Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Running From Obedience

“Running From Obedience”
By Zach Wood
Jonah 1:1-3 NLT
The Lord gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai: “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.”  But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the Lord by sailing to Tarshish.

Imagine you are watching the World Series.  There are 2 outs and the score is tied.  This is so intense and everyone is on the edge of their seats waiting to see what happens at this crucial moment.  The batter swings and there’s 1 strike.  The batter swings again and now 2 strikes.  The batter swings for the third time and cracks the ball way out into the outfield.  But, what if the batter then starts running toward third plate?  Could you imagine how the players and fans would react?  They’d all be yelling “You’re running the wrong way!”  Not only would the runner look foolish, but this choice would not win the game. 

Now imagine a basketball player getting the ball inbounds and he starts going down the wrong side of the court.  He goes up for lay-up and he scores…..for the other team!  The player would also look foolish.  Why? Because the player didn’t do what he or she was told to do!  The player ran the wrong way.

Now, if we were watching these games on TV, we would drop our jaws and open our eyes wide and shout, “What were you thinking??”  Who would be that foolish?  Who would jeopardize a game like that and be so careless and do the wrong thing intentionally? 

These things would be foolish of course, but before we point our fingers in judgment, don’t we do the same thing?  I have read the Jonah story many times and I think to myself why he would flee like that?  And then I look at my own life and I see so often how many times I have disobeyed God and fled from His commands.  He has asked me to do so many things in life and I have disobeyed Him a lot and done my own thing.  I ran my own way and I paid the price.  Jonah ran and he sure paid the price for what he did.  The Lord let him run and let him suffer the consequences. 

Aren’t we so like Jonah?  What are we running away from?  Are we running away from a conflict we need to address?  Are we running away from a marriage that we should stay and work out?  Are we running away from a relationship with a friend that we need to sort out?  Are we running away from a choice at work that we need to be strong about making? 

What are you running away from right now that you need to face?  What is God calling to do that you are intentionally going the opposite way?  Obedience is always the most successful way.  

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