Sunday, July 8, 2012

Be Still SONday–Jonah

Thursday we loaded up the kids and headed north to see Jonah at the Sight and Sound Theatre.   The show was very well done and like always the props are amazing!   Watching the children’s reactions is probably my favorite part of every show we see there.   They barely even blink or wiggle.  That is a big deal for our two youngest who can’t sit still for anything.    We all agree that the underwater scene was the best.   You know when the whale swallows Jonah for disobeying God.

Over and over again the actors repeated, “you can run from your troubles and all that God has asked of you, but while you are running away from this, you are heading for something that might be much worse.”

We all know that is exactly what happened to Jonah.   He didn’t want to go to Nineveh.   He didn’t want to offer mercy to the people who were wicked and living a life following other gods.  He didn’t want to go, end of story.   So he did everything he could to make up excuses why he was not going and proceeded to run away from God, and his family.  

You can run, but you can never hide from God.   He knows our thoughts, and will never stop seeking after us.

Psalm 139:1-12

1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

That is such a comfort to me.  That I can walk away, even try to run away from God, but He will never forget me, leave me, nor forsake me.   His love endures even my own prideful ways.

This thought has sort of haunted me since Thursday.   It has become a constant voice in the back of mind.   

To which I have asked myself, “where would I go that would be better than where God wants to take me?”

Then I read the following quote:

“A consultant is someone whose wisdom we highly value and listen to, but at the end of the day, we make the final decision. That’s why they’re called consultants. Here’s the problem:  God doesn’t do consulting. Never has. Never will. He does God. When we treat him as a consultant he simply stops showing up for the meetings.” ~Larry Osborne

And so it is why many will say, “I haven’t heard from God in a while.”  Or, “I feel so alone.”  “God, doesn’t care about me.”  “He doesn’t have time for me.”  “God, is disappointed in me.”  “God, can’t use me.”  “God,….”

Now if we honestly review these statements who is running the show?   US!  

We don’t hear God’s voice because we are too busy listening to our own and others in our lives.

We feel alone because we are not living humbly before God and seeking Him with our full hearts.

We begin to listen to the lies that make us feel better about our own actions and reactions to the TRUTH, the LIFE, and the WAY!   

We are so disobedient that we no longer even recognize the truth and how far we have gotten away from God’s love for us.

It is His love that is asking us to be more like Him.  It is His love that is calling us to do things we are not comfortable doing.  It is His love that is calling us to be still and wait on Him.  It is His love that is calling us to stop striving to fix things and let Him work it out.  It is His love that is asking us to follow Him and lay down our own plans.   It is His love that is asking for our obedience the first time with a joyful heart.  It is His love.   Nothing less or more.   There is nothing greater than His love.

So why do we run from it with such determination.

One word:  fear.

We have lost faith in who He is and His promises to each of us.   We have let our hearts be deceived into believing that we can do one ounce of this life without Him leading the way.

Fear is the lack of faith. 

I don’t want to be another Jonah.  I have refused enough of His plan so many times that it is embarrassing to even admit it.   But God.  My two favorite words.   He is long-suffering and will NOT give up on me.  He is still calling me to Him because He loves me.   Always has.  Always will.

How about you?   Are you living like Jonah in any area of your life?   Have you forgotten that no matter what He loves you?  Have you forgiven yourself and allowed God’s love in?   Have you opened your heart to the truth and let it build up your faith?  

If not, I pray today will be the renewing of your spirit and life.  Because there is no greater power than His love and what it will do in your life and heart.   I will be praying for you.  Please  do the same for me as I seek to renew my faith as well in Him, alone!

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