For the last several weeks, Jose, Beth, and I have been studying the book of Jonah. Priscilla Shirer has a bible study called Jonah. I remember learning about Jonah and the big fish back in preschool! I can picture the felt boards right now! Jonah definitely had his life interrupted when God called him to minister to the very people he despised.
Priscilla’s take on what a Life Interrupted looks like has really been speaking to me. I no longer see Jonah’s story as that – simply a story. There is so much more going on in those 4 chapters than I ever realized.
We all know Jonah was running. His drastic actions though make it hard for us to relate. None of us are jumping on a boat or a plane trying to hide from God. Yet all of us have something we’re hiding or running from!
There are 4 principles that we focused on this week.
Jonah 1:12 – Acknowledge Your Sin
Jonah 1:15 – Accept the Discipline
Jonah 2:2 – Ask for Forgiveness
Jonah 2:9 – Act on God’s Direction
Of those 4 principles the last one has really been weighing on me. Priscilla gives a story about her grandmother’s old toaster. Her grandma would burn herself on it nearly every time she used it. It was very old and barely worked. So she bought her grandma a new microwave! As she was getting ready to throw out the toaster oven the grandma stopped her and said – WAIT! Put it downstairs in the basement just in case. Don’t throw it away!
God has given His children so many new things to get excited about. His spirit lives in you, and the divine opportunities beckon you to complete your purpose. Along the way you may be tempted to store old habits, preferences, hindrances, and sins – just in case. Why would you hang onto anything old when the new has come? (2 Cor. 5:17). The old might be comfortable, but it’s not useful. Today is the day for us to confess and move on.
Many of us are driving down the free-way going in the wrong direction. We might be willing to admit we’re going the wrong way but we’re not ready to stop doddling, exit, and turn around. Something I never thought about is the longer I wait to exit – the more ground and time I lose. Plus I’m tired of burning my fingers on the same thing over and over again! I think it’s time to let my blisters heal!
God is willing to take the old and replace it with the grand newness of life in Him. We don’t have to go one more day or even take one more step with the shame of yesterday’s choices and unwise decisions weighing us down. He was willing to honor Jonah’s desire to yield despite past failure, and He is willing to honor ours as well.
So the question for all of us – Is any old comfort or sin keeping you from yielding to God’s Divine Intervention?