I read through the book of Jonah this morning, as I prepare a devotional to share with the other humble servants who volunteer in K-Rock this weekend. Some things jumped out at me at regarding the utter simplicity of the message and thought I'd share it here as well. As always, your feedback is welcome and encouraging.
Jonah 1:1-3 Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me." But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.
The voice of the Lord in Old Testament times has been replaced in New Testament times by promptings from the Holy Spirit, which resides in all of us. More than once since coming to Christ, I’ve ignored a prompting from the Spirit and done my own thing. I rationalize it by thinking of ways that I’ve made the right decision, even though deep down I know it’s the wrong one.
I think Jonah went through the same thing. God spoke to him and put it on Jonah’s heart to do something for God that, quite frankly, Jonah didn’t think was such a cool idea. So, he rationalized in his mind and bailed on God.
What did God do? He made the path before Jonah hard to tread, extinguishing the light and closing the doors.
Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
If God’s word, or the promptings of the Holy Spirit is a light to our path, like it was for Jonah, what happens when we walk away from the light?
We end up in darkness...
Many times when I find myself in darkness, I think “Why God? Why is this?” Well, if I just think of Jonah from now on, I’ll know why that is. I ignored a prompting from the Holy Spirit and walked out of God’s light. Thankfully, I’ve yet to end up in the belly of a fish… I mean, I've been through some crazy stuff, but being vomited out a giant fish might be the grossest thing ever.
Jonah 1:15 So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging.
While Jonah was in the darkness, his personal relationships suffered. When I’m not walking in God’s light, so do mine.
Jonah 2:7-8 "When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the LORD; And my prayer went up to You, Into Your holy temple. "Those who regard worthless idols Forsake their own Mercy.”
If God is light, but I’m focused on worthless idols (work, video games, movies, Facebook, etc) and ignoring his promptings, chances are, I’m not seeing the light nor letting it light my path. But, once again, I can learn from Jonah, who realized when life gets dark, we all need light which only comes from our Lord.
God has a plan for all of us, and as we can see by Jonah’s sojourn, when we ignore his plan, we only put ourselves through needless heartache. I pray we can all focus intently on the promptings of the Holy Spirit today, and every day, so that we always walk in the light or at least never stray far from it before realizing we weren’t made to live in the darkness.