God of a Second Chance Part 1
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Have you ever run away from something God has asked you to do? I have, and I learned a powerful truth about who God is and how He never gives up on you! I found a verse several years ago, which has given me hope time and time again when I feed my fear and starve my faith to death.
"In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea." (Is. 11:11 ESV)
God is speaking this promise to His people Israel. To call them back from running away from His presence and protection. He 'extends His hand a second time,' because He is a God of a second chance. He never gives up on us, no matter how far we try to run away from His presence!
Every time God calls us to something new; He wants us to discover who we are, who He is, and we trust Him, we will see things that have been impossible in our lives. He has created us for His pleasure and purposes, and He never stops speaking. No matter how far we run.
"For God speaks in one way, and in two, though man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men, while they slumber on their beds, then he opens the ears of men and terrifies them with warnings, that he may turn man aside from his deed and conceal pride from a man; he keeps back his soul from the pit, his life from perishing by the sword." (Job 33:14–18 ESV)
He speaks to us to lead us to Him, to lead us into more of His presence, and the dream He has for us to fulfill. The story about Jonah in the bible gives hope for all of us who have run from God.
"Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, "Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me." (Jonah 1:1–2 ESV)
Why were they Evil? They did not have God's Presence, God's Name, or God's Favor on their life? I love the way the Message Bible puts it:
"GOD'S Word came to Jonah, Amittai's son: "Up on your feet and on your way to the big city of Nineveh! Preach to them. They're in a bad way, and I can't ignore it any longer." (Jonah 1:1–2 MESSAGE)
God wanted the Assyrians to discover His Presence, His Name, and the Favor, which comes from God's presence! When we look at the things of this world, other people, or distractions outside of His presence, it steals from you the goodness that God wants to give us!
When God calls you to do something, He is not counting on your capacity to do it. Because everything He calls us to requires His power and grace to do it. He is calling you to do something which requires His Capacity to do it. He is just waiting for you to move towards that word so He can BLESS you and the people he wants you to love.
"But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the LORD." (Jonah 1:3) ESV)
Jonah thought if I can get away from God's presence, He will leave alone. How many of you have tried running away? It is impossible not to hear from God while we are in his presence. We run from His presence and think we are safe from having to deal with Him. It doesn't seem to work out very well. No matter how far you run God is already in the place we run too. As David wrote, "Where can I go from your presence?" Nowhere!
What has the Lord asked you to do? Your best move is to run right back into His arms! More next week!
Praying for you,
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Published on January 31, 2020.