Are You Running From God?

The Prophet Jonah, as depicted by Michelangelo...Image via Wikipedia

'...the word...came to Jonah the second time...'
Jonah 3:1

Jonah did some serious praying in the whale's belly; he repented of his prejudice and learned to love people he despised. It was there he became willing to preach things people don't like to hear. And you'll notice something else. God didn't intervene until he repented. Most of us want God to move before we've moved. No, Jonah acted, then God responded; He commanded the fish and it vomited Jonah up onto dry land, whereupon the runaway prophet asked for directions to Ninevah. Sometimes because of our rebellious spirit we don't get it right until the next marriage. Sometimes because of our rebellious spirit we don't get it right until we're fifty. Sometimes because of our rebellious spirit we don't overcome our addiction until later, although we could have overcome it sooner.

Like Jonah we have to go to the bottom. But whatever it takes, God will do it. You can go to Ninevah yourself, or God can take you there. But it's easier to obey the first time. Jonah's story proves that the Lord is a God of second chances. '...the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time...' (Jonah 3:1 NKJV). Good news: Even though you've run from God, made a shipwreck of your life and feel like you're drowning, God will redeem and restore you if you'll turn to Him. He will give you a second chance in your marriage, your ministry or your vocation. But there's one condition; God is not going to change His mind to accommodate what you want, so you need to change your mind and attitude and do what He says, okay?

Used with permission from UCB Word for Today. Free issues are available here for the UK and Republic of Ireland.

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Abbey said…
I didn't think we'd met, but I could have sworn you were telling my story. I couldn't get any of it right until I went down, way down, and learned exactly WHO is in charge here! The best part is that He is tireless, works incessantly, and His love knows no bounds. I am forever humbled by His Grace.

Great post, Mike!
Steve said…
We need to conform our wills to his will, not the other way round. Quite a challenge!
Mike said…
Repentance... that very hard thing to do. It takes courage to admit that you're in the wrong place and that yes, it was God's voice you heard telling you to do this or that. And it's interesting to note that you have to be the one to move first, although it's also true that God will hunt us down until we give in, that's His mercy :)
GrandmaK said…
This is a wonderful post about getting it right! To Get it right we have to actually start by saying "I'm sorry!" Repentance requires humility!!! Pride often gets in the way! I know! Thanks, Mike! CAthy
SandyCarlson said…
There is no running; God is here.
Pietro said…
He calls and welcomes us many many times, endlessly: there is no limit to His love and patience.
mary said…
This is such a helpful posting Mike.An important reminder that to keep moving in the right direction on our journey repentance is so necessary. thanks for that