Jonah 1:3 Running From God’s Call

Fleeing

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. Jonah 1:3 

It is very common for people to run away from a troubling or difficult situation. They do not want to go into something difficult.

Many leaders hate the idea of having to confront someone for doing something wrong. It makes them uncomfortable and so they try to ignore, hoping it will go away. Sometimes the situation does go away, but often it only gets bigger and causes greater problems.

God had called Jonah to go to the city of Nineveh to warn them of their wickedness. Instead of going, Jonah chose to run the opposite direction trying to flee from God and His call upon his life.

One area that many try to flee is God’s call upon their lives. Some it is the call to live for God. They refuse to believe in and follow God, regardless of what they are told or shown. They want to follow the ways of this world.

Others have chosen to believe in God, but then refuse to obey God and do or go where He guides them. Many feel that if they can run hard enough, long enough that God will forget about the calling and leave them alone.

Some will completely leave the church and live as the world does. Others will continue to claim to believe in God and serve Him, but live as they want, fleeing His calling.

The calling of God may be to some other nation, but often it is to be a witness to a neighbor or some person one is passing by during the day. One cannot outrun God, because God is already there and striving to reach the person.

You may or may not be trying to ignore God’s call to you. God has a work for you to do that only you can do because you are the only you that is on this earth. As a believer it is your job and responsibility to be God’s witness and obey His every command, both the written commands and the commands to go and do.

Do not try to flee from God’s call. Embrace it and trust He knows what is best. See what God can do in and through you as you obey His call.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will hear God’s call in your life; that you will obey God’s call in your life; that if you have run from God, you will return to Him; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.

 

Hosea 11:2 Rejecting The Call

Hand holding a phone

But the more they were called, the more they went away from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images. Hosea 11:2 

Everyday phone calls are made by telemarketers and debt collectors to millions of people. These are calls to attempt to sell something or to collect upon an old debt. While it is understandable for people to reject calls trying to sell something, many will also reject the calls to pay a debt.

Instead of dealing with the debt, people will often run the other direction and even incur more debt. It is about doing what self wants and making self happy, rather than completing one’s responsibilities and doing what is right.

God was upset because He kept calling the people of Israel. The more He called, the more they ran the other direction. Not only did they run the other direction, they also served false gods.

God is still in the business of calling people to this day. Some He is calling just to bring to salvation. These are the people who don’t know Him yet.

However God is still calling those who are believers to a work He as for them to do. Many believers, rather than do God’s work, will run the other direction. They do not want to be the witness God is calling them to be. They do not want to be the servant He is trying to call them to be.

Sadly many will even go so far as to follow and serve false gods. Running after the material things of this earth, rather than the eternal things of God.

Every believer has the call of God upon his life to do something for the kingdom of God. This will look different for each person, but each person has a part in building His kingdom and they need to do their part.

As a believer God also has a call upon your life. He has something for you to do in order for you to be a part of building His eternal kingdom starting here on this earth.

Do not run away from what God is calling you to do. He will be with you and will give you strength and favor in accomplishing His call. Doing what God desires will bring true fulfillment to your life. In the process of doing His will, God will also meet all of your needs.

I pray today that you will hear God’s call upon your life; that you will obey God’s call; that you will know God’s hand of favor in your life; that you will not run from what God has for you; and that you will work at building God’s kingdom. 

1 Thessalonians 3:4 Walking Into Trouble

 

Dark path in woods

In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know. 1 Thessalonians 3:4

Trouble is something that most people attempt to avoid as much as possible. Very few people like to walk into trouble.

When a person is driving down the road and they see a notice that there is a major accident ahead, he will often try to take a different route to keep from being slowed down or stopped. When a person is walking down a  street and see two other people arguing loudly, he will usually, quickly walk by or take a different route to stay away from the trouble.

The change of route will occur even more, if a person knows that there is someone upset with him. People will avoid those who are upset with them. Very few people like confrontation with a person who does not like them.

Paul did not change his route or back down from a negative confrontation. He was not looking at just someone being upset with him, but that there would be persecution ahead. There would be people ahead in his path that would physically strive to harm him. They would beat him and put him in jail.

Most people would turn and run the other direction, yet, Paul did not. He followed what God wanted him to do, be a witness to the people at all costs.

True believers will have to go through some persecution, sooner or later. The world hates believers and will do whatever it takes to remove them. Yet, the believer must move forward, knowing that trouble and persecution is coming. He must not back down from the path God has him on.

The value of walking into trouble and persecution is that God’s word will move forward and touch lives. The person who stands strong and true for God will be a living example of the light and love of Jesus to this dark world.

Are you avoiding talking about Jesus because you do not want to be persecuted? Are you avoiding trouble at all costs?

Or are you willing to be a witness of Jesus to those around you, regardless of what happens?

Jesus was persecuted and He promised His followers will be persecuted. Do not run from it, but keep walking forward, knowing God is in control. God can use that persecution to spread His word.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will be His witness to this world; that you will not fear the trouble the world will give; and that God will strengthen you in times of trouble and persecution to be His witness. 

 

Luke 15:21 True Remorse

“The son said to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” Luke 15:21

Jesus was telling the parable about a son who went against his father’s desires and started living a wild life. He chose to move away from home and just party. After everything came crashing down on him and failed, he decided to go back to his father.

His words to his father were ones of great humility and remorse. He knew he messed up badly and was now unworthy of any type of love from his father.

People often state that they are sorry for something wrong they did once they are caught. Very few people come up and admit doing wrong before being caught. This goes for both believers and non-believers. Most people hope to never get caught for the wrong that they did.

Once they get caught and repent of the wrong, it is usually more of a being sorry at being caught, not for what was done wrong.

The boy in the story realized he messed up so bad that his father would have the right to disown him entirely. Yet, the father showed great love to him and accepted him back.

As a believer that is human, every person makes mistakes and sins against God at times. Every time you sin, you must look at that sin as so great that God has the right to disown you and punish you. Do not think of the sin as some little thing, it carries the punishment of a death sentence.

Repent of the sin with the mind that God hates that sin. Know that you do not deserve anything from God. This is true remorse for the sin.

Just like the father in the story, God will open His arms and accept you back with great love. God wants to forgive you. God wants to love you and have a relationship with you.

I pray today that you will turn to God and away from sin; that you will repent of every sin; that you will know the love and forgiveness God has for you; and that you will give your life to serve God.