“But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.” Jonah 1:3, NKJV
God spoke. Jonah heard. Jonah ran from God.
Ever happen to you? God speaks a word to you, either through another person, reading His Word in the Bible, or through a circumstance which you know is from Him, giving you a directive, and yet you run from Him?
Your response was “No. I am not going to do that.”
We all have done it at one time, and more. We heard the word. And then we ran from it. Fear. Uncertainty. Laziness. There is always a “good” reason not to do it.
The Lord speaks to us through His still voice, or we receive a prophetic word. We deny it. We say, “It isn’t so.” We do everything we can to pretend we didn’t hear it, so we can believe we don’t have to respond in obedience to Him.
And yet, He doesn’t give up on us. He has a very good reason He has given the word to us. And as the “hound of heaven”, He still seeks after us to reveal His will and direction for our life, knowing there will always be life in obeying the word, that “this is the way, walk in it.”
“O people in Zion, inhabitant in Jerusalem, you will weep no longer. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you. Although the Lord has given you bread of privation and water of oppression, He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher. Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.” Isaiah 30:19-22, NASU
It reads in Jonah 1:1-3, “Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.” But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.” NKJV
Jonah heard the Lord speak a word of direction, and yet he did as we do too many times ourselves, we run from it. We tell ourselves that “That word isn’t for me, I can’t do it, what will people think?” Or, “How can I walk in faith when I am too fearful to step out and obey? It will cost me too much.”
And yet the very word the Lord is giving us too is the word that will change our life. And at the same time, it will change the lives of those He wants you to be the one who will bring the word of change to them.
As I read the first chapter of Jonah, it is very interesting that Jonah was very clear in what the Lord told him to do. There was no uncertainty. There was no ambiguity. He just didn’t want to do it. He ran from the Word. He ran from God Who gave it. “But Jonah rose up to flee…from the presence of the Lord.” Jonah 1:3
It was only after the fierce wind came down upon the ship he was hiding in, the other men found out it was he who was the cause of this before throwing him overboard, and the large fish swallowed him up.
“Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” Jonah 1:17, NKJV
I like how the Lord had already prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. He knew the plan. He was making the way for it to be done. Jonah still had a choice all along, but the Lord was setting him up to make the right choice.
The Lord spoke a clear word to Jonah (whom I believe was a real person, and the book of Jonah is a real, historical book of the Bible and not a fictional story.) It took a while, but Jonah finally did respond the way he should have in the very beginning and save himself from a lot of trouble.
He knows His plan for us. He will do all He can to get our attention and accomplish His will in our life. If only we quit fighting His plan, His purpose, and do what He has called us to do.
You may have known the Lord for a year, and after the excitement wore off and the challenges became too great, you quit the zeal and the adventure.
You may have followed the Lord for 10 years, 20 years, or even 40 years, and the vision you once had has become too dim, the zeal has been lost, the disappointments too many, or the wind of opposition in your face has been more than what you now think you can take.
But the Lord is still calling you. The Lord is still making a way where there seems to be no way. The Lord has not given up. He is calling you back. He is telling you to still “Come, follow Me.”
The decision is yours. But the gift and grace of God is always available to help you make the right one. I hope you choose life and walk continually in His ways.
Run to God, not from Him.
Now think on this and see what good things the Lord has in store for you and those around you.
Ahava and shalom,
Love For His People, Inc.
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Now Think On This #468 – in the year of our Lord 11.11.19 – “Running From God?”, Monday, 7:30 am