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Are you saying, "No, Lord!"?

(The following is the May 19 devotional from my Next Step Devotions book. Before reading it, I suggest you read Acts 10 and pay close attention to verses 9-16.)

Being raised a devout Jew, Peter followed many dietary laws, from meal-related cleansing rituals to only eating certain foods. So when Peter saw various animals in a vision, many of them unclean, and heard a voice telling him to eat them, he responded, “No, Lord! For I have never eaten anything impure and ritually unclean” (v. 14).

What an odd expression that is - “No, Lord!” It doesn’t seem like those two words should ever go together. Spurgeon points out this contradiction: “This is a curious expression. If Peter had said, ‘No,’ there would have been a clear consistency in his language and tone. But ‘No, Lord,’ is an odd jumble of self-will and reverence, of pride and humility, of contradiction and devotion. Surely, when you say, ‘No,’ it ought not to be said to the Lord, and if you say, ‘Lord,’ you ought not to put side by side the word no. Peter always was a blunderer in his early days, and he had not grown out of his old habits of honest impetuosity.” *

Are we as guilty as Peter of saying, “No, Lord,” to God’s commands? We may not consciously say “No, Lord” aloud, but we may say it just as firmly with our actions. When God’s Word tells us to do (or not do) something, and we refuse to obey, our behavior shouts, “No, Lord!” What does that do to our relationship with him?

Peter learned a great lesson through his vision. It changed his perspective on the gospel’s reach to everyone everywhere. Are you allowing a “No, Lord” response to keep you from a deeper understanding of the gospel and a more faithful walk with Christ? Next Step: Do you resist any biblical, Christian expectations for belief and behavior? What about generous financial giving through the church, sharing your faith, being faithful in worship, acts of service, or spending time with God in prayer and his Word daily? How can you change your “No, Lord” responses to “Yes”?


* CSB Spurgeon Study Bible, ed. Alistair Begg (Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017), 1480.

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