Tuesday, March 12, 2013
When God Asks Something Difficult, repost guest blogger Jean A. Sturgill
Guest Blogger Jean A. Sturgill
Christian Author and Speaker Thanks so much Jean!
Realizing Your Winning Potential
You may have heard me say that God never asks me to do anything easy. I used to drag my feet, become overwhelmed, make excuses, and even – at times – deny understanding what was being asked. Eventually, I would come around to God’s way of thinking.
When God asks you to do something difficult, how do you respond?
When I lack desire to move ahead with what God is asking, I think about Jonah. Jonah did not want to do what God asked. Instead, he ran. How often have we been like that?
Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. 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.
Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
Jonah’s running from the Lord ended in his being swallowed by a whale. Once he came to see things God’s way, God put him back on course courtesy of the whale. This time, Jonah listened. I wonder how much hardship we could avoid if we just listened?
Even when we don’t run, we can still be a lot like Moses. Remember his initial response to God?
And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.
Moses got off to a good start. He replied, “Here am I.” After he found out what God wanted, the excuses started. We could pick on Moses for making excuses, but he did do one thing right in all of that. He didn’t just refuse to act. He took those excuses to God, and God provided. We need to do that too!
Now, let’s consider what Jesus first ask of Paul.
And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
Paul responded with, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?“ Jesus told Paul to go into the city, and he would be told what to do. Sounds simple enough, right? Think again. This incident had left Paul blind. He had to be led to the city at which time Ananias restored his sight. Even as a new believer, Paul was given a challenging task.
Hopefully as you grow spiritually, you find yourself being less like Jonah and more like Paul in your response to God.
Our challenge today is to realize that God does not need us to be a part of His plan; He invites us to be a part. Each man – Jonah, Moses, and Paul - was given a challenge, and God provided for each. Whether you are a new believer or a more mature believer, you’re going to have some challenges. Remember, just as God provided for each of them, He’ll provide for you!
Jean SturgillChristian Author and Speaker
Realizing Your Winning Potential
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