We've just returned from nine wonderful days of traveling. We took a gazillion pictures and I'll be posting them soon (with the teens help, of course!) So today, I'm posting a devotional that has to do with a trip we had planned to take this summer.
"But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD." Jonah 1: 3
This summer we had greatly anticipated a trip of nine days of no lessons or appointments, just Grandma's country cooking, Grandpa's garden fresh fruits and vegetables, tender sister-in-law conversations and wee cousins squealing and playing - It WAS going to be splendid. But when our attitudes, actions and reactions were self centered, self serving and self loving, the trip was cancelled. There were heart issues that needed to be dealt with and not swept under the rug in order to spend time at a mini-family reunion of sorts. Our family union was not intact. Staying home purposefully was painful. I wanted to go. While unpacking, the Lord gently reminded me that I was like Jonah - in action - but not of God. There was nothing wrong with the trip we had planned; but ignoring actions that did not reflect Him needed attention. I could not show up and answer, "I'm fine" when my own actions reflected otherwise. So the crisis came: do I take time to mend my fellowship with the Lord? Do I seek family unity? Or do I say, "Get in the car and hush till we arrive and then I'm going to eat fresh figs and sit on the porch swing!" My family would have seen that I had seaweed wrapped tightly around my head had we gone on the trip.
God told Jonah to go to Ninevah. Jonah was on the go all right; but straight to the belly of a fish - his own self willed trip. God used this time when Jonah's home was decorated with fish scales to do a heart change. In Jonah chapter 3, he goes where God wanted him to go. Our family needed some time at home (or in the belly of a fish) to allow the Lord to heal our hearts. Are you like us? Are "things" being swept under the rug in order to go out and continue going your own ways? If God is prompting your heart, seek Him, ask Him to reveal any thing that is not pleasing Him:
Lord, I pray when You speak, help me not to cry "Oh, no!"
Help me Lord to be willing to go where You want me to go
Give me wisdom Lord to discern and then do Your will
Clearly tell me to launch out or lead me to be still
Lord, with You alone, unite my heart
Before I get busy and just "anything" start
I want to do Your will, Your way
Help me Lord, day by day. Amen
Like Jonah, going our own way and doing our own thing will lead us to feeling like we are drowning in the deep (Jonah 2:5). God wants to accomplish great works through you. Allow Him to do a work in your heart by asking:
Lord, am I honoring you with my attitude?
Lord, am I honoring you with my actions?
Lord, am I honoring you with my reactions?
Lord, are my activities honoring Your will or mine?
He has Kingdom work for you to do, join Him!