Feb 10, 2014

What are you running from?

We are moving quickly through the Bible, girls!

Did you even have a moment to absorb the book of Jonah we read over the weekend? I hope you inhaled it. So much to learn from our little Jonah friend!

Some of us learned in Sunday school many years ago about Jonah being swallowed by a whale. That is our greatest memory, right?

God wants to teach us so much more through Jonah.

To sum it up, God directed Jonah to go to Ninevah, a very sinful city, and preach to them.

God commanded Jonah "preach against it, because it wickedness has come up before me." Jonah 1:1-3

The very next verse makes me cringe. Why? Because I have done the exact same thing!

"But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord."

Gulp.

I underlined the first few words. These words screamed at me as I read them.

How many times have I ran away from God? Too many to count.

Many times in my life, I have felt the Lord nudge me to do something. If it scared me to death, I wouldn't do it. Not just walking away from His command, but running.

I have an example.

I have never spoken this out loud. To anyone. Not even my husband. {sorry Lem!}

A couple of years ago, I was asked by a friend to speak to some young girls at her church about a topic that I had struggled with......Fear.

I really didn't feel I was in a place to speak about a topic that I was still struggling in...a lot.

However, I knew the Lord would use that opportunity as a part of my healing. I knew in my heart that it was His way of stretching me and growing me in overcoming this debilitating disease of fear.

The day came, and guess what happened?

I backed out.

Yep, I really did.

Fear strikes again.

The score was  Fear-1, Jill- 0.

I told my friend that I was sick or that my children were sick..or something. I cannot even remember. That's what happens when we lie...we forget what we lied about!

In my mind, however, I didn't feel like I was lying. I felt like I was doing the other girls a favor and sparing them a story from a struggling fear addict...that still struggled.

It is a struggle for me to even write that story. It wasn't even that long ago.

Not only did I run away, but I landed right into a pit of sin when I ran. By covering it all up with a lie.

Yikes.

What happened to Jonah when he ran away? Trouble came. Big time.

Uhhh, like in the belly of a whale kind of trouble.

Thank goodness my escapade didn't lead me to the ocean in the mouth of a big fish, but it did lead me away from the Lord.

Just like Jonah, I ran.

Here is the funny thing....

Just like Jonah, God came to me a second time asking me to share my story.

This time....I obeyed.

Just like Jonah finally did.

What is God asking you to do that scares the life out of you??

I urge you to trust Him. He knows best.

He wouldn't ask you to do something that He hasn't already prepared you for.

We get ourselves in a big fat belly-of-a mess {sorry for the pun}, when we run from God.

Why waste all of that effort fighting and running from Him?

Let's obey Him the first time. Shall we?

Our memory verse for this week comes straight from the book of Jonah:


"Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs." 
Jonah 2:8

Two years ago, I forfeited the grace that I could have received from the Lord in the way of my healing. I clung to the worthless idol of fear. I thought that fear was bigger than my God.

How deceived I was.

What are you clinging to that is keeping you from the Grace that the Lord desires to pour upon you?

Let it go.

Trust Him.

Believe Him.



no more running,

jill