Oh, I’m sorry . . . Did the middle of my sentence interrupt the beginning of yours?” – (A funny interruption quote found on imgfave.com)
I thought I’d share what God has been teaching me lately. But first, how is January going for you? Are you tackling some of your New Year resolutions? I have always been goal/task oriented, which often lends to frustration when my plans don’t pan out. Do you relate to this? I think God is probably smiling as I begin a new Bible study venture by Priscilla Shirer. He knows I have some growing up to do in this area. Although I’ve never been swallowed by a fish—nor wish to!—I hope to learn from Jonah’s mistakes. (Any local women want to join me in this study? You are welcome as we’re just beginning. Let me know.)
We all experience daily interruptions. Most are unwelcomed, right? Unless we’ve just won the lottery or something similar. But what about when God interrupts your life? As in Jonah’s case. Jonah—a successful prophet who served God in a comfortable manner—received the inconvenient instructions from God to go to the wicked city of Nineveh and tell them to repent.
But Jonah wasn’t the only Bible character who experienced God’s interruption. Consider Moses, who lived the royal lifestyle; David, a young shepherd boy called to be Israel’s king, but first had to dodge King Saul’s spears; and what about Sarah (Abraham’s wife)? Can you imagine birthing a baby at the age of 90? No thanks!
And the list goes on.
In fact, all believers have God interruptions. Why? Because His thoughts are not our thoughts, nor are His ways our ways (Isa. 55:8). But our ultimate example of One who experienced an interrupted life is none other than Jesus Christ. Unconstrained to the limits of time and space—sharing His Father’s glory in heaven—He followed His Father’s will by coming to earth as a vulnerable baby. Talk about major life disruption! “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Phil. 2:6-8, NIV)
Love compelled Jesus to follow His Father’s directives. Love strong enough to endure the unfathomable agony of carrying the world’s sins on His shoulders as He lay down His life. Through shedding His blood, He pardons us from the wages due us—eternal separation from Him—for those who believe on His name and follow His will. He not only made possible our freedom from sins’ bondage, but also identifies in our weakness, offering victory in our temptations.
I’ll admit, I’ve ran from God before. Maybe not physically, but inwardly through my attitudes and/or just not following through with His directive. Can you relate? So how is a believer to view a life interrupted by God? When we get a new view of who God is—the One true God—who desires to speak to us and use us for His kingdom purpose(s), we gain a new perspective on God interruptions. Priscilla Shirer writes: “The first two miracles in the Book of Jonah are found in the very first verse: The word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Aittai saying (Jonah 1:1) . . . . 1) God spoke; 2) God allowed a mere human to hear His voice.” What a privilege!
Would Jonah have ran from God if he could have seen the end picture? Often the greatest revivals are a result of one person obeying God after having his/her schedule interrupted.
Just as Jesus’ interrupted life ushered in something new—as His ways didn’t fit into the old rigid legalistic mold of religion—God also challenges us to follow His lead. Am I prepared to look at people in new ways and serve them in new ways? God often sends us into dark places to shine His light and spread His hope.
It is both significant and a privilege to be interrupted by God, to be called and used for His purpose(s). How many of us hunger for a life of significance? A life couldn’t be more significant than a life that yields to God, which includes interruptions from our plans.
So now that I’ve shared this, I’m sure God has a divine interruption around the corner. Hopefully I’ll have a new perspective. 🙂 How has God interrupted your life lately?
wonderful words KD—I’ve run as well—at times knowingly and at other times subconsciously..but run I have or actually, I’ve simply dodged— thinking I’ve given Him the slip as I just don’t think I can be about what He’s asking—I’ll just hide out over here, hoping He won’t notice and and maybe He will move on…on to more pressing issues elsewhere and forget about me hiding out—
But therein lies the Glory—despite all the other pressing issues—of which He’s dealing with simultaneously—He’s still determined to deal with me…. ahhhhh
Thank you Julie for your honest words. Glad to know I’m not the only dodger at times. 🙂 It is amazing that God even wants to include us in His kingdom work. And He often stretches our faith when asking us to do what seems daunting or impossible on our own. I’m just glad He doesn’t give up on us! Have a wonderful day!
Absolutely. 3 1/2 years ago I was laid off, couldn’t find a job, God called me to North Carolina to assess my aging parents. I didn’t want to go as my children and grandchildren live in Seattle and my parents live in North Carolina. I stood my ground but God won!
Thank you for the follow and for sharing. I’m sure your parents appreciated your help. I like how Priscilla Shirer puts it: God interruptions equal God interventions (my paraphrase). Blessings to you and your family!
This last year has been a series of shifts for me, and God is doing some awesome things even now that will shift us even more. Honestly, I’m enjoying the ride at the moment. I can’t say that I enjoyed every part of it, especially a few months ago. In those moments, I remind myself of the Scripture that says “As for God, His way is perfect.” In Him I find comfort.
Thanks for sharing Matthew. It’s great you recognize that God is up to something good in His shifts, positioning you for His eternal purposes. Keep tethered to Him and I hope you continue to find joy in the journey, even through the challenges. Blessings Friend!