Johnny Ogletree, III M. Div.
4 min readJan 28, 2022

3 Elijah was afraid and ran for
his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his
servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey
into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down
under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,”
he said, “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”
1 Kings 19:3–4

Aren’t you glad God doesn’t answer every prayer?

I know this is too young for many of you, but somebody reading this should stop just for a moment and give God a shout of praise!!!!!

Now, maybe you have always been “spot on” with God’s will and knew exactly what was best for you in your life but let me take a moment (without telling all my business) to testify! There have been some things I have prayed for! There have been some things I fasted for! Things that I believed would complete me, bring satisfaction, fulfill me, advance me, help me perform and execute better….(the statements go on and on) that I begged and pleaded with God to bless me with!

Back in the day, I was “binding and loosing”, plating seeds and watering seeds! I even sacrificially gave and fell on my face before the Lord and cried out at the top of my lungs!

I once preached at a Teen Conference and refused the honorarium
and sowed it back into the ministry based on a dream and a desire
because I was praying for God to bring something I desired too past!

And God simply said, “NO!!!” I had my hands out! I had my hands up! I had my heart right! I had my posture right! I had my faith up! And God still said, “NO!!!!” This has happened on multiple occasions!!! At one point, I just asked God, if He had a bone to pick with me? I asked if it was something I had done (that was rhetorical, because the answer was YES!!!!!!!!!!) I was taking it personal.

Didn’t God hear me? Why was I being ignored? Didn’t He care about my wishes and desires? Didn’t He want what was best for me? Hey Big Guy, do me at least one solid!!!! Clearly, I was on the naughty list and was being punished! He said we could ask anything! He said He would give us the desires of our hearts! He said He would supply all our needs! So, “What gives?”, I felt!

I love this passage because I had to shout when I saw God’s response to Elijah’s prayer! I thought about the many times God said “No” to my prayers, and the other times where I simply heard no response and knew the answer was “No!” The times I stood at the door and commanded it to open, only to see it remain shut, only to move on from that moment and praise God for His response and or lack thereof.

Sometimes No is in your favor! Sometimes No is what advances you! Sometimes No is what keeps you! Sometimes No is what saved you! Sometimes No is Yes! It’s God saying yes to your future. It’s Him directing your hands and feet. It’s Him leading you down the path to your destiny. It’s Him protecting you from the hands of the enemy. It’s Him keeping you from yourself. It’s God doing what is best for you!

It was Beyonce that sand about the “Best Thing She Never Had!” It was the thing God wouldn’t let you get your hands on because He knew you would hold it so tight that you would be able to hold in your hands the thing, He had in store for you.

Aren’t you glad sometimes God just listens? He hears your prayer! Allows you to complain! Takes note of your displeasure! Collects all your tears! Captures all your fears! Aren’t you glad that God just listens?

Where would you be if God said Yes to everything you prayed for? While this might seem like a dream come true, consider the many people you have had an opportunity to read or hear about who have a portion of what you have prayed for and think on what has transpired in their lives. Often, the thing we prayed for comes with attachments. Things you can’t see or predict! We are driven by our flesh and controlled by our eyes and stomachs but thank God He can see beyond these things.

Sometimes we want God to take immediate action, only to realize days or months later that action would have led to your destruction. Praise God for delays and praise God for “No!” I praise God that His plans are to prosper us, thus we must be patient with His instructions and His plan. We should be praising God today that in He is omniscient, He knows how to develop us. He is both wise and just and keeps His hand on us as He removes spots, irons out wrinkles and presents us back to Himself!

Here Elijah is saying, “Take my life,” And in this moment, he knows what he is saying, and means what he is asking, but God chose what was best for him and subsequently, what was best for all of us! I know it sounds selfish and mean, but I am praying that God continues to answer “No!” Not to everything, but to the things that will take you and I off the track that will keep us from carrying out our purpose in this world. I pray that He remains compassionate enough to hear you in your darkest hour but continues to be wise enough not to cater to your flesh as He develops our Spirit!

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