Monday, May 16, 2011
(This is a daily devotional from Maranatha Chapel's website. I found it fun and interesting.)
"The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: 'Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.' But Jonah ran away from the Lord."
Ironically, sometimes running away from the Lord is the first step toward obedience. Jonah was faced with a daunting task, which he resented and had no desire to accomplish. Not feeling quite gutsy enough to just say no to God, he booked a passage on a ship and tried to get out of the way, perhaps hoping God would forget? Out of sight out of mind?
Jonah's escapades remind me of Moses. In an amazing, miraculous encounter, God spoke to Moses in a burning bush. Moses took off his shoes, recognizing that he stood on holy ground, heard God's plans for his life – and then began second guessing the wisdom of God in choosing him as the deliverer of His people. He wanted to run away.
If you aren't familiar with what happened to Jonah when he set out sea and ended up in the belly of a whale, you can read the rest of his story in the book of Jonah in the Old Testament. But the point is, I think God sometimes deliberately chooses people who will run at first, because He knows He will meet them wherever they go.
We all run at times, only to discover as David the Psalmist did, that we cannot run from God, and indeed, when we are found, we are glad. "Where can I go from your Spirit?" David asked. "Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast" (Psalm 1397-10).
David expresses what Jonah experienced, what Moses discovered, what each of us will learn as we walk with God. We can run, but He will there, out of love, helping us to fulfill our gifts and talents and answer His call upon our lives.
Some people just don't discover what is best for them until they try to run away and find that God is a God of pursuing love."
One thing I love about this post is it reminds us just what God does for us, it shows his point of view of how he tries and feels after us. Rather than all the things we lack and the laundry list of things we have yet to become perfect at, this post refreshingly shows the point that God is after us! I like that thought.