Recently I heard Meghan Trainor’s new song “NO”, and as I was singing along, I was reminded that the Bride has the same response to anything that isn’t of Christ¹. When something comes in, whether the enemy, the world’s system, our flesh, etc., we can simply say NO and turn away.
The next day I was running an errand and I felt some old mindsets trying to creep in. The ones that say “you’re too this, or you’re not enough that” and before the thoughts could even get fully formed in my mind, I simply thought, “NO, I don’t need to even entertain these thoughts.” Then, immediately, the song “NO” came to my mind. I smiled and began singing it to myself.
After I returned home from my errands I began taking care of some things, and I felt some more old thoughts begin trying to creep in. The ones that say “my circumstances are so stressful, I’m so tired,” and again I simply thought, “No, I don’t even need to entertain these thoughts.” I then began singing the song again.
Many times we can stop our destructive thoughts before they even begin. Like the song says in the beginning, “let me stop you there, before you speak.” We can be in our zone and then, seemingly out of nowhere, we have a thought that is opposed to Christ, but we don’t have to entertain it even for a moment. Before the thought is fully formed we can simply say “NO” and turn away.
Sometimes the thoughts that are anti-christ feel good, though. Like when the guy is telling her how beautiful and original she is. Maybe someone has offended us and it feels so good to dwell on how justified we are in our offense. Maybe someone has genuinely wounded us and it hurts so good to fuss over the wound. Beloved Saint, there truly is something so much better than the life that these thoughts produce. We have a life within us that is able to overcome all offenses and wounds. A life that not only has the power to heal, but is, itself, whole.
But we hold the power over which life will be expressed through us with our choice, and choosing really is as simple as saying NO. Last week I had a day where I was plagued by some destructive thoughts. It felt good to argue my side to myself, gladly filling in my “opponents” rebuttals myself, and then quickly squashing them. My thoughts fed my mood, and I couldn’t get out of my funk. I would say “NO” and turn to the Lord, and the thoughts would leave, but my mood didn’t lift. Then the thoughts would come back and I’d do it all over again. At one time I started to feel tired and overwhelmed and like the thoughts might never stop coming back, and the feelings might not change, so I asked the Lord to help me. I called out to Him, and He heard me.
The thoughts and feelings did eventually leave, and I was kept from acting out of them by depending on the Lord. This is one example of resisting the enemy. This is also an example of standing².
One really practical way to say NO is to simply call on the name of Jesus. Truly, say “Jesus” out loud. It doesn’t have to be loud, it can be softly under your breath, but say the One Name with all the power. Another way to say NO is to sing a song that declares the truth that is in Jesus Christ, or speak the song if you don’t think you can sing. Speak the Truth out loud, and remember that Jesus told us that He, Himself, is the truth (John 14:6). There really is something powerful about speaking the Lord out loud.
Sometimes we need help to say NO, and who better to go to than our brothers and sisters. The beauty of saying NO together is that all are strengthened, not just the one needing help, therefore the Body of Christ is built up. We stand together in our Lord. We help one another say NO by turning each other to our Source, Jesus the Christ. We help one another say no by reminding one another of our True Reality in Christ. We help one another say no by refusing to enter into the thoughts with our brother or sister, and to continue to speak Life to them until they can say NO.
We can call on the Lord’s name with them, sing a song with them, declare Truth with them, fellowship with the Lord with them. We say NO and turn to the Lord with them.
Over the years, the practice of saying NO has gotten easier, and my ability to respond to thoughts with NO has gotten faster. This isn’t because I’ve figured things out and gotten better, this is because I am learning more and more how to draw upon the Lord within me. I am learning more and more how to depend on the Lord’s life rather than my own. I’m learning more and more how to turn to the Lord by faith in all things. This is ultimately what saying NO is, because to turn to Christ we must choose. We must say NO to one thing and yes to another. And the more we say NO to all else, the more we get to say YES to Christ.
¹I don’t think the song “NO” is a perfect representation of the ideas shared in this post, nor is it a song with a perfect message. It was something that happened to remind me of a beautiful reality for us: the battle is won, the victory is secure. We can say NO.
²”Resist the devil and He will flee from you.” James 4:7. Watchman Nee talks about “standing” in the short but powerful book, “Sit, Walk, Stand”. I highly recommend it if you haven’t read it before. You can find it here.