*Cluster 4 Household TopicWhen we sin there are consequences. When we disobey God, there are consequences we must deal with. We bring them on ourselves. But God uses them to bring us back into fellowship with Him. He relentlessly pursues us. He will never give up on us.
Jonah chose a path of disobedience. God would have been within His rights to have said, "Jonah, you have disobeyed Me, and as such you have forfeited the right to be called My child. I am letting go!" But He didn't. Jonah expressed his rebellion, but God loved him too much to let him go. The Bible says that God sent the storm. This was not just an ordinary storm but a storm so great that even veteran sailors were afraid.
Sometimes God doesn't calm the sea; He stirs it up. The issue, whether the sea is calm or stormy, is to choose to live for Christ, to follow Him, and to obey Him. And when the calm sea turns stormy, then we can call out to Him like the disciples did when they were with Jesus in the boat in the storm. And we trust in Him through it. And He delivers us through it.
God loves us too much to allow us to drift into rebellion without disciplining us. David said in Psalm 119:67, 71 "Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now I obey Your word... It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn Your decrees." God loves you too much to let you remain disobedient. God cares so much about us that He disciplines us.
The British poet, Francis Thompson, wrote an epic poem known as "The Hound of Heaven." In it he pictures someone running from God like Jonah, only to find that the Lord patiently and triumphantly pursues him until the wayward child rests in the Lord's arms. The central point of this poem is its outrageous assertion that sometimes we run from God and that God actually pursues us. Here are a few lines of the poem:
I fled from God, down through the nights and down through the days;
I fled from God, down the arches of the years;
I fled from God, down the labyrinth of my own mind.
In the midst of tears, I hid.
Under running laughter, I hid from God.
Up vistaed slopes I sped, shot hurriedly over chasmed fears
But those strong feet of God came after me with unhurrying chase and unperturbed pace;
with constant speed and divine instancy.
And a voice, more persistent than the feet, spoke and said:
"You are my precious one. I will not let you go."
That's the way God is. He is so persistent, so diligent, so untiring in His pursuit of us when we stray. He relentlessly pursues us. He will never give up on us.
|EA4 HH: Pursued, Loved, Called, Sent :)|