The Wonderful Word “No.”

Michael Beck

“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2:17)

Man’s problem began because of his unwillingness to accept the word “no.” Every tree in the garden, except for one, had a “yes” attached to it – you can eat of it. But the fruit of that single tree was forbidden. “No,” God said, “thou shalt not eat of it.”

Sin involves crossing the line into the forbidden. When we sin we give ourselves permission to do what God has not given us the right to do. We say, “yes,” where God tells us “no.” Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23) Sin has no interest in self-denial. It caters to self. It loves the fulfillment of its own pleasure more than the fulfillment of God’s will. It bows down to and serves its own desire.

You cannot be a true worshipper of God and one who continues to give yourself to yourself. The salvation of Christ provides us with the power to deny ourselves. We who at one time could not tolerate the word, “no,” are now able to hear it from God and say it to ourselves. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11,12)

Living a self-pleasing life where there are no restrictions, no frustrations, no denial, may appear to the worldly man as heaven on earth; but it is deception – such a life results in bondage, pain, and death. A heavenly life is one where God is King and His will is done. Such a life leads to true pleasure, life, and peace. Jesus has made such a life possible – a life where “no” is a wonderful word.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.