I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. My eyes were hot and moist and I was gulping air as I was fighting back tears. The invitational song was wooing me to walk down the aisle, but my hands were gripping the pew in front of me. In my heart, I knew I should respond — and “yes” was the only right answer. But my heart, was screaming no.
The above scenario has played out in my life all too many times. Those moments when the pastor has finished his message, or I have finished personal time in the Word. God has laid specific action steps on my heart. I have penned the words down, but my heart is disobedient. My heart screams “no.”
Maybe you can relate with me here. You know God is asking you to do something, but it goes against what you want to do. It could be simple steps of obdeinace like helping a neighbor or keeping your girlfriend’s little ones so she can get a much needed date night. Or it could be bigger faith steps, like sharing your faith with a stranger, getting on a plane and going on a mission trip, or adopting a baby. Either way, you know God has called you to it, but it makes you say “no.”
It might require you to get uncomfortable.
It might require you to change.
I might require your dreams to go on hold — or never happen at all.
You might decide to cling on with all your might to the thing that God is asking you to give up. You might avoid the one person God wants you to invest in. Yet, what you can’t do is change the feeling inside your heart and soul as ache because you are not in fellowship with your God because you are in disobedience.
God has given me this example in my own family. There have been times in my youth when my parents asked some pretty specific things of me. I committed on the outside — but my heart attitude was angry, cold, and rebellious. My inward heart eventually led to my outward actions going the same direction — rebellion.
So, what can we do when our heart screams no?
1. Determine the Why
Why is my heart screaming no? What am I holding on to that God is asking me to let go of? Recently, I was reminded that an idol is anything that I love more than God, or want with all of my being over God. If I am choosing to tell God “no,” there must be an idol that is taking a stronghold in my life. I need to crush it, and put no other God, no matter how small, in front of my God.
2. Pray It Out
Start talking to God about it. Not in a way to change God’s mind. However, the more we talk out our fears with the Lord, the more reassurance we can get as we lay them at his feet.
3. Take Small Steps Forward
Even though we are not ready to commit fully, if we begin to take steps forward, if we take a step of faith. we can start to see our heart attitude change as we obey.
It isn’t easy; faith sometimes requires us to be uncomfortable. However, as we takes these steps, God grows us and helps our “no” become a “yes.”