An Opportunity to Escape

The call of God on the Christian’s life can be frightening. We say we want to serve the Lord, and yet we pray “except” prayers. You know which ones I’m talking about; “Lord, I’ll do anything and go anywhere you want me to except…” You can fill in the rest.

What we don’t realize is that we when refuse His call, we are being disobedient to God. One of the most infamous acts of disobedience in the Bible is that of Jonah. God instructed Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach against the wickedness of that city. The Bible tells us:

“But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.” (Jonah 1:3)

Don’t you just love how we think we can run “from the presence of the Lord.” Don’t be too hard on Jonah, we do this every day. Whether we openly sin thinking God doesn’t see us, or we go in the opposite direction of God’s will thinking our freedom is His blessing, we fool ourselves into confusing opportunity for approval. Commenting on Jonah’s fleeing from God, Matthew Henry explains:

“Providence seemed to give him an opportunity to escape; we may be out of the way of duty, and yet meet with a favorable gale. The ready way is not always the right way. See what the best of men are, when God leaves them to themselves; and what need we have, when the word of the Lord comes to us, to have the Spirit of the Lord to bring every thought within us into obedience.”

If we were honest with ourselves, what God’s asks of us is usually outside our comfort zone, but not to the degree of unbearable discomfort. We act as though God is calling us to sacrifice much when all He wants us to do is experience the pleasure and privilege of serving Him. We pass up His blessings every day, all the while seeking them.

If ever a man lived who had the right to avoid God’s call on His life, it is the Lord Jesus Christ. God asked of Christ to sacrifice for those of whom the majority would reject His suffering on the cross. While in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus brought every thought within Him into obedience thusly:

“He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, ‘O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.’” (Matthew 26:39)

Jesus did not count it loss to serve His Father. We must not look at God’s call on our lives as something to run from but to run to. I have been guilty of coming up with reasons of why I shouldn’t serve in a certain capacity instead of coming up with a list of blessings.

The question we must ask ourselves is from what perspective are we viewing God’s calling. Do we see it as a burden or a chore, or do we see it as a gift?

Do we realize that when God calls us into service, He wants His blessings to flow through us?

Do we understand that our heavenly Father want to use us as His hands to touch others?

When it comes to serving the Lord, the old leadership adage, “Attitude determines altitude” is never truer. It’s not a head issue; it’s a heart issue:

“Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing.” (Psalm 100:2)

Beloved, always remember this: no matter where God sends you; He will meet you there.

Whatever God calls you to do; He will equip you to do it.

Whatever God has you face in His service; He will face it with you.

In Christ
Dave
Ps. 37:4

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    Copyright © 2016 David Jeffers

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