When God Calls You to Say No

1.12.15 Lisa Smith Matthew 11:30

Heart exploding “Yes!” swiping at tears and crossing my heart, I promise God my answer to Him will always be, “yes.” He knows my heart’s desire is to love Him, serve Him, worship Him and change the world with Him. When He talks to me, I answer. Yes. Always yes.

Yes is an action word. Movement always follows His yes. On a word from Him, excitement surfaces in my soul; eagerness surrounds my routine and I energetically get about His business–changing the world.

Then, the whisper, “Will you rest in me?”

God shows me my life is like a Texas-sized steak dinner complete with a loaded baked potato, corn on the cob, and a fluffy roll. All on a cheap paper plate.

My plate is too full. I need to limit my portions so my paper plate won’t fail and find my juicy life-steak wasted.

Sometimes the movement following a yes in the soul is a no in the natural.

Say yes to My rest by saying no more often, He says.

Walking away from good things hurts. Weeks of prayer births courage to say yes…By saying no.

Hours of sending resignations, RSVPing refusals, and politely rejecting requests bring sadness yet relief. With every agonizing decision, I feel my load lessen. Like a child, I lift my plate to God showing Him how smaller portions perfectly fit my plate.

Satisfied with my new restful routine, I set goals based on my dream list and make progress. Slow progress. I determine to be content with slow.

When suddenly He whispers:

I hear the yes in your soul; let me see more no in the natural.

Say yes to My rest by saying no to more.

More no is hard. I sulk; I sigh and, like a child, my disappointment fills the air thick. Desire to handle lots, big things, large loads burdens me.

 Yet, clearly I hear Him:

Say yes to My rest by saying no to more.

I draw strength through the words of Kristen Welch in her book, Rhinestone Jesus:

“It all comes down to this one question: Do I love my comfort more than Christ? I get a different answer every day. But I believe we need to struggle…Struggle is the food from which change is made…Those who accomplish change are willing to engage in the struggle.” (p. 193-4)

Today finds me caught. Struggling. Hope for new tomorrows battles fear of future change.

He reminds me to come to Him and find the rest I crave:

Say yes to His rest by saying no more.

In answer to His invitation to rest, I empty my full plate. And fill it…with a giant portion of only Him. [CLICK HERE TO TWEET THAT.] 

I understand my cheap plate is meant to hold only one thing. Jesus fills my flimsy plate perfectly.

He refreshes. Only Him. Always Him. In His work is freedom. He says, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30 NIV)

Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly,” He says. (Matthew 11:30 The Msg)

Say yes to His rest by saying no more.

Yes to His rest is my response.

And so I say no more often.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30

*****Friends, how will you express your Yes to His rest? What will you say no to?


I’m guesting over at Jen’s place for the #SDGGathering and #OperationRest. Come for a visit. It’s a “Come as you are” type place. No makeup required. Just the sisters hanging out!



  1. Natalie rainey says

    It does take discipline to do less. This is a great reminder that when we do, we are saying yes to His rest.