Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 26, 2017
By Tripp Prince
The Lord gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai: “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.” But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord. Jonah 1:1-3 (NLT)
The story of Jonah begins with the Lord drawing near to Jonah in an intimate and personal way. He brings an invitation for Jonah to join him in his mission to bless the whole of creation, and yet this message is so radical and intimating to Jonah that he isn’t able to receive it. We could say that Jonah had checked out of the normal, ordinary rhythms of God’s grace that help to make us ready to receive the Lord when he draws near. How do we know this? Because the Lord has to tell him to “get up.”
Why do people have to be told to get up? Because they aren’t moving. They’re asleep and checked out, disengaged from the work at hand. And, like Jonah, when we disengage from the ordinary daily practices of faithful devotion to God – things like Bible reading, prayer, silence, and solitude – then we are caught off guard when the extraordinary moments of life come our way.
These extraordinary moments could be a word from the Lord like Jonah received. Go here. Do this. Join me in this mission. But there are other kinds of extraordinary moments in life that hit us and we never see them coming. Extraordinary pain and loss that we would never long for or hope for: cancer, infidelity, miscarriage. The list could go on and on. These are the losses and sorrows in life that you can count on one hand that forever shape and reshape your story.
In these extraordinary moments God so deeply wants to draw near and be close to you, but if you are sitting down and asleep in your faith when you need him the most, he will draw near and you will push him away. You will be so unprepared and caught off guard that you will flee from the very one that can give you rest. This is one of the great insights from Jonah’s story. When he was meant to be walking with the Lord, he was instead sitting down, unprepared for the intimacy of God’s presence.
Each and every one of us needs and rightly desires the nearness of God in our lives, in good times and in bad. And we long to be the kind of people who can join him on mission, people that he can invite to partner with him in making all things new. So don’t neglect the ordinary rhythms of life. It is in the ordinary and seemingly mundane moments of life that you and I are shaped and formed into people who can receive the extraordinary.
PrayerFather, help us to be faithful in our daily walk with you so that we may become people who are able to receive your word with boldness and faith. Amen.
ApplicationIn what areas of your life do you need to “get up” and reengage the daily habits and disciplines of Christian living?
Related ReadingPsalm 119:9-11; Colossians 3:12; 1 Timothy 4:7
Post/Tweet todayOrdinary moments of life shape us into people who can be trusted with the extraordinary. #WisdomHunters #getup
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