Sunday, June 9, 2013

In The Belly Of The Whale

"The plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations." Psalm 32:11

I am reminded this morning that the Lord has a plan.  He has always had a plan.  Jeremiah 29:11 says He has one, for good and not for harm.  Even if that good has to come from something that doesn't feel so good.  I was reading Obadiah this morning....yeah, not sure that has happened before and I did have to actually look it up in the index.  It's theme, basically the same as Proverbs 16:18 "Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall".  Hmmmm.....been there too.....and then I turn the page and I see Jonah.  Jonah. 

And God said "now your listening baby girl".  You might wonder why.  Well because God told Jonah to do something and he  No sir.  No way. No how.  And so he ran when God told him what he wanted him to do.  And so I whine....a lot..... and want to run from what God is asking me to do.  So He led me to Jonah this morning and you are getting more than just a Sunday Scripture :)

I had some dates and highlights from the last time the Lord spoke to me here.  1999.  I wanted to run then too.  I didn't.  And God opened a huge door for me.  Life changing.  So here I am again. 

Jonah 1:11-16 The Voice
11 (shouting over the building storm) What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?
Jonah (shouting back): 12 God is using the sea to punish me, so pick me up and throw me into the sea! Then the sea will grow calm again, and you’ll be safe! This is all my fault! This great storm of my God’s anger has built against you because of me!
The sailors fear what will happen to them if they kill one of God’s people.
13 The sailors ignored Jonah’s advice and tried to row back to land. They made no headway because the violence of the storm kept growing.
Sailors (to God): 14 Eternal One! Please, we beg You—do not kill us as if we had murdered this man. And don’t punish us as if we’d killed an innocent person. We understand that You, Eternal One, do as You please.
15 At that, they grabbed Jonah by his arms and legs and threw him overboard. And when they did, the raging sea grew calm. 16 The sailors were even more terrified of the Eternal One. They offered sacrifices to Him and made promises to Him.

The sea was crazy, Jonah was sleeping and those sailors were like What.In.The.World?!?!?!  They woke Jonah and he can't out run God.  He will find you.  So I picture in my mind he gave a weary I do...and we see above what he says.  It's me...all me.  I'm doing what I shouldn't do.  Running from what God asked of me and He's not letting me out of it.  So just throw me over and it will be ok.  Umm...huh?? They thought he was NUTS!  No way!  It will kill you and if your God can actually do all this, no way are we gonna do that!!  But Jonah said, yeah, it's the only way....and they did....and He calmed it...and THEY BELIEVED.  Jonah's mess caused them to believe. Even in our disobedience God brings His plans to pass. 

But the main lesson here for me is Jonah ran, but he still ended up doing exactly what God told him too...just the hard way.  And the hard way is the way I have chosen in the past, what put me on this journey to begin now here I am.  He called me yet again....and I cried.  I got angry and I wanted to run.  So I had my little tantrum....felt a little sorry for myself, panicked and so He has brought me running.  I don't want to end up face down repenting yet again in the smelly belly of my own disobedience, swallowed up by thinking that my way is the right way...when really my way only leads to being eaten it right the first time.

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