Archive for November 17th, 2009

Going the Wrong Direction

November 17th, 2009

“Jonah ran away from the Lord to Tarshish.” Jonah 1:3 NIV

“Going the wrong direction will rarely be a pleasant journey or have a good result.”

My thoughts today are about “going the wrong direction.”

I think everybody must know the story of the prophet Jonah running from God and ending up in the belly of a great fish. See Jonah 1:17. Going the wrong direction will rarely if ever get you where you are meant to be, or be a pleasant journey getting there. Some wisely learn the truth of that by the painful experience of others; some of us are hardheaded enough to have to learn it for ourselves. Have you ever run from God, or run away from doing His will? That never works out well.

The New Living Translation is even plainer in its description of Jonah’s direction and intention; “Jonah went in the opposite direction in order to get away from the Lord.” He had his own independent reason for not wanting to do as the Lord directed (See Jonah 4:1-2 NIV), and his clear intention was to be anywhere except where God wanted him. See Jonah 1:10 NLT. Since Jonah did not agree with God’s will for Nineveh, he presumed the right to not participate in it. Sound like anybody you know? God will work in your ignorance of His will, but He will not indulge your independence.

No matter how hard you work or how much effort others make on your behalf, all of that will be futile when you consciously choose to go against God. See Jonah 1:13 NIV. Jonah is not the only one to ever try that; your attempt will not turn out any better than his. What would make you think that your plans are acceptable to God, or that your plans will work out well even if God is not in them? How soon will you accept that at all times God’s will is “that good and acceptable and perfect will of God”? Romans 12:1-2 NKJV. Simply put, you cannot improve on God’s will.

It is a good thing to learn that no one can save you but God, and to firmly know that He will, if you cry out to Him. Read Jonah 2:1-10 NIV. Frank Sinatra may have confidently sung “I did it my way . .” but I fear he is not the only one who has unsuccessfully tried that. Have you? How well has that worked out for you so far? “There is a way that seems right unto a man but in the end it leads to death.” Proverbs 16:25 NIV.

It has been observed that Jonah was foolish to run from a God that all of creation obeys – the wind, the storm, the fish, the vine, and the worm. Psalm 139:7-12 NLT. God is not looking for your better idea or clever option; He is asking for your trust and obedience. The mess you made will only begin to straighten out for you when you abandon your wrong direction and start running to God instead of away from Him.

My prayer for you today is: always keep your journey going where God sends you.

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