October 18 | Jonah 1:3
“But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish away from the presence of the Lord and he went down to Joppa and discovered a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and descended into it to go to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.” (Jonah 1:3)
Did you ever want to say, “No” to God? When I was in Bible College the only thing I asked the Lord not to call me to was missions, especially to China. I knew from experience I could not eat the food and live. Every time I eat Chinese food I throw it right back up.
I also thought that if I told God, “No” He had the sense of humor to send me to China. But God knows our abilities and He made me an American preacher. I am still so grateful for His infinite wisdom.
Jonah did not want to know to Nineveh. He didn’t want to chance that God would forgive the Ninevites. So he fled the opposite direction from Nineveh. But as he flees God’s will the first half of Jonah uses the word “down” four times to show his descent out of God’s presence.
When you flee God’s will for your life you get further and further from His presence. You go down into the depths of your own resources and devices instead of up into His very best for you. Disobeying God is not worth the trouble you will endure.
Action Step: Consider your plight in running from the Lord. The Hound of Heaven will not just give you up. He seeks relationship with you relentlessly. Don’t disobey God or give up on Him.
Heavenly Father, forgive me for running from you. There’s nowhere I can go where Your presence has not found me. Help me do Your will and give me the compassion You have for the people around me.