Right now I’m feeling a bit like Jonah the Prophet.
I received another email from my brother in Christ exhorting me and others to step into the obvious leadership vacuum that is our pro-life/family movement. I cannot think of anything I want to do less than that. I don’t even want to run for the school board but I feel as though God is challenging me to put my life on the line the way I am asking others.
And then this email comes along:
I see so much potential amongst you all to make a huge difference/impact if somehow the powerful attributes, Christian maturity and national level megaphones you all have could come together with similar objectives, a focus on the problem and in developing strategies and solutions to help turn the poor state of affairs of the Evangelical cause!
Tonight on my blog I’m going to publish the whole email I received from Bro David for all to read, but the above paragraph really spoke to me because I believe God has been urging me along this “right way.”
The “ready way” for me is to continue writing, teaching, and being involved somewhat locally, but that is not why God has allowed me and the others to which David refers to find favor amongst many in the media and evangelical circles.
Alas, like Jonah we must go to Nineveh.
“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. 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 1:1-3)
What do I mean by “the ready ways is not always the right way”? It comes from Matthew Henry’s commentary on Jonah 1:
“It is sad to think how much sin is committed in great cities. Their wickedness, as that of Nineveh, is a bold and open affront to God. Jonah must go at once to Nineveh, and there, on the spot, cry against the wickedness of it. Jonah would not go. Probably there are few among us who would not have tried to decline such a mission. Providence seemed to give him an opportunity to escape; we may be out of the way of duty, and yet may 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.”
It is so easy to get on the boat to Tarshish; there is plenty of seating and the price is right and yet we know we are sailing away from God.
Why do I do that?
It is because of fear, a fear that is grounded in not trusting God. It is the fear that kept the eleven disciples in the boat when Peter got out and walked on the water. My fear, my lack of trusting God, has me buying a ticket to Tarshish instead of speeding my way to Nineveh.
Oh to be like the Apostle Paul!
“Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.” (Acts 16:6-10)
“…immediately we sought to go…”
That is what it is like “to have the Spirit of the Lord to bring every thought within us into obedience.” The call comes and you go.
The call comes and you leave Ur and head to you do not know where but as Abram you trust God.
The call comes and you leave your family in Midian and like Moses go and confront Pharaoh.
The call comes and you leave out of hiding in the winepress and like Gideon go lead 300 valiant Israelites against the Midianite army.
The call comes and you leave the plow and follow Elijah to take upon yourself the mantle and willingly sacrifice from your own herd and feed the people and then leave to be God’s servant.
The call comes and like Isaiah the Prophet you respond:
“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’” (Isaiah 6:8)
Yes Jesus, I am your man, send me!
Why have I never said that?
It is because I usually take the ready way.
I need to take the right way.
Please pray for me this weekend that I will take the right way.
And please remember to go to church on Sunday.
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Copyright © 2010 David Jeffers
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