Have you ever heard the still, small voice of God speaking to you but turned the other way? I confess that I have, and the outcome was not pretty! I thought I could have it my way and went about in disobedience.
In the Word of God this dirty deed of the Devil is not better illustrated than in the story of Jonah and the great fish.
Jonah 1:1 "Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. 3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord."
The Lord told Jonah to go to Ninevah and preach to the people there, but just as quickly as that Word came from God; Jonah fled "from the presence of the Lord". Satan did not want Jonah to be used by God to save anyone, so the first boat sailing out of town Jonah hopped on and took off. He wasn't about to go to Ninevah and preach! We soon see that he indeed "paid the fare" (in more ways than one) for this ship ride into disobedience. To make a long story short; God knew exactly where Jonah was so He sent a great storm to rock the ship. The crew soon figured out that the God of Heaven is trying to get Jonah's attention. They unceremoniously toss Jonah overboard and a great fish swallows him whole. Not a good day. If he had only done what the Lord told him to he would not have found himself in that predicament.
Disobedience was the first dirty deed the Devil caused in the Garden of Eden, and he is still at it today. If he can get us thinking wrong, the next step is doing wrong. He began by distorting the Word of God in the mind of Eve, turning the good Word of God into a deceitful lie.
Obedience is not a once in a while behavior either. We cannot pick and choose the days we will heed the Word of God, it is a way of life. To walk in the Christian way means to repent of our former lives and turn toward God in obedience. Once we do this we have the promise of God's mercy. Ephesians 2:4 "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
Jonah did call upon the Lord after 3 days in the belly of the great fish, and the Lord heard his cry. Through his grudging obedience not only did the men in the ship bound for Tarshish have an encounter with the Living God, but the people of Nineveh were spared as well.
Let us not be so stubborn. Perhaps we should not pray that the Lord use us, but rather that He makes us USEABLE!
Have a wonderful weekend!