by: Timothy Vazquez
Jonah 1:3 (NLT) But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the Lord by sailing to Tarshish.
Have you ever gone in the opposite direction of where the Lord was leading you to go? Knowing human nature, the answer is most probably, "yes." We do that for many reasons. We may go in the opposite direction because we want to do something that the Lord will not be pleased with. We may go in the opposite direction of where He leads us because we are afraid of where He might take us. We may go in the opposite direction because we don't think that we are ready for God's will in our lives. Whatever the reason, going in the opposite direction of where the Lord is telling us to go is the same as running away from God.
In Jonah's case, he was running in the opposite direction because he knew about God's rich mercy, and he didn't want the people of Nineveh to be shown mercy because of the way that they had been treating God's people. He knew that if he went where the Lord told him to go to do what the Lord told him to do, there would be a possibility that the people of Nineveh would turn to the Lord and then the Lord would have mercy on them. So he ran in the opposite direction. It is kind of humorous to think that Jonah thought that he could get away from God by buying a ticket to get on a boat that was heading away from where God wanted him to go. What was he thinking? He himself admitted later on that God was the God who made the heavens and the seas. He said this while attempting to escape from God by traveling on the sea that the Lord created. How silly...but also how common. If you take a moment to look back on your life, you will find times when it was you "buying that ticket" to get away from God. You then find out the same things that Jonah found out: you cannot run from God.
Running from God leads to nothing good because only He knows what the best path for your life is. On top of that, when you run from God, it puts you at risk to do whatever comes into your mind to do and if you haven't figured it out already, let it be clear that doing whatever comes into your own mind to do always leads to trouble, heartache and pain. There is only one way to go through life's journey safely and securely and that is by going in the direction that the Lord leads you to go. How do you do that, you may ask? You do it by abiding in Christ and by Him abiding in you. He then will lead you and guide you in the way that you should go. When He does lead you, follow His lead without question so that you can avoid the nasty turns that we find ourselves on when we run from God. Don't run from God. It is impossible to do but it is also the wrong thing to try to do. Follow the Lord's lead and head into the beauty of His perfect will for you.
Pastor Joey Vazquez