Monday, September 22, 2014
Spiritual ADD 9/22/2014 (rp)
Last week, the family and I took a well needed vacation. Thanks to those who offered prayers for our safety and rest. As it would happen, our favorite way to vacation is on a cruise. Being on the ship reminded me of a time a few years ago when we went with members of our congregation. From this wonderful time together came a series of lessons called the "Water Gospels." As the Lord has conducted us safely back home, I thought it was worth a look back and reflect on both the goodness and the lessons of God.
"Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me." But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. The Lord hurled a great wind on the sea and there was a great storm on the sea so that the ship was about to break up. Then the sailors became afraid and every man cried to his god, and they threw the cargo which was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone below into the hold of the ship, lain down and fallen sound asleep." Jonah 1:2-5
Oftentimes, we as Christians suffer from spiritual Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). With our minds and mouths we acknowledge God as the King of our lives, our Creator, the Almighty and our Father. We are His people and we know it. We are to be obedient and we know it. He loves us and wants the best for us and we know it. Our actions from time to time, however, belie these truths. In fact, we will sometimes go out of our way to be out of His way.
Jonah was a prophet of God. His whole reason for existing was to impart God's word to those whom he was charged to give it. That said, not only did he refuse direct instructions from God to preach to a people desperately in need of the word, he actually paid money to get on a ship headed the opposite direction.
As we continue in our "Water Gospels" during our study time on the St. Louis Area Family Gospel Cruise, note that it was on the water that God got Jonah's attention. The bible said that a great storm came upon the ship causing all to fear and seek out divine intervention.
Beloved we all have storms in our lives. They come in a variety of guises, but none of us is ignorant of a storm when we are in one. During these storms, we must ask ourselves if God is trying to get our attention.
It is interesting to know that once guilt ridden Jonah was thrown overboard at his own request, the storm that was afflicting the innocent around him ceased immediately. Further, Jonah spent the next three days in the belly of a fish. This was plenty of time to contemplate both the benefits of obedience and his relationship with God.
What will it take for God to get your attention?