Prayer Worship

When God Says No

Our church is growing!  We are averaging over 525 every Sunday morning and are starting a 3rd morning service in the fall to accommodate the crowds.

On February 3rd, only 50 days ago, I stood before our church and asked God to do a miracle for us by allowing us to raise $250,000.00 in 7 weeks to begin construction on our new church building – (watch it here:  www.nextstepoffering.com/next-step-presentation/).  We were very specific, a quarter of a million in 7 weeks.  However, by the end of March 24th, we had missed our mark by over $100,000.00.

We actually raised $146,234.00 in cash in 49 days, with additional pledges of $96,476.00, bringing our total to $242,710.00.  This is an amazing miracle, and we celebrated as such (here: www.nextstepoffering.com/the-reveal/).  But the fact of the matter is, we did not receive what we asked for.  We asked God for $250,000.00 in 7 weeks to immediately begin construction on our future facility.

Some of you have questions.  For our church family, I’d like to use this as a teachable moment.

I.  Pastor, are you disappointed?

No.  I am not disappointed in the slightest.  I am not disappointed with our church.  Truthfully, what we have accomplished is amazing.  The fact that a little church in Las Vegas, only 8 years old, while keeping budget and giving $100,000.00 a year to missionaries, was able to raise this much money without any grants or major donors is miraculous.  Many families gave until it hurt, sacrificing unto the Lord what they willingly offered.  I am proud of our church family and the great many steps of faith we have taken to arrive here.  You all amaze me!

No, I am not disappointed with our church and neither am I disappointed with my God.  How could I be disappointed with the One who has given me eternal life?  How could I ever be disappointed with the One who created me, loved me, redeemed me, and forgave me?  Disappointed?  No, His grace still amazes me!

II.  But God didn’t answer your prayer!

Yes, He did!  He said, no.  We asked for $250,000.00 to immediately begin construction on our future campus, and He said, “no”.

A Few Things:

God’s allowed to say no.  It doesn’t make Him any less God.  It doesn’t make Him any less powerful.  It just means He said no.  I’m OK with that.  It doesn’t shake my faith.  It doesn’t make me doubt God’s power, plan, or calling.  Some of us are just not used to being told no; therefore, when we pray and God says no, we are really thrown for a loop.  Remember the Apostle Paul?  He prayed greatly about his illness to be healed, yet God said no.

II Corinthians 12:8-10 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

It was in the “NO” that God was able to teach Paul more of His perfect grace.

God knows what He’s doing.  If I was in charge of the church and the universe, I would have given us the money necessary to build right away.  I’m not in charge.  Probably a good thing.  I’m not God, and I’m OK with that too.  You see, He has a plan that is much more detailed than mine and will likely be more successful than mine or yours.

Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

I’m still going to pray.  But God said “no” to you, pastor.  Yeah, so what?  I cannot tell you how many times a day my little Scarlett (age 4) asks to play with my iPhone.  “Daddy, can I play with your phone?  I like your phone.  Can I play with it?  It’s a nice phone. Can I play with your phone?  Can I play the bird game?  Can I play the running game?  Can I play with your phone?”  My responses include, “no, nope, uh uh, don’t think so, never, buy your own,” and occasionally, “yes.”  You see, for Scarlett, it doesn’t matter how many times I say no, because she knows that a yes might be just around the corner.  Jesus told this parable about prayer:

Luke 11:5-9 And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

Jesus here is giving the secret to prayer, it’s importunity.  It means to KEEP ON ASKING!  When something is worth asking for, then keep on asking for that something.  I’m going to keep praying until the $250,000 is all in.  And then I’m going to pray in the rest of the funds needed!

III.  Pastor, I’ll bet you’ve learned your lesson.  You won’t be doing something like that again, will you?

I certainly will!  As long as I lead this church, we will press forward by faith!  We will do as the great missionary William Carey suggested and, “Attempt Great Things for God, Expect Great Things from God.”  If you are looking for a more moderate church, one that is calm as a cemetery and comfortable as a coffin, then you may want to look for another place.  We are pilgrims on a quest, warriors in a war, and disciples on a mission.

We walk by faith and not by sight!  We, the men and women of Southern Hills, will keep fighting to advance the kingdom of Christ until our last dollar is given, until our last tear is shed, until our last breath is exhaled, until the last soul is saved.  We will never give in to fear, fright, or failure.  I’d rather be sinking in the waves, having attempted the impossible, than safely in the boat with the other disciples.  We believe strongly in our God and will continue to attempt the impossible until this preacher lies cold in the grave!

By the way, had we not attempted to raise the full amount, we wouldn’t be 146,234 steps closer to fulfilling our NEXT STEP!

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

What are your thoughts?  Please Feel Free to Comment Below:

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35 Comments

  • Reply
    Danielle Wheaton
    March 25, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    I would just like to say that after reading this page, I feel blessed that I was a part of Southern Hills Baptist church when it was first beginning. I have watched it grow over the years, and I am proud to see how far it has come in only 8 years. Southern Hills is a place I plan on returning to again and again in the future. I am amazed at the money the church was able to raise, and I look forward to seeing the new church building.

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      March 25, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      we miss having you here at the church Danielle. You will always be part of the fabric of this wonderful place

  • Reply
    Jeanette DeJesus
    March 25, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    I was moved by yesterday’s service and the revealing of what the Lord had done. I am proud of how much our little church has grown and how many souls have been saved there. I know in my heart the Lord’s hand is upon our Church and he will continue to bless us.

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      March 25, 2013 at 3:16 pm

      It truly is amazing to see God do His work! Even more amazing is that He allows us to be involved!

  • Reply
    Trevor
    March 25, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Very inspiring Pastor! I am often reminded, even though sometimes disappointed my plan is not going to work, that God’s timing and God’s plan is always perfect. His work is so much more amazing than anything we can imagine. We will support you and the church to reach this goal and many more…Let’s keep it going!

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      March 25, 2013 at 3:17 pm

      God’s timing IS always perfect! Great thought Trevor! I applaud your faith and appreciate your loyalty!

  • Reply
    Alicia
    March 25, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Amen… I don’t even look at it as a “no”, just a “not right now”… it looks like the money is coming, just not right now. God is good and His timing is perfect!

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      March 25, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      Great thought. – Not right now! We keep following!

  • Reply
    Lita Bonsignori
    March 25, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    My hubby was unable to be there in person last night for the reveal. After I gave him the totals, his first remark was “Pastor must be thrilled!” Thank you for posting this article so that others can see your grateful heart! We are standing right beside you & our faith continues to grow as we are blessed by your vision and God’s provision 🙂 So very Thankful also for the MANY others who are in this together with Southern Hills!

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      March 25, 2013 at 3:20 pm

      I am blessed to have you and your faithful husband serving in our deacon ministry! I am THRILLED! Thank you for seeing my heart.

  • Reply
    Alan Ladd
    March 25, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    A leep of faith is sometimes tested and trailed, for reasions sometimes unknown to us at the time, I know I am going through one my self maybe caused by My own doing. Leeping before being ready, in doing so I find my self facing possible hardship. I am sure God will see me through it, but the human side of me may ask why Lord wate tell the last minute are past ? The human side of us is impatience, at least it is with me. At times like this I am sure God is demanding my attention and has awaken my awarness. Now it comes down to What will you have me to do Lord?
    This may not have anything to do with Southern Hills Church but maybe we all may need to stop and ask God again what do you wont of me Lord as individual to be apart of this church to glorifie THE.

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      March 25, 2013 at 6:02 pm

      Alan. Great thoughts. I am so thankful for your faithfulness to The Lord and this church family!

  • Reply
    melonie schang
    March 25, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    praying but not worried a bit! God is on his tbrone:)

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      March 25, 2013 at 6:03 pm

      God on His throne! What a powerful thought!

  • Reply
    James Pfeiffer
    March 25, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    I think it’s simple…God said no this time b/c He has something bigger and better planned for us that will be revealed in His own time!

    I’m with you Pastor – this result is nothing to be dissappointed with at all; personally I thought it was pretty amazing and inspiring to have been a part of

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      March 25, 2013 at 6:05 pm

      It was amazing and inspiring! I completely agree! It’s so wonderful being part of something God is doing! Lets go forward… Bigger and better!

  • Reply
    Linette Winsler
    March 25, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    I just love Southern Hills. It’s such a privilege to be a part of the family of Southern Hills. Pastor I loved what you said. You have such a heart for God. I’m like the others that God will supply what we need in his time. I’m always looking for that blessing that’s just around the corner. It’s so amazing what God has done in Southern Hills the last 8 years. I’m so blessed to be a part of the church.

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      March 26, 2013 at 9:08 am

      Linette, you have been a tower of strength at southern hills for the past 8 years. I think of my charter members and all the battles of faith we have been through together. I am amazed at Gods goodness.

  • Reply
    David Teis
    March 26, 2013 at 6:38 am

    Proverbs 27:18 “Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honored.” Just keep waiting on the Master He has, and will honor your faith!

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      March 26, 2013 at 9:05 am

      Great verse dad! I love you much.

  • Reply
    Mike Stansbury
    March 26, 2013 at 8:35 am

    “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Heb 11:1. The important thing is that you are setting an example of walking by faith, and God will honor that. Thank you for being such a faithful example.
    “For without faith, it is impossible to please God…”

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      March 26, 2013 at 9:10 am

      A leader can only lead if there are faithful followers. You and nancy have been so faithful over the years. I sure am thankful for you!

  • Reply
    Dr. Rick Owen
    March 26, 2013 at 10:40 am

    Pastor Josh, your message today is very inspiring to me. I know our Church, through the
    will of Christ, will have the money to build our church. I have faith in God as he has faith in us to do his will. This message also helps me in overcoming my fears of failure with the new adventure I will be setting out on. I can go forward with the thought in my heart that no matter what happens, good or not so good, that as long as I put my faith and trust in Christ, I have done his Will and he will always be with me, to comfort me and to show me the way. I praise God daily for our church, and for you, our pastor.

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      March 26, 2013 at 4:41 pm

      Rick,
      Thank you for your comment! I completely agree with you that we are to step out in faith and follow our Lord and Savior. I believe the new practice that you will be opening up will be successful. Las Vegas is blessed to have you here.

  • Reply
    Mike
    March 26, 2013 at 11:06 am

    God called Abraham “the Father of many Nations” before he ever had a child. Preacher, God has given you a great heart for this area of Las Vegas, and I truly believe he is going to do great things here through this ministry.
    “..before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Rom 4:17

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      March 26, 2013 at 4:43 pm

      Your faith is encouraging! So thankful for your comment the Scripture that you have shared.

  • Reply
    Mike Stansbury
    March 26, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    I wanted to give some feedback on something you alluded to in Sunday’s message. You referred to a scene from The Matrix, where Neo had to be “unplugged” in order to see the truth. Something really hit me there. We spend all of our time seeing things from Man’s perspective ~ limitations, doubts, unbelief…But with God, all things are possible. I was reminded of Elisha’s servant who bemoaned ‘Master what shall we do? The Syrians have us surrounded’. But Elisha’s reply was ‘what do you mean? There are more on our side than are on their part’ Then he prayed that God would open his eyes, and he saw that the hills were surrounded with the chariots of God! The truth is, they were there whether he saw them or not. We need that spiritual eyesalve so that we can see God’s hand at work.
    On another note, I really enjoy that you use illustrations of movies like the Matrix, Star Wars, Westerns or just whatever. It reveals you inner kid, and makes you relatable to me, and I’m sure to the audience in general.

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      March 28, 2013 at 10:13 am

      Thank you for relating our Next Step goal to sunday’s sermon for me. You are absolutely right. If we have eyes to see the reality of God’s work around us we would never be discouraged. Great point and than you for your encouragement regarding the preaching.

  • Reply
    julie elzeftawy
    March 27, 2013 at 12:04 am

    thank ypu again pastor josh for the consistant balance and common sense you offer this church, the calmness,love, and firm leadership of you and the other pastors give us a stability and closeness that gods hand in your lives love you all .

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      March 28, 2013 at 10:14 am

      Julie,

      these are kind words indeed and too gracious to be used on a soul like mine. You humble me.

  • Reply
    julie elzeftawy
    March 27, 2013 at 12:05 am

    that shows gods hand

  • Reply
    AL
    March 29, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    Pastor,

    Why would God let you go to the process in asking, believing and waiting only for him to say “no”? Is simple to have God reveal to us his will by simply saying “yes” or “no”.

    What are your thoughts?

    • Reply
      Joshua Teis
      March 29, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      Good Question Al?

      I was told years ago by one of my mentors (Jim Schettler), “what you become in ministry is more important than what you accomplish in ministry.”

      What I have learned from that statement in regards to this type of situation is this… God led me to ask him for something great. God led me to reveal this request to the church. I obeyed in both of these things, prayed faithfully and gave with our congregation sacrificially.

      I did my part and trusted God to do His. The problem comes when we believe that God somehow did not do His part. We assume that His part is to say “yes” and give us what He asked us to pray for. This is not His part. His part is whatever He wants to do.

      You see God has a much bigger, more detailed plan than I could ever imagine. Perhaps his plan included us raising a big part but then having faith that He would provide the rest later. Perhaps his plan included us having this discussion about “when God says no” that would have never happened if God said yes.

      The life of faith was never intended to be easy. Having faith in a difficult time will be… difficult. But our faith in God is not dependent upon His willingness to say yes to our every prayer.

      Great questions!

  • Reply
    AL
    April 1, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Thank you Pastor for your insight. You have been a blessing to me. This gives me encouragement to press on.

    God Bless you.

  • Reply
    Cate Maack
    April 16, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Pastor,

    Our new church is already blessed! My son, Keller, who is 13 years old, gave his entire $100 Christmas gift from his grandmother for the new building.

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