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Avoidance

”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

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One day I asked Josh to take care of a responsibility in the house. Unfortunately, Josh kept putting the responsibility off, which made me in return feel frustrated. I asked him, why do you keep avoiding completing what I asked you to do, and his response was, you’re asking me to do such a messy task that I’m hoping if I don’t do it, you’ll change your mind. Sometimes in life, we feel like if we don’t do what we’ve been asked, that God is going to change his mind and possibly reassign what’s been asked of us.

It’s here in our verse for the day that we find the story of Jonah, this Prophet, who has been sent to give a message to Nineveh because of its wickedness. Instead of completing the assignment Jonah chooses to run away and head to Tarshish. One of the greatest battles is surrendering to an assignment you don’t agree with. How do you follow when you’re stuck between the battle of God’s will and your will? Jonah flees from his assignment and boards the ship thinking he’s escaped his assignment. Unfortunately, there is no way to escape what God has assigned you to. You may have moments where you’re able to avoid it but never able to escape it. A storm develops while Jonah is on the boat, which leads to the other passengers, throwing Jonah overboard. Ultimately Jonah ends up being swallowed by a big fish and finds himself in a place where he’s crying out to God for rescue and deliverance. The story is that Jonah gets delivered, goes forward and does what God tells him to do. But the question I must raise is what are you avoiding that has you swallowed up? What assignment are you avoiding because it seems so costly or difficult that you’d rather walk in disobedience? Beloved count up the cost and ask yourself how much will rejecting my assignment cost me? It may be a difficult conversation, disconnecting from things or people, walking away, and stepping out on faith, etc. Let me leave you with these impactful words from the plumber on Martin: “It may cost you a little, it may cost you a lot, but it will cost you.” Being what God has designed you to be will cost but the price has been paid, so just do it.

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