Daily Devotional for Saturday March 3, 2012
Just Say No
(Genesis 3:6; Proverbs 1:29)
Back during the Reagan Presidency, Nancy Reagan came out with the infamous campaign against drugs, "Just Say No." It was simple but powerful since it zeroed in on the fact that we all have the ability to say "no." This ability to say "no" is something the world has always had a problem with. The "deny thyself no pleasure" mindset is not only straight from the pits of hell, but is embraced and promoted by the media. We live in a culture that makes fun of those who say "no," a culture that has told the lie long enough and loud enough that people have forgotten they can say NO!
Have you ever been driving down the road and a voice inside told you to make a sharp left into the car next to you? Have you ever been walking in the mall and didn't like the way the person in front of you looked and you wanted to tell them so? Have you ever been in a meeting at work or a class at school and wanted to start yelling at the top of your lungs? I can guarantee you that everyone reading this today has had some kind of extreme thought to do something completely bizarre, anti-social, potentially lethal, and completely out of character. For however long that fleeting thought was in your head, quickly your brain said NO!
Let's forget those extreme thoughts we all have from time to time. How about you are out of town on business and are approached by an attractive person of the opposite sex? How about you are working on a deal at work and find a way to overcharge a client in a way they will never know about? How about you are alone at home one evening and get the desire to go look at porn on your computer or the TV? How about being out some night and decide to drive home even though you have had too much to drink? Now we are talking about more realistic choices that most face in their lives. As you are presented with these choices, does your brain say NO? A more important question, do you listen if it does?
The vast majority of the over 40,000 prayer requests we receive each day here at Liveprayer are from people who didn't say "no." Again, this prevailing mindset that we have to give in to every pleasure, every urge, is not something new. We see it in the Garden of Eden as Adam and Eve both refused to say "no" when confronted with the opportunity to disobey God. We see it in the very first sin when satan had the thought to be like God and he didn't say "no" to that thought. Throughout human history man has had a difficult time saying "no."
Some people have questioned God and why He just didn't create us to always obey Him. God created us with the free will to make our own choices, otherwise, we would be little more than pre-programmed robots. I can't tell you why God created us with free will, the ability to obey Him or rebel against Him, but one reason I am certain of is that without free will we would be incapable of loving God on our own. The fact is He is God, our Creator, and we should do our best each day to honor Him with our lives. That means with the choices we have to make each and every day.
Throughout each day, we are all confronted with hundreds, even thousands of choices. Every time we make a choice we have the opportunity to say to God, "I love you!" When you break it down, that is really what we are saying each time we make a choice. We are either saying "I love God," or "I love myself more than God." Now listen closely since I am about to expose a great lie of satan. Satan says if you love yourself, don't deny yourself anything. Don't forget satan's stated goals, "to kill, steal, and destroy."
Satan wants to help you say "no" to God just like he did Adam and Eve because he knows your rebellion to God will hurt you. I have told you before satan is the great justifier. He will always help you justify saying "no" to God. The truth is, God loves you and only wants the best for you. When you say "no" to sin and follow God, you are not only saying "I love you God," you are also saying you love yourself. The lie of satan is that by saying "no" you are loving yourself when he knows you are actually hurting yourself, but the truth of God is that when you say "no" to sin you are not only honoring God but honoring yourself since our blessings follow our obedience!!!
I love you and care about you so much. I know we live in a world that tells the masses every day to never say "no." The world teaches that you only live once so don't ever deny yourself whatever pleasure comes your way. Like all of satan's lies, that is partly true. We do only live once. However, not all of the the pleasure that comes our way is something that will help our life, in many cases it can destroy our life. That is why it is so critical to start each day in prayer, in the Word, so that throughout the day as you are making all of those choices we all make each day, your choices will honor God. Often, to honor God we have to simply say "no."
I will be praying for you today. Praying that as you go throughout the rest of this day and are confronted with the various choices you have to make, you will have the courage and the strength to say "NO!"
In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,