Read the “0924 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.” (Jonah 1:1-3)
Good morning. When the Lord calls you to do something, do you go and do it? Do you run the other way? Maybe you don’t know where such an idea came from: how could you even think something like that. It’s really not your thing anyway. Do you hold a grudge, or maybe are a Calvinist: if they are going to be saved, God will save them; if they are meant to be lost, God will not save them. What does the Bible say?
“God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19)
“For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” (Romans 11:29)
Let me give you four excuses that we come up with to run from God.
1) Fear – You Don’t Know The Lord
Jesus warns us in Matthew chapter 7…
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21-23)
What a shame to have all your works judged and rejected, and then you are cast into hell because the Lord did not know you. Ephesians 2:8-9 says…
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
The Lord is everywhere, so where are you going to run to?
But even after you receive Jesus, you may still be hesitant to obey the Lord’s will for your life.
2) You Think You Can’t Do What God Wants You To Do.
And you would be somewhat right. Jesus said that without Him, we could do nothing. But when we got saved we received power: the power of the Holy Spirit…
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
The Bible tells us in Hebrews chapter 13…
“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:21)
Romans chapter 4 gives us the example of Abraham…
“(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.” (Romans 4:17-22)
[AND] “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ…” (Philippians 1:6)
Although knowing that God wants to complete the good work He started in you. And knowing that…
“There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 16:25)
3) You Want To Do Your Own Thing.
We all want to do our own thing. We tell God that it’s okay, I can handle this. We attack the task in our own strength and fall flat on our face. But the prophet Isaiah said…
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities. But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.” (Isaiah 64:6-8)
We are being molded to be like Jesus and Jesus came to do His Father’s will. If we do our own will, or our own thing, it is sin. Romans 8:28 tells us that…
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Doing our own thing leads to destruction, and not good. The only other reason you may have is like Jonah…
4) Like Jonah, You Have A Grudge Against The People And Want To See Them Destroyed.
These were the Assyrians. They were the first terrorists. They could be compared to ISIS today. We know the atrocities and the merciless deeds inflicted on others. We see the news, pictures on social media, even in the papers. Here is a report from one of the Assyrian generals…
“I destroyed, I demolished, I burned. I took their warriors prisoner and impaled them on stakes before their cities. …flayed the nobles, as many as had rebelled, and spread their skins out on the piles [of dead corpses]… many of the captives I burned in a fire. Many I took alive; from some I cut off their hands to the write, from other I cut off their noses, ears and fingers; I put out the eyes of many of the soldiers.”
“I slew two hundred and sixty fighting men; I cut off their heads and made pyramids thereof. I slew one of every two. I built a wall before the great gates of the city; I flayed the chief men of the rebels, and I covered the wall with their skins. Some of them were enclosed alive in the bricks of the wall, some of them were crucified on stakes along the wall; I caused a great multitude of them to be flayed in my presence, and I covered the wall with their skins. I gathered together the heads in the form of crowns, and their pierced bodies in the form of garlands.”
No wonder Jonah hated these people.
“And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not. But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live. Then said the LORD, Doest thou well to be angry?” (Jonah 3:10-4:4)
So what should be our attitude towards our enemies?
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:43-45)
So why are you running from God? He only wants what is best for you. And where are you going to run to: how far will you get?
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.” (Jeremiah 29:11-14)
Do you well to be angry?
Posted in Devotions by Pastor Ted Stahl with no comments yet.