4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
To know the sovereignty, holiness, goodness, righteousness, and finality of God's word should be enough to make anyone want to do all He says. However, it is not always so.
God says obedience is better than sacrifice.
The word needs to be walked in. The words need to be walked in.
I got a message in my e-mail inbox with the subject: Jonah
I'm sharing it with you:
Jonah is a classic story of a man who ran from God because his personal desires became more important than God’s will for his life. Our Father pursues us with tender mercies as well as harsh discipline. Our Lord’s discipline is never because of anger, but it is because He longs to grace us with His will and lead us to His blessings.
As Jonah realized, being in the belly of the whale in the midst of disobedience will help one think clearly about running from God. Jonah 2:2 says, He said: ‘In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help… ’
If they’re smart, people who run from God and see their lives crushed will cry out to God no matter how bad their situation may become. Jonah was in the whale because God wanted to get his attention.
If you are a child of God and running from what you know is God’s will, God may arrange an impossible situation that will cause you to cry out in your distress.
You would think God would tell Jonah to “stick it.” I would! But the greatest thing about our Father is His desire to always answer us when we turn and cry out to Him.
Can you imagine that? God’s incredible love caused Jonah to say of Him, You brought my life up from the pit, O Lord my God.” (Jonah 2:6)
I don’t know where you are now. I hope you aren’t running from what you know your Father wants you to do. If you are, all it takes is for you to say, Father, help me. A loving God will be there in your most painful circumstances. Yes, God put Jonah in the belly of the whale, and yes, God has you in your out-of-control situation. But, He has the pressure on you to get your attention so that you will cry out to Him once again.
Jonah tells us the root of his problem: Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. (Jonah 2:8) We have to unpack this verse next time because it is at the root of all our rebellion and running from the true Lover of our soul.
Blessings are on the way, no matter what pressure you are under, but only if you “cry out” to Jesus.
Oh Lord, do what is necessary to forsake my idols, that I might know the glory of Your grace.
A lesson for the day: God provides His word because of love and the volition of submission to Him prevents admonition and chastisement, and even those are also signs of God's love.