Friday, January 24, 2014

Get UP!

When God told Jonah to go to Nineveh...he ran. Plain and simple, he ran. Oh, that was in the opposite direction by the way. Jonah did not do what God told him to first. How often have I been guilty of that, too! Yes, just a week ago even! But thankfully, God is a God of second chances and just like Jonah, I was told A SECOND TIME to go. And this time I got up and went...though I hesitated even then!

The Lord gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai: “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.” ~Jonah 1:1, NLT

Many times we have that little hint of an idea that we need to do something important. Go see that person who has no family. Take a meal to someone who is sick. Speak up and encourage that person who just mentioned the difficulties they are having. But we hesitate. We second guess. Then ultimately, we talk ourselves out of doing what we know in our hearts that we should have done. And when that happens, instantly we feel guilt, remorse, shame.

Let me encourage you today, if you have that little "inkling" of an idea that you need to do something...GET UP! Go do it. I promise that once you do, you will feel much better. And frankly, sometimes we go with a bad attitude. Let me tell you, your attitude will not stop a move of God! God has plans and nothing or no one will get in His way. So, if He gives you a task, best to get up and go do it.

Jonah didn't get up and go. Well, he did but in the wrong direction and with a bad attitude. Before he knew it, he was in the middle of a storm at sea, then being thrown into the sea, and then being swallowed by a great big fish! Talk about having a bad day!
"Throw me into the sea,” Jonah said, “and it will become calm again. I know that this terrible storm is all my fault.” .....  Then the sailors picked Jonah up and threw him into the raging sea, and the storm stopped at once! The sailors were awestruck by the Lord’s great power, and they offered him a sacrifice and vowed to serve him. Now the Lord had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights. ~ Jonah 1:12, 15-17, NLT
Jonah spent three days and nights in the belly of this great fish (See Jonah chapter 1). I guess he had a lot of time to think about what he didn't do. But it took him three days to figure that out. And I just wonder where the fish got its GPS coordinates, because when it spit Jonah out onto dry land, he was right where he needed to be! Where God told him to go in the first place!

Then the Lord ordered the fish to spit Jonah out onto the beach. ~Jonah 2:10

So, here is Jonah, alive, on dry land, and God gives him the same message a second time. So Jonah got up and went. My point is that it is very important to do what God tells you to do. Whether it is doing something, saying something, or whatever it is, it is very important that you do it.
Then the Lord spoke to Jonah a second time: “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh, and deliver the message I have given you.” This time Jonah obeyed the Lord’s command and went to Nineveh, a city so large that it took three days to see it all. On the day Jonah entered the city, he shouted to the crowds: “Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed!” The people of Nineveh believed God’s message, and from the greatest to the least, they declared a fast and put on burlap to show their sorrow. ~Jonah 3:1-5
We were once stopped at a stop light and a couple were standing there begging for money. My husband gave them some and talked to them a bit. But I felt a strong nudge to get off the motorcycle and talk to the lady standing with her husband. And I hesitated. As we rode away, my seat got hot. I got a very strong impression that I had missed an opportunity. So as we were getting onto the highway, I motioned for my husband to get off at the next exit, which circled back around to where we came from. I made him take me back so that I could speak with that lady. The blessing I got was indescribable.

It's not about getting a blessing, but rather about being obedient to what the Holy Spirit tells you to do. I mentioned above about not doing what I was told to do even just a week ago. One would think that I would have learned by now. Do we ever really? That is why I'm so glad that God is the God of second chances, third chance, however many it takes for me to finally "get it." However, there are some who never do, and eventually God says, "Okay that's enough" and takes measures for  judgment, as He was preparing to do on Nineveh. That's why He sent Jonah, to give them one more chance. And it worked.

When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened. ~Jonah 3:10

It doesn't always go smoothly, nor does it always turn out for the good. Many times people are given the Word from God and they don't listen. They don't turn to Him. And eventually it catches up with them. By then, it's too late. Don't be one of those. When you know God has given you a message, or an order, Get UP! Go! Do what you've been commissioned to do. I guarantee that you will feel a whole lot better. And things still may not work out as you had hoped, but at least you did what God told you to do. That's all you are required to do (Ezekiel 3:16-20). Be obedient. God will take care of the rest. He promises that.


Karla Akins said...

Amen! Preach it, Sista!

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