“The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”
There seems to be a common misconception today among many of us who consider ourselves followers of Jesus, that if He is truly calling us to do something we will be excited to follow His plan. While I believe this should generally be the case, I am realizing more and more that God does not always call us to do things that we are excited about. He very well may call us to do things that take us out (maybe far out) of our comfort zone, so that we will rely on Him. The question then becomes, when we don’t want to follow God’s direction, when we aren’t necessarily “feeling it” will we still be obedient and do what He has asked of us?
A great example of this is the prophet Jonah. In the book of Jonah we read about how God told Jonah in no uncertain terms that he was to go to Nineveh (the capital of the Assyrian Empire – Israel’s enemies) and proclaim the message God had given him. Jonah; however, while clearly understanding what God wanted him to do, wasn’t exactly “feeling it.” Jonah was actually so opposed to doing what God had asked of him that he got up and literally went in the opposite direction of where God had told him to go. Now, fast forward to Jonah chapter 3. After being tossed out of a ship and spending three days and nights in the belly of a great fish, Jonah finally decided to obey God. While still less than excited about his mission, he obeyed and God used the message that Jonah shared to reach the people of Nineveh.
Also, consider Jesus himself. While Jesus undoubtedly spent His life here on earth carrying out the will of the Father, just prior to his arrest and crucifixion, we see even Him, in his humanity, struggling with carrying out God’s will. While recently reading in the book of Luke, I was struck by this picture; I’m actually not sure why it had never stood out to me more so before. In Luke 22:42 (NASB) Jesus says “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” So, while in his humanity Jesus did not want to take on the suffering of mankind, He willingly submitted to the Father and carried out His will. Praise Him that He did!
Is God calling you to do something today that you aren’t necessarily excited about? Perhaps it is something so far out of your comfort zone that you get a knot in your stomach when you think of going down that road. Whatever it is, if God is calling you to do something, even something that you don’t want to do, or are perhaps afraid to do, will you be obedient? What might God do in and through you if you choose to obey even when you aren’t “feeling it?” What might you miss out on if you choose not to follow?
I love the stories from the Bible you pointed out on this topic. But, we also miss out on blessings in our own lives when we choose not to obey. Luke 11:28 says, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” By choosing not to obey, we don’t even give God a chance to bless us! Great topic!
Kristen, Thanks so much for sharing your comment. “By choosing not to obey, we don’t even give God a change to bless us,” so true! Great thought to reflect on. Thanks again for sharing!