right place, and we ask sincerely and fervently enough, we’ll get it. We even proof text some Bible verses about God giving us the desires of our heart and answering prayers.
Paul Saw something different here. He didn’t see a God who gave him everything he wanted. He wants to travel, he intended to go to Asia, God said no. We don’t know why God said no. Scholars have ideas and some sound better than others but we don’t know. All we know is Paul wanted to do something good over in Asia and God said no.
God had something different in mind. He wanted Paul and the men who were working with him to go someplace different and that’s all they knew.
Sometimes God says no. And sometimes, that’s all he says. We wish there was more. We want there to be more. We beg for more. God says no, and that’s all.
It’s easy to read the rest of Paul’s story and say well, God had something bigger. God wanted something else that they’d love. They didn’t know that though. All they knew is they wanted to go to Asia and God said no.
What do you do when God says no? Do you justify your actions? Do you conveniently neglect his word? Do you do what you want and just ask forgiveness later? We all face times when God tells us no. For these men, God was faithful enough to listen to even when they didn’t like or understand. Is he faithful enough for you?