Do you ever feel like running far, far away? Jonah ran away, from God. Like Jonah running in the opposite direction has God ever called you to do something but you persisted on saying "no" or doing the opposite? Many times what God wants to happen isn't exactly what we want to happen. Similar to Jonah from the bible, we all ran away from the Lord to head in a complete opposite direction at one point; thinking we'll find something greater but we'll never live a greater lifestyle doing the opposite of what God calls us to do.
If you're anything like me then you know the right thing to do but you choose not to apply it to your life. Many of us run away from God because of our love for sin, pride, what or who we fear, our anger, bitterness, pain and because of many other reasons but understand that God does not change His commands because we ignore it. For too long I chose to stay busy, get "high", and even justify God's Word and ignore the conviction of the Holy Spirit because I wanted to do what I wanted to do. Selfish a bunch? I would agree. Yet little did I realize at the time that I wasted a lot of time, money, energy, and lost many relationships because I chose to live life that way. I even almost lost my wife and children because just like Jonah my disobedience to God caused me and others in my life a lot of pain (Jonah 1:1-11). But Jonah acknowledged how his life was deteriorating from running away from God and he remembered the Lord and prayed (Jonah 2:7).
Before any person can truly live a part of that person has to die; one must let go of what could be to fully accept what should be. Instead of running away from God walk with Him because He cares for you and salvation comes from only Him. I didn't want to hurt myself or my family but my sin against God effected those around me to suffer. The story of Jonah teaches us that running from God leads to painful consequences for others and ourselves. We also learn that God is a God of second chances who is gracious, compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in love, and relents from sending calamity (Jonah 4:2). But understand that things did not get better for Jonah until he obeyed the word of the Lord and did what God instructed Him to do (Jonah 3:3). At the place of obedience to God we have everything we need (Matt 6:33). Apart from God we can never succeed (John 15:1-7).
What is it in your life that God does not want in your life? Is it a habit, a plan, bad influences, evil ways, violence, gossip?
Whatever it is don't harden your heart and ignore God if you hear His voice today. God is greater than our excuses. You don't have to keep running because God has the power to forgive anyone of anything (1 John 1:9) and empower any person to accomplish anything (Phil 4:13). Many of us are frustrated, exhausted, lacking peace, joy, contentment, and security because we do not have a growing relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Recognize and understand that running from God is useless because we all have to face God one way or another (Hebrews 9:27). Jesus said, "But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven (Matt 10:33)."
"Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God's love for them." - Jonah 2:8
Prayer: (Say This Out Loud)
I call upon God in Jesus name to deliver me, my family, my friends and foes from our sinful nature, every lie, deception, and bad influence keeping us away from God's presence. I pray God help us to be led by His Spirit and teach us to walk in His will and to glorify His name. Amen!
God Bless You!