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"No" means "no"

A few weeks ago, I was scrolling through social media when I saw a post from a friend who has a little girl. Her post told the story of the little girl asking her aunt if she could have some juice. The aunt said, “You have to go ask your mommy.” To which the little girl replied “I already, did she said “no”. Now you go ask her.” And of course, I thought this post was adorable. I smiled and “oohed” and “awwed” at this little one’s clever answer. I mean, how cute is that? Seriously, this little one steals my heart. Only later, as I was telling Jamie about it, I started to think about how behavior that is adorable at 3 isn’t as cute at 33, or 23, or 43, or really any age over 6. Yet, so many Christians use the same logic when it comes to their relationship with God They read the Bible and they see that God clearly says “Don’t do something.” Do you not lie. (Ephesians 4:25) Don’t steal. (Ephesians 4:28). Don’t use foul language. (Ephesians 4:29) Don’t get drunk on wine. (Ephesians 5:18) Don’t commit adultery. (Hebrews 13:4) Don’t have sex outside of marriage. (Ephesians 5:3) Don’t be unequally yoked with an unbeliever. (2 Corinthians 6:14-16) Stay away from all forms of witchcraft. (Galatians 5:19-21) And yet...... Although they know what the Bible says, they decide to get another opinion. They listen to a talk show. They talk to a counselor. They talk to their friends. They discuss it and discuss it, and discuss it until they finally find someone who agrees with them and says it’s okay to do what they want to do. Yet, no matter how many people they get to agree with them, the fact is that God hasn’t changed His mind. If God said “no” in the Bible, the answer is still “no”. And here’s the thing: God doesn’t say no just to be arbitrarily mean or to keep you from fun. Instead, He’s like my friend. You see, a few hours later when I was talking to my friend I asked why her daughter couldn’t have juice. Of course, there was a completely logical, healthy reason. She wasn’t depriving her daughter—-she was keeping her from something bad for her for a very specific reason. Over my years of walking with God, I’ve learned that He does the same things. If God tells us “no” or to stay away from something, then He does it because He knows it will ultimately hurt us or causes pain It will destroy our relationship with Him and our relationship with other people. Because He loves us, He sets boundaries for us. Because He wants what’s best for us, He sometimes says “no”. Part of doing whatever it takes to follow Jesus means accepting those “no’s” and living in obedience to Scripture. When the Bible says don’t do something—simply don’t do it. Don’t look for a way around it. Don’t look for someone else’s approval or justification for how it’s really alright. Just be an adult—- put on your big girl boots—accept the “no” and move on with your life. Choose to live in obedience to God‘s Word and experience all of the blessings that come with that choice.


Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.

When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry.

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