I am currently preaching through Jonah and what a delightful, powerful, and convicting book. Immediately in Jonah 1:2-3 we see a collision of wills between God and Jonah and we see this highlighted in the call of God to Jonah, "Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it." and Jonah's response...He rose up................to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. Jonah was not being reluctant, he was being rebellious. His disagreement with God (Jonah 4:1-2) turned into disobedience to God, and he fled just as far in the opposite direction of Nineveh as he knew to go.
Jonah's fleeing from God was his way of avoiding God because he did not want to do what God had called him to do. God's call to Jonah exposed an area of Jonah's life that needed to be brought into submission to the Lord. The limits of his obedience were exposed. This is an object lesson for us. Why?.....There are many times when we have a collision of wills with God, and every collision of our will and His will reveals the limits of our obedience. The limits of our obedience are always being exposed and tested, just like Jonah.
In times like these when our will has collided with God, and we are wrestling with God and ourselves, there are some things we need to remember:
1. That God's will is always perfect and pure....ours is neither.
2. When our will is not lined up with God's will, it will always be selfish and self-seeking.
3. The imagined cost of obedience is always overshadowed by the real cost of disobedience.
4. Disobedience is always more costly and the consequences are more severe.
5. While obedience may cause some distress, disobedience leads to disaster.
6. Your disobedience does not happen in a vacum, but will always affect those around you, those whom you are connected to.
7. When you are being disobedient don't be beguiled by the "providential" escape provided by the circumstances.
8. Most often the means of escape our circumstances seem to supply is actually the means of God's discipline, God's chastening.
9. When we are being disobedient our paradise becomes purgatory and our pleasure becomes pain.
10. It is always better to trust the Word of God rather than to trust your own heart.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Thus says the Lord,
"Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes flesh his strength,
And whose heart turns away from the Lord.
For he will be like a bush in the desert
And will not see when prosperity comes,
But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness,
A land of salt without inhabitant.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord
And whose trust is the Lord.
For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit.
Stop regarding man, whose breath of life is in his nostrils;
For why should he be esteemed?
Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,
For wisdom and power belong to Him.
It is He who changes the times and the epochs;
He removes kings and establishes kings.
Daniel 4:32, 34-35
...the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind
and bestows it on whomever He wishes.
For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
And His kingdom endures from generation to generation.
All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
But he does according to His will in the host of heaven
And among the inhabitants of earth;
And no one can ward off His hand
Or say to Him, "What have You done?"
The Lord has established His throne in the heavens,
And His sovereignty rules over all.
The God who made the world and all things in it,
since He is Lord of heaven and earth,
does not dwell in temples made with hands;
nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything,
since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things;
and He made from on man every nation of mankind
to live on all the face of the earth,
having determined their appointed times
and the boundaries of their habitation.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything
by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension,
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is right, whatever is pure, what is lovely,
whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence
and if anything worthy of praise,
dwell on these things.
There have been a plethora of postings and much has been said on the election and our current economic situation, all much better than I could say, but I think God's word is the last word and the best word for us who are called out by Him.