Strange topic this, is it not? We often think that Jesus is the only one saying ‘no’ to us when we ask for what we think are blessings; and often talk about unanswered prayers, as if Jesus and our Father are robotic Santas who merely sift through prayer requests, check each one against Their ‘naughty and nice’ list, then grant prayers and wishes according to whether or not we have been ‘naughty’ or ‘nice’.

Beloved, this could not be further from the truth for Jesus said,

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:12-14

So, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:7-11

Therefore, our Father and Jesus are not robotic. They pro-actively desire to bless you.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

And indeed, Jesus also said, “I come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

So then, what happens when we say ‘no’ to Him? But this can never be, you say? No one could ever walk away from or reject the blessings of God? Well, this man did.

“Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”
So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
He said to Him, “Which ones?”
Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”
The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?”
Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” Matthew 19:16-22

This young man was promised treasure in Heaven, by Jesus, no less; and all he had to do was to give his possessions to the poor. But that is not fair, you say. The price was too great. Well firstly, Jesus never said that this young man needed to give up his possessions to get treasure in Heaven. Jesus told him to sell his possessions if he wanted ‘to be perfect’; big difference. But even if the price of treasure in Heaven was to give up all you possessed, would it not still be worth it?

“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” Mark 8:36

Indeed, we should do well to heed Jesus’ advice and

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matthew 6:19-20

But sometimes we mistake the opportunities of God as bad chances, and we say ‘no’ and run from those opportunities because we think it will cost us too much, or we will be disadvantaged. What does Jesus do then? And if later on, we realize the folly of our mistakes and go back to God and ask Him for a second chance at that opportunity that we missed, is it too late? Well beloved, short answer is, no, it is never too late, because Jesus just puts that opportunity aside and waits for us to be ready, so that He can give it back to us. Here is how we know.

Have you ever watched a child at play? When children are engrossed, they can forget to eat; and when parents pull them away from their play for a meal, tantrums can get thrown. Now, what do loving parents do then? Either give them a good wallop and make them eat; or put the food aside till they are good and ready, then feed them, right? Well, praise God that our Father never resorts to the former, for,

“The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.” Psalm 103:8

“because as high as heaven is above the earth,
that’s how large God’s faithful love is for those who honor him.” Psalm 103:11 [CEB]

“Like a parent feels compassion for their children—
that’s how the Lord feels compassion for those who honor him.” Psalm 103:13 [CEB]

“God’s love, though, is ever and always,
eternally present to all who fear him,
Making everything right for them and their children
as they follow his Covenant ways
and remember to do whatever he said.” Psalm 103:17-18 [MSG]

So beloved, when we say ‘no’ to Him, He is patient and waits for us to be ready. But in the meantime, He still makes sure that everything falls in place for us, even whilst He waits for us. Because,

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:11

Has He ever done that in the past? Did He ever give anyone a second chance? Of course He did; many times. Look at Jonah. When God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach the message of salvation to the people there, what did Jonah do?

“But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.” Jonah 1:3

“But the Lord sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was about to be broken up.” Jonah 1:4

And the rest is history. Sure, God was not subtle about guiding Jonah back onto His path but whilst guiding him back, He always made sure Jonah was alright. In fact, Jonah was so alright in the belly of the fish, he had time, energy and the presence of mind to pray a prayer that lasted 8 verses in chapter 2, before

“the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.” Jonah 2:10

Now, Jonah was not the only one who was not too sure about God’s call.

“But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”” Exodus 3:11

And what did our Father do? He gave Moses a multitude of signs, one for each of his doubts, and detailed instructions on how to use those signs. If you would like to find out just how much assurance our Father gave Moses, look up this message entitled, Jesus Is Giving You Many Signs, Have You Missed Them. Despite all that, Moses was still hesitant and said this,

“But he said, “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.”” Exodus 4:13

Sure, this upset the Lord, for it is recorded that,

“So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses,” Exodus 4:14

But still, history proves that God never gave up on Moses. So in the same way, even if you misread our Father and ran away from His calling, it is ok, He is patient, He will wait for you, because,

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declared the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 [NIV]

So He will slowly guide you and assure you till you are ready to activate His plan. And when you do, when you step out in faith in Him, in His provision and protection, He will provide for your every need, every step of the way, just like He did for Jonah, just like He did for Moses, just like He did for Abraham; for He has promised,

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

But remember that just like the child who was engrossed in playing will eventually suffer the discomfort of hunger, we too will suffer the discomfort of the decision that we made. But not because our Father is punishing us for rejecting His blessing, for remember always that Jesus said,

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:17

So, just like hunger is a signal for the child to go back to his parent for food, whatever discomfort we encounter is a necessary signal for us to know that it is time to head back to our Father, head back to His provision, His protection; and when we do, He will always welcome us back with open arms.

Now, if you have felt His calling to redemption and are wondering if it is too late for you now, because you had rejected His call to be your Lord and Savior earlier in life, beloved, the good news is that it is never too late as well. For He says,

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20

“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” John 6:37

So come to Him now and say this prayer with me.

“Heavenly Father, thank You, for calling me. Thank You even more for Your patience in waiting for me to be ready and guiding me along the way to this point even though I had rejected You earlier. Father, I reject you no more. I accept the gift of salvation which Your Son, Jesus, came to bring. I accept the death which He died for me, so that I may be dead to sin and now alive in Him. I accept the full remission of sins that His shed blood gives me. And most of all I accept the right standing that I have before you now. I thank You Father that now I can come boldly into Your presence because I am clean and well pleasing in Your sight. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Beloved, child of God, go back to Jesus and heed His plan for your life, for surely He can only have blessings for you, all along that journey that He will lead you on; and even more when that journey has finally reached its end.

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