The LORD gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai: “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.” But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the LORD. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the LORD by sailing to Tarshish. Jonah 1:1-3 (NLT)
Where are you going? What are you doing? What do you mean by asking me that? Are you going where I have guided you? Are you doing all that I have asked of you? Did you ask me to go somewhere? Did you ask me to do something? What do you think? I wasn’t sure that I heard you correctly. Why is that? Well, I thought I might have heard you asking me to go where I did not want to go. I thought it might be possible that you were asking me to do what I would rather not do. But, I wasn’t sure. I certainly felt no peace about what might have been your directions and instructions. So, you ignored my directions and didn’t follow my instructions? I guess so. You didn’t just ignore my directions and skip my instructions. You went the wrong way and did the exact opposite of what I was asking of you. Did you feel great comfort and peace about going there and doing that? No, not really, not at all. This is not good.
I would like to ask you a few questions. Go ahead, I’m listening. Will there be times that I ask you to go where you would rather not go? Will there be occasions when I ask you to do what you would rather not do? Will there be times that you will not understand why I am sending you somewhere unfamiliar to do what might be unpleasant and difficult? Will it ever cost you anything to follow and serve me? Must you always feel great comfort and peace before you will go and do my will? Won’t there be times that you will be uncomfortable and afraid to go and do all that I ask of you? Will the road ahead always be smooth and easy? Won’t you ever experience difficult and painful challenges? Won’t there be times that you will need to hold on to me with all your strength as you follow and serve me? I can’t adequately answer all your questions. No, you cannot.
Forgive me for not going and doing all that you have asked of me. Forgive me for not listening to your directions and following your instructions. Forgive me for running away from what you have given me to do for you. You are forgiven. Now, will get up and go and do all that I ask of you? Yes Lord, I will. That will be very good. I will be with you to help you to go and do my will.
Lord, I have been reluctant to get up and go and do all that you have asked of me. Sometimes, I have run the other way to go and do something else. Forgive me. Thank you so much for finding me, bringing me back, and giving me another chance to serve you. Amen
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