Obedience in Saying No & GraceFull Tuesday Link-Up

Obedience in Saying No

The one area I’m struggling to be obedient in, is saying no. Saying no to good things, even great things. Somehow I always feel like I’m cheating when I say no. Like I am finding excuses to avoid doing that which is hard. Or that which I don’t want to do. Yet I am learning that saying always yes to everything is not an act of obedience.

The thing is, it feels like God is giving me a lot right now. I have said yes to many things. All good things, great things even. But I can feel it in my bones, the stretch of the days and tasks and responsibilities. There is this heavy weight of weariness, settled somewhere deep in the folds of my soul.

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29 NLT)

I keep reading the words penned down by Matthew; that promise of rest to come. The promise echoes against the walls of my heart: I can find rest for my soul. It is there; it is coming.

Yet I see, the obedience behind all steps of faith. The soul that keeps on treading through the high waters, is the one that covers the way with prayer. If grace is always greater, it means that this battle has already been won. So we can cling to grace; trusting that in this season, God is perfecting, establishing, strengthening and settling us. But behind all these steps of faith, is obedience. And grace? Grace spurs us towards obedience, always.

It seems like saying no to good things is probably the hardest for me. It can be hard to recognize when God has given you something, and when you have taken on something yourself. But it is vital for us to learn to recognize this. Because tasks that we have taken, are tasks that we often manage in the strength of our flesh. As a result, weariness comes and tiredness settles in.

So our obedience must include saying no as well as saying yes. Possibly all at the same time. Because saying no to one thing? Means that you have the time and resources to say yes to another thing. So how do we decide when we should say yes and when should we say no? Honestly, I have no idea. But I do know this: that which God gives to us, comes with peace. And when we have peace? We can rest.

So in our pursuit of faithfulness and obedience, it’s good to look for those steps of faith that come covered with grace and peace. Sometimes, that might mean saying no to a good thing. But that is only so that we can say yes to a greater thing.

GraceFull Tuesday Link-Up


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12 Comments

  1. Either you have been reading my emails or you’ve just found a way to get inside my head as you were writing this post . . .
    Saying no is one of my most challenging forms of obedience. Thank you for taking on this topic!

    1. I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one struggling with this, Michele! It somehow encourages me on this journey in learning this obedience. 🙂 Thank you for visiting here once again!

  2. Ronja, this is a beautifully encouraging post to read this morning. May we also remember that when God gives us a “no” it is always for the greater “yes” He knows is best and coming. Blessings today!

    1. Thank you so much, Joanne! And you are so right, God’s “no” is always making way for a greater “yes”. God bless you!

    1. Yes! Saying no really is so hard but you are right, reframing it as saying yes to something else really helps. Thank you for stopping by here, Lisa! God bless you

  3. I understand completely, I have let go some things to be able to stay on a Prayer Wall, I have been asked to pray about joining a book launch team, I would like to do it but it may be a no. I have had to get some rest, I can’t fix everything for everybody, even if I’d like to. He will give you wisdom about it.

    1. What a wonderful example of seeking the Lord to see when to say no and when to say yes. I’m so thankful that God will give us wisdom when we ask for it!

  4. Saying “no” is a hard one for me, too. Our old pastor used to say, “For Christians it’s not usually a matter of saying ‘no’ to bad things, but saying ‘no’ to the good so we can choose the best.”

    1. That is so true! But it’s good to remember that we want the best. Thank you for stopping by here! God bless you

  5. Yes, this used to be a hard one for me but having chronic health conditions has caused me to stop, rest & to be wise in God’s presence & saying “no” as my best yes!
    Jennifer