"After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen" Matthew 6:9-13 KJV “
Happy New Year to all of you. I pray you had a safe holiday. Can you believe it's 2012? It just doesn't seem right to write that date on my checks. I'm not sure if I am more shocked that 2011 is gone or that I am the only person in the grocery store that still writes checks. As we start the new year, we will continue with the Lord's prayer.
When I read the next verse "Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven" I wondered how all those years of reciting this could go by and I wasn't even sure of what I was saying.
I was reading in Jonah where God called Jonah to go on an assignment for Him. Jonah wasn't so happy about this assignment so he hopped on a boat headed in the opposite direction. I believe Jonah was a man of God. I believe he wanted Gods will for his life, but I also believe this particular "assignment" that God gave to Jonah, scared the daylights out of him. Verse 3 says he went to Tarshish to flee the presence of the Lord.
How about you, are you happy about the assignment God has given you? Have you attempted to flee the presence of the Lord? It's ok, you can admit it out loud, God knows your heart anyway. From personal experience I can say I too am a Jonah. I too have been running in the opposite direction of where God is asking me to go, but my gracious God has shown me today why I run. Simply put, I don't believe Him.
Now don't freak out here, I believe God can deliver me and my circumstance, sometimes I wonder why He, the King of the universe would want to help me. Ever been there? Jonah was there, the reason he didn't want to go to Nineveh was because he was afraid of what would happen. Sure he knew the Lord could deliver him from the evil there, but he didn't believe that He would want to. It's so much easier to hop on a boat in the opposite direction right? Wrong!
Jonah 1:4 tells us that because of his disobedience, the Lord had a storm rock the boat where Jonah slept. Then it goes on to say that Jonah tells the men on the boat, who happen to be praying to other Gods mind you, that the Lord is really upset with him. Verse 15 says that once they threw him overboard, the storm stopped. But it is verse 16 that gets me, it says "then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifices to the LORD and made vows." Did you see that, Jonah's disobedience was used by God to reveal Himself to the crew on the boat. It says they all feared the Lord. Isn't that cool that God even uses our ugly to reveal His beautiful?
The last point I will make is that once Jonah admits and repents of his sin, the fish vomits him out. Can you say nasty? If you have experienced that flu that's been making its way through entire households, you can totally relate. So after a three night stay and a disgusting exit from the fish, where do you think he was? Yep, you guessed it, right back where he started. God speaks again in Jonah 3:2 "Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you." God was asking him to do the exact same "assignment" that He asked in the first place. So Jonah had a choice to make, should he believe or not, should he trust or not, and should he obey or not. I am happy to report that he chose to obey and went to Nineveh. When Jonah brought Gods message, the Ninevites believed God (Jonah 3:5) and repented.
So you see friends, His will isn't always what we expect or even want sometimes, however, it is His will. No matter how much or how far we run, we can't escape His presence (Psalm 139:7-12). Also, God has plans for you here on earth as well as in heaven if that is where you are headed. In close, I will urge you to surrender. Surrender all your ways, your plans, and your will to the One who wrote the story of your life because after all it is His will that will be done. Let's pray:
"Lord, I thank You for being God. I thank You for having a plan for my life. I thank You, God for Your will. Though sometimes it goes against anything that I perceived my comfy little life to be, I thank You for being Sovereign. Your word says that if we believe we are sinners, if we confess our sin, if we believe that Jesus is Your Son, and that He died to remove our sin, we will live for eternity with You. Thank You Father for loving us that much. Thank You for loving me, even through my disobedience, without You, I would still be in the belly of a fish. It's in Jesus name that I pray .... Amen"