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Devotionals

God's Will - Do Not Run From the Call of God

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God's Will for You Today, Part Five Do Not Run From the Call of God!

 

1Thesselonians 5: 20 - do not treat prophecies with contempt.

We often lament our seeming inability to discern the will of God for our lives. We can find ourselves facing life changing decisions and seeking the will of God only to hear nothing. Too often, we have decided and then seek "confirmation" as opposed to seeking the will of God before making decisions. The bible is filled with direction on the will of God but nowhere does it seem clearer then in Paul's closing remarks to the Church at Thessalonica (1st Epistle). As the Apostle Paul is signing off his letter, he provides seven instructions which he refers to as, "God's will for you in Christ Jesus." Seven of course is God's number of perfection and each of these imperatives are given their own separate verse, even though they are contained within only two sentences. No matter what circumstance you may face in your life, you can match it up with these seven imperatives to discover the will of God for you in Christ Jesus!

The beauty of God's Word is its transcendent value. What was written so many centuries ago is still relevant today. What the context was centuries ago can be applied to varied circumstances that exist today. Such is the case when we consider God's Will for our lives when it comes to our attitude toward His word. The context which Paul is writing from probably relates prophecy to the gift of prophecy, which is a temporary gift allowing a direct word from God to His people. Many in the early days were abusive toward these gifts and proclaimed special lines of communication to God. Paul was probably seeking to reprimand and remind the church at Thessalonica that they need to be very careful when it comes to claiming what is from God and what is not. Centuries later however, the core message is still an important part of the will of God for your life today.

 

Too often I hear the lament that God is not speaking into the lives of Christians. They have trouble discerning the will of God. They claim that the opportunities others have do not open up for them. Let God be true and every man a liar (Romans 3:4)! More often than not we have had a word spoken into our lives and have chosen instead the path of Jonah. The prophet Jonah was given specific instructions from God to go and preach against the great city of Nineveh. The city of Nineveh was a wicked city and Jonah decided that he would not listen to the call of God:

 

But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD. Jonah 1: 3

 

Can you imagine? Running away from the will of God? How many of us can relate to Jonah though? I would guess quite a few. But as we see from Jonah's story, we will never truly find peace running away from the will of God. Jonah would find the boat he was in near destruction due to a violent storm. He knew the calamity was his fault for disobeying God and his shipmates threw Jonah into the sea to calm the wrath of God. God provided for Jonah however and he spent three days in the belly of a great fish. There Jonah repented toward God and was given another chance to follow the His will. He preached the coming wrath of God to Nineveh and they repented.

 

Jonah must have been dumbfounded. Relying on his own strength, he never envisioned such a wicked city repenting and instead ran away from the will of God. Now that he was given a second chance he discovered that God always knows better! But this was still not enough for Jonah. He became bitter and angry at the compassion the Lord showed in sparing Nineveh. The response from the Lord is something we all still need to remember today:

 

But the LORD replied, "Have you any right to be angry?" Jonah 4: 4

 

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