Charles Stanley's Devotional: Submit to God's Vision (Hebrews 13:20-21)

By Michael Youssef - Leading The Way On January 5, 2014

We often claim that we want God's vision and we want God to use us, but in reality we mean this only on our terms. Our words loudly profess, "Here I am, Lord. Use me however you want." But our hearts whisper, "Lord, I want to serve You, but only if it means working on this project or serving in that location. I definitely don't want to witness to this particular person or to that particular group."

No biblical example better reflects this attitude than Jonah. In this book of Scripture, we see a man who had served God faithfully in the past, but resisted God's call when it became less comfortable: "The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: 'Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.' But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish" (Jonah 1:1-3).

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Jonah's call to witness to the Ninevites was no easy task. These were not peaceful, easygoing pagans. This large city was the capital of the ancient Assyrian empire, a people known for their violence and cruelty. Jonah quickly forgot about the sovereignty and providence of God, and caved into his own panic and fears.

Yet, the Scriptures tell us, "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord. . . . But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God" (2 Timothy 1:7, 8).

It is easy to do God's work when the recipient is someone we care for-but what happens when God wants us to minister to someone who is offensive, obnoxious, or condescending?

Jonah's response to God's vision for his life was one of rebellion and resistance. Instead of heading for Nineveh, he ran for Tarshish. Instead of obedience, he chose to flee from God and from His call.

Has God given you a vision that you don't like or that you are running from right now? Are you on your way to Nineveh-or have you boarded the ship for Tarshish?

Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your vision for my life. Grant me a spirit of obedience. Protect me from ignoring Your voice out of fear, embarrassment, or even disdain. Forgive me for the times I already have ignored Your call. Grant me a willing spirit to fully submit to and fulfill Your vision for my life. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"May the God of peace . . . equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen" (Hebrews 13:20-21).

©2014Leading The Way 



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