Thursday, November 29, 2018

When Matches Don’t Match - Martin Wiles

But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord. Jonah 1:3 NLT

Even when the card he selected didn’t match, he kept trying until he got it right.

My oldest grandson loves one of the Bible apps we installed on his iPad. Each story has a game associated with it, but you must listen to the story before it will let you play the game. His favorite is the story of Noah. The screen fills with overturned cards, each containing an animal that was on the ark. Matching all the animals with their pair is the object of the game.

Levi’s reactions vary according to what kind of mood he’s in on any given day when he plays the game. He may utter an “Oh man,” and keep trying. Or after two failed attempts, he may say, “I don’t want to play this game anymore,” and select another one. He may lay the iPad aside and find something else to do. Occasionally, he gets angry.

Jonah’s reaction wasn’t much different. God told him to go to Nineveh and preach to the people. If they didn’t repent in short order, He planned to reign down judgment. Jonah wasn’t excited about the mission. God’s plan didn’t match his. He knew the Ninevites reputation. He’d love to see them destroyed—not saved. So he ran. God has good plans for His people, but sometimes His plans don’t match mine.
When God’s plans don’t match mine, I have several choices. I can rebel like Jonah. I can run, change jobs, change spouses, change colleges, or change my goals. I can also bargain with God. Jonah probably did—at least in his mind. Okay God, if I go and tell them to repent, will You promise to destroy them if they don’t? But God drives a hard bargain because He’s always right—and I often have difficulty admitting that. Or I can manipulate, take things into my own hands, and do it my way. That never works—even though God may give me enough rope to hang myself.

When God’s plans and mine don’t match, the best thing is submitting to His. His plans are for my good and His glory. Obeying them results in blessings I won’t receive otherwise. God’s plans originate out of love. Obeying them will take me to spiritual heights I’ve never experienced before.

Don’t insist on doing it your way when God’s plans don’t match yours. Do it His way.

Prayer: Father, give us faith to follow Your plan for our lives so we can experience Your best. 

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