so you messed up?
you knew what to do and chose not to do it?
you decided to follow your own advice? (really? you thought you knew best?)
you thought you knew better than god?(ha ha ha that one does make me laugh)
or maybe you chose to only partly follow god's program and then once you turned to your own decisions the plan went south?
well my friends-i today am thankful that we serve a god of second chances.
heck, even third, fourth and i stopped counting at 1 million- chances.
looking at the well known bible story of jonah and the whale we can see how not following god's commands will destroy us--when left to our own vices, we do not have all the answers.
we were created for our god's glory.
and our creator loves us.
god wants the best for us.
but he gives us the choice everyday as to whether we will follow him or turn away.
let's recap jonah's "tale"-(lol no pun intended, but do you get it, "tale"--as in the tail on the whale)
JOnah was given a command from god--
go to NINEVEH and preach the great commission, to tell them God loves them.
the people there were sinning,
they didn't know right from wrong.
god was going to destroy the city if they did not turn to him.
and god hand picked jonah to deliver the message.
jonah did not like his mission-
he chose not to accept it.
the ninevites were a ruthless and warlike nation that killed men such as jonah.
the ninevites were enemies of israel.
and here comes the part we all know-
so jonah decided to run,
run from god's directive.
he spent three days in the belly of a whale and here was his prayer once he realized his disobedience:
“Those who cling to worthless idols
turn away from God’s love for them.
But I, with shouts of grateful praise,
will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’”
At this point jonah was partly following god, he still had to follow through and go to nineveh and give the people god's message, he still had the choice to be fully obedient. (and in case you haven't read the whole story, he did follow through and his message saved the people because they turned from their wickedness to god)
and this is where i was wanting to get to in my story-
god reminded me this week that when i choose to only partly follow his instructions that i am disobedient.
what? but i am doing most of what you say God--
"most of" is not "all".
do you want to have most of your heart healthy and FUNCTIONING or all?
when you are putting together a bookshelf, to be successful, should you follow most of the instructions or all?
do you want to be paid for most of your time at work or all????
god wants all of you.
all of your heart,
all of your obedience.
proverbs 6:23 tells us that truth is a bright beam of light, shining into every area of our life, instructing and correcting us to discover the ways to godly living.
but again--it is still up to us to follow truth or run from it.
Like jonah, i have run from god and been in the "belly of the whale" too (not literally, lol, but still in a place of disgust and self inflicted torment).
just as god gave jonah a second chance, he did the same for me.
no, i haven't saved a nation from imminent destruction, god handed down judgement, and death,
my mission isn't the same as jonah's.
my mission isn't the same as yours.
but i will work each day to fulfill the calling that god has placed on me and bring him glory.
will i be perfect?
will i sometimes be an idiot and think i know best?
but, will my god forgive?
yes, yes, yes--a million times yes.
my goal when i wake up tomorrow is not to get trapped in that whales belly.
so today, i must fix my eyes on jesus and his word.
that way i am strengthened to resist my own, rebecca knows best ideas,
and bring myself into full obedience to god.
plus, i would rather have a three day vacation on dry land and not in the stomach bile of a sea creature!