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5th October 2012
Whenever I find myself running away from God, it tends to be primarily because I've failed to understand what He is like, and usually this comes about because He hasn't done something I wanted Him to do.
The English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible says that Jonah was "exceedingly displeased" by God's actions (4:1). Jonah threw a tantrum because God did the exact opposite of what Jonah wanted Him to do!
We, too, can act in some bizarre ways when God doesn't do what we want. Sometimes we can find ourselves acting like petulant children when we don't get our way! In my case, it can be about even the most ridiculous things – when God doesn't provide a parking space when I'm running late, I can easily forget that maybe I should've left the house 10 minutes earlier! But sometimes it's about more serious things too; when we cry out to God for healing, or for a wayward child, or to see our families saved, or in any painful situation, and God doesn't respond in the way we want Him to, we can find ourselves hardening our hearts to Him.
Andrew Wilson preached at Newday about a 'pocket god', who we get out at special occasions to have a chat with when we feel like it, and I have to remind myself, at times, that God is not a genie in a lamp, just waiting for me to summon Him to grant me my three wishes. Actually, the reality is that He doesn't always respond in the way we want. But the truth is that God is good. He is in control. He knows better than I do. He is my Father, who "takes great delight in me... quiets me with his love... rejoices over me with singing" and has promised that all things work together for my good!
Rather than being a genie who grants whatever foolish wish I ask for in the heat of the moment, without seeing the whole picture, God is a patient Father who sees the end from the beginning, knows me better than I know myself, and can be trusted with my life, heart, mind and soul. The antidote to being like Jonah – "exceedingly displeased" when God doesn't do what we want – is plunging ourselves deeply back into the truth of who God is and understanding that His ways are higher than our ways.
Reading: Jonah 4:1, Zephaniah 3:17, Romans 8:2
Question: How do you respond when God doesn't do what you want?
Next prayer meetings: Sunday, 7am and 7pm (with Dave Holden) at THC
Posted by Natalie Williams