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Friday, February 15, 2019

Running from God's Calling (Jonah Bible Study by Priscilla Shirer)

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Our second week in our Bible study on Jonah by Priscilla Shirer focuses on running from God's calling.  Here are a few highlights from the week:

Delayed obedience is disobedience.
There is no gray area in obeying God's will either, you know.  When God speaks or allows you to see His hand, giving you the opportunity to participate in His purposes, you don't have an array of options to choose from on how you will respond.  It's clear-cut, plain and simple . . . black and white.  You can either choose to obey or choose to disobey.  No neutral ground.  Choosing to "do nothing" is really a decision to delay obedience - and the word for delayed obedience?  Disobedience. - Priscilla Shirer

Something else Priscilla brought to my attention this week is how easy it is to get away with disobedience when it is internal.  It's not as easy to disobey when others can see our calling and can see our response.  When we "run away" in our hearts where others can't see open disobedience, it is easier for us to justify our actions and pretend that we are living in obedience.

Sometimes we justify our response to run away or ignore a calling because it seems to be in direct conflict with an area in our lives where we have pledged our worldly allegiance.  This is when we must ask ourselves whether our true allegiance lies with God or with something else.
A way to determine where our allegiance lies is to consider how we respond to a divine intervention.  Will we go with God even when He is calling us to our Nineveh, even if Nineveh goes against everything we thought we'd be doing?  Sometimes heeding divine intervention requires breaking with that to which we have pledged our allegiance. - Priscilla Shirer
Stepping further and further away from God's calling on our lives only takes us further and further from him.  In the same way that a lie ends up entangling us in another lie and another and another, so running from God's calling takes us further and further away from His blessing on our lives.
The decisions you are making today will impact your tomorrows.  How you choose to respond to God's leading right now will determine how your future unfolds.  Every "David" will end up in a web of deception.   Every prodigal will find himself in a pigsty, and every "Jonah" will look up and see storm clouds gathering.  It's only a matter of time. - Priscilla Shirer
It is interesting how we can be asleep spiritually in the middle of a storm and not even realize it (like Jonah on the ship) until we are awakened by a storm.  Thank God for the storm.

We can make a big mess out of our lives, but there is good news.  God can take our mess and make something beautiful from it.  Our lives might not have been what God had originally intended, but God can take the messed up, broken pieces and put them together into a beautiful tapestry that will bless others.  It is never too late to step back into the realm of obedience and allow God to use you in mighty ways. 
God's good at taking our messes, our leftovers, and doing something good with them.  Parts of all of our lives we'd just as soon forget, yet in the hands of a Master, our mess can become the greatest miracle of all.  He has a way of chopping, dicing, and reconfiguring the parts that we thought were of no use.  He's got a knack for pouring on His Spirit and sprinkling on a bit of grace and mercy.  Then, voila!  Fresh out of the oven of a trial or two, there's something delicious from you life that you never thought possible. - Priscilla Shirer

You'll find all my posts about this Bible study here.

 You can get Jonah:  Navigating a Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer here.
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