Would You Refuse God?
"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." Jonah 1:2-3 What motivated Jonah, a believer and a prophet, to run from the commission God gave him? Nineveh was wicked through and through, a cruel and violent people, and Nineveh was a hated enemy of Israel. Because of this deep hatred, the very thought of speaking to them for the Lord was unbearable to Jonah, and he wanted to get as far away from this commission as he could, so he fled. He found a boat and he got on it to take him as far away as possible. In his panic and rebellion, Jonah wasn't mindful of the fact that no matter where he fled, God would reach him. As King David wrote: "Where can I go from your Spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend into heaven, you are there, if I make my bed in hell, behold, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me." Psalm 139:7-10 Do you have an enemy so hated that you would refuse to speak to them or minister to them if God told you to? Is there any matter the Lord could bring up to you that you'd try to escape from? Is there someone in sin so repulsive to you that you recoil at the very idea of being in their presence? If so, that reveals a deep misunderstanding of the ways of God. It reveals a deep lack of respect for him on your part, and a lack of understanding of his integrity. Could God be wrong? Could God speak to your heart to do something that you really don't want to do - without a purpose in it? God is wisdom, he does nothing without purpose. You can trust his integrity without a doubt, for he is worthy of that trust. If he speaks something hard to you, something seemingly impossible, he has a definite purpose in it. You can trust him. And you refuse him at your own peril. If you are running from God and are under conviction, ASK for grace and strength and help to SURRENDER to him. He will give you that grace, he will give you that strength if you humble yourself before him, confess your inability, and ASK. "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16 Don't run from God. Running from God will never result in your good - and like Jonah, it could bring you to destruction. Surrender to him and you'll find that his ways are perfect and his love trustworthy. Trust him therefore. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6