WHEN THE WRONG WAY LOOKS LIKE THE RIGHT WAY . . . LOOK UP!

When was the last time you set out in the direction of your “Tarshish,” rather than the direction God was calling you to go? I pray that today’s message will be a word of great comfort to you right where it finds you.

The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for the port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord. (Jonah 1:1-3)

Jonah was so committed to his own agenda—rather than God’s—that he hopped a ship that was headed in precisely the opposite direction from where God had called him to go. Rather than surrender his will to God’s will and go to Nineveh and preach God’s word, Jonah headed off to Tarshish to satisfy his own selfish desires. To Jonah, the wrong way looked like the right way . . . but instead of looking up at God, he looked in at himself and chose to serve the advancement of his own little kingdom rather than God’s universal kingdom.

Because we are still sinners after we are saved, we all have to struggle with this same tendency to see the wrong way as the right way. We want what we want when we want it, and often we don’t care who gets hurt along the way. So the next time the wrong way looks like the right way . . . look up!

When you are feeling short-tempered with your children, look up. When you are filled with anxiety at the office, look up. When you are growing weary and impatient with the ones you love, look up. The wrong way so often looks like the right way, simply because it is the easy way. Often it’s easy to do what we want to do, rather than what God wants us to do . . . especially when we have no interest in doing what God wants us to do!

This was the case with Jonah; he would have been much happier to see the people of Nineveh cursed and crushed under the hand of God. The last thing he wanted to do was preach to them about the way of deliverance.

There is instruction here for you and me! We must remember that God is in the habit of calling us to things we would rather not do. He knows that in doing “the hard things,” we will be conformed more and more to the likeness of Christ. No one knows more about what it is like to do the hard things in life than our Lord Jesus Christ. He left the glorious throne room of Heaven to enter this fallen and broken world. He lived and He loved and He served a people who did not receive Him . . . who did not deserve Him! And they proved that by falsely accusing Him, betraying Him, beating Him and spitting on Him, mocking Him, denying Him, and nailing Him to a dirty tree.

But the hideous betrayal wasn’t the hardest thing He had to endure; not even the unspeakable agony of crucifixion was the worst thing.

The Bible tells us that from the 6th to the 9th hour, while Jesus hung upon that cross, darkness covered the land. For the very first time in all eternity, God the Father could not look upon God the Son. It was during that time of unimaginable horror that our Savior uttered His anguished, desolate cry: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). And because of that period of time, you and I will never have to experience the unimaginable–being forsaken by God.

Jesus was forsaken for your sake and mine; if we have placed our trust in His atoning death, we will never have to experience the ultimate “hard thing” of being separated from God. So, no matter what God is calling you to deal with today, deal with it knowing that Jesus has gone before you and now goes with you.

Remember, whatever God is calling you to do, and wherever He is calling you to go, know that it is for two promised reasons: your good and His glory. So when the wrong way looks like the right way . . . look up!

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!
!

When was the last time you set out in the direction of your “Tarshish,” rather than the direction God was calling you to go? I pray that today’s message will be a word of great comfort to you right where it finds you.

The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for the port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord. (Jonah 1:1-3)

Jonah was so committed to his own agenda—rather than God’s—that he hopped a ship that was headed in precisely the opposite direction from where God had called him to go. Rather than surrender his will to God’s will and go to Nineveh and preach God’s word, Jonah headed off to Tarshish to satisfy his own selfish desires. To Jonah, the wrong way looked like the right way . . . but instead of looking up at God, he looked in at himself and chose to serve the advancement of his own little kingdom rather than God’s universal kingdom.

Because we are still sinners after we are saved, we all have to struggle with this same tendency to see the wrong way as the right way. We want what we want when we want it, and often we don’t care who gets hurt along the way. So the next time the wrong way looks like the right way . . . look up!

When you are feeling short-tempered with your children, look up. When you are filled with anxiety at the office, look up. When you are growing weary and impatient with the ones you love, look up. The wrong way so often looks like the right way, simply because it is the easy way. Often it’s easy to do what we want to do, rather than what God wants us to do . . . especially when we have no interest in doing what God wants us to do!

This was the case with Jonah; he would have been much happier to see the people of Nineveh cursed and crushed under the hand of God. The last thing he wanted to do was preach to them about the way of deliverance.

There is instruction here for you and me! We must remember that God is in the habit of calling us to things we would rather not do. He knows that in doing “the hard things,” we will be conformed more and more to the likeness of Christ. No one knows more about what it is like to do the hard things in life than our Lord Jesus Christ. He left the glorious throne room of Heaven to enter this fallen and broken world. He lived and He loved and He served a people who did not receive Him . . . who did not deserve Him! And they proved that by falsely accusing Him, betraying Him, beating Him and spitting on Him, mocking Him, denying Him, and nailing Him to a dirty tree.

But the hideous betrayal wasn’t the hardest thing He had to endure; not even the unspeakable agony of crucifixion was the worst thing.

The Bible tells us that from the 6th to the 9th hour, while Jesus hung upon that cross, darkness covered the land. For the very first time in all eternity, God the Father could not look upon God the Son. It was during that time of unimaginable horror that our Savior uttered His anguished, desolate cry: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). And because of that period of time, you and I will never have to experience the unimaginable–being forsaken by God.

Jesus was forsaken for your sake and mine; if we have placed our trust in His atoning death, we will never have to experience the ultimate “hard thing” of being separated from God. So, no matter what God is calling you to deal with today, deal with it knowing that Jesus has gone before you and now goes with you.

Remember, whatever God is calling you to do, and wherever He is calling you to go, know that it is for two promised reasons: your good and His glory. So when the wrong way looks like the right way . . . look up!

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s