Friday, January 23, 2015

God wants YOU

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Jonah 2:1-3:10

TO CHEW ON: "Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, 'Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message I tell you.'" Jonah 3:1,2

God went to great lengths to get just the person He wanted—Jonah—for the job of preaching to Nineveh. When this reluctant prophet ran the other way, God followed him. When the sailors tossed him into the sea, God protected him. From the belly of the fish, God heard him. When that fishy time-out was over, God talked to his host and the fish tossed him. Then God gave him a second chance.

I have found something similar about God's assignments. They come with a quiet but weighty persistence. My excuses don't sway Him. He just listens to them and then when I pray, Lord, give me something to do, whispers, I've already given you a job. Just go and do it.

But what if we feel we've really blown it and disqualified ourselves from ever being used by God again? Leslyn Musch reminds us we can:
"Ask God for a second chance. You may have disobeyed the Lord to the point you believe He can no longer use you. Look at Jonah! There is hope for you too. Ask God's forgiveness for your sin, submit to His will for you. Draw near to Him through worship; praise Him for His mercy, grace, and forgiveness. Tell Him you will follow Him full, and do it" - "Truth-In-Action Through Jonah," New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1199.
Are you dithering over following through on a job God has given you, hoping, perhaps, that He'll change His mind and give it to someone else? You'd better not count on that. God has amazing tenacity (as Jonah would testify). If He's picked you as the person for a job, He wants you for the job. Better to obey than to hang back and find yourself in a Jonah spot.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for second chances. But it's probably better not to need them. Help me to listen and obey when You first give me a task to do. Amen.

MORE: The secret battle
"The battle is lost or won in the secret places of the will before God, never first in the external world. The Spirit of God apprehends me and I am obliged to get alone with God and fight the battle out before Him. Until this is done, I lose every time. The battle may take one minute or a year, that will depend on me, not on God; but it must be wrestled out alone before God, and I must resolutely go through the hell of a renunciation before God. Nothing has any power over the man who has fought out the battle before God and won there" - Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, December 27th reading.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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