I have often wondered if I have some how missed God’s plan for my life…if I took a wrong turn and ended up some place completely different from where God intended. Is that possible? Maybe that is absolute arrogance…to think that I could mess up or alter the plans of an almighty God. Still, I wonder. Will I get to heaven and find out that I lived in mediocrity while God had these grandiose plans for me?
I have a great amount of respect for Abraham…for Noah…for the disciples…for those who dropped everything when God called. I long to be that way…truly, I do. I desire to be the no-questions-asked-follow-wherever-He-leads kind of girl. Yet…I often find myself going the way of Jonah.
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.” – Jonah 1:1-2 NIV
That seems pretty clear to me. The Lord told Jonah where to go, what to do and why to do it. That is far more information than others in the Bible were given. So, Jonah packed up all he had and did as the Lord commanded…well, not exactly.
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 NIV
Jonah had no desire to do what was being asked of him. My first reaction is to laugh…to laugh at the idea that Jonah thought he could run from God. I have to wonder what Jonah was thinking. Did he think that God would give up and give the job to someone else? Did he think that God would not care enough to chase him?
Oh, God definitely cared…
Then the LORD sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. – Jonah 1:4 NIV
Three thoughts came to me as I thought about Jonah’s disobedience.
- He went down to Joppa…Now, I realize that this is referring to the fact that Joppa was geographically to the south. Yet, I couldn’t help but think that disobedience always causes us to descend. We are told that His ways are higher than our ways. So, any time that we deviate from His plans for us, we are taking the low road.
- After paying the fair…Disobedience always costs us something. For me…it is usually peace of mind…contentment. God loves us enough to not allow us to enjoy our season of disobedience.
- Then the Lord sent a great wind…The Lord pursues us. Ah, this is my favorite. When we run…He follows. He loves us with an everlasting love.
So…back to my original question. Can I miss out on God’s plan for me? I’m still torn. I do believe that, through disobedience or fear or both, we can choose to live in mediocrity. We can choose to take the low road.
However, I once heard someone say that God’s calling on your life is irrevocable. There is no plan B. God has plans that He has made for each of us. In Believing God, Beth Moore points out that although David sinned greatly with Bathsheba…the calling on his life was still the same. Though Abraham sinned with Hagar…the calling on his life was still the same. God’s plans do not change according to our behavior.
I don’t know…and, because I don’t know, I’m desperate to be obedient. I don’t want to miss out on what God has planned for my life. I don’t want to forfeit the joy that comes with fulfilling my calling in Christ…whatever that may be. And, if I attempt to flee, I am thankful that God cares enough to send a great wind to rock my world.