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7th October 2012
When Jonah heard the call of God to go to Nineveh, he legged it! And we can do the same, sometimes, for a variety of reasons: fear, insecurity, disappointment, confusion, hurt, lack of trust… Jonah legged it towards Tarshish, and for us, our Tarshish is whatever is in the opposite direction of God's call and will and turns us 180 degrees from him.
God might call us to do something, or we might sense him working in our lives in some way, and sometimes our response is to turn and run. Unlike Jonah, often for us it's not a physical running away; more often, it's a heart thing. When our hearts turn away from God, sometimes it's clear for all to see, with us declaring a blatant: "I'm out!" But other times, our hearts can be hard and cold but externally we go through the motions so that other people don't notice any change!
When we shut ourselves off to God's purposes and plans, often it's because we have a wrong view of God, a small and narrow view. No matter how much we want to run from God, we can't! He is everywhere. But this brings us great security, knowing that our heavenly Father will never let us go. His presence is always there to correct us, support us and bless us.
God corrected Jonah by sending a big fish; He corrected the Ninevites by sending a prophet; and He corrects us, too, because He is a good, loving Father who wants the best for His children. God corrects us because we are His sons and daughters; we are His! (In the same way that I correct my children because they're mine!)
But He is not just a loving Father who corrects, but also One who supports us – He sustains, upholds, strengthens and holds us together. God is used to holding things together: He keeps the universe going, after all! But He also knows you by name and sustains you!
God sustained Jonah in a fish! His circumstances may not have been nice, but God was still there, still holding onto him and holding him together, showing him mercy! God blesses His children too – He's a perfect Father who loves to bless us! God is good, and He wants us to experience and know His goodness to us: the ultimate blessing is that we can know God, our loving Father!
Readings: Jonah 1:1-3 and Psalm 16:11
Question: How does it bring security to you knowing that God will correct, sustain and bless you?
Next prayer meeting: Tonight, 7pm at The Hastings Centre, with Dave Holden
Posted by Santino Hamberis