You know, when your flesh has won the wrestling match over your spirit and so you act out in a very carnal way. Throw a temper tantrum, speak out with an attitude, or like Jonah – run in the opposite direction God was telling him to go.

Jonah 1.1-4, God says go to Nineveh, but Jonah takes off for Tarshish instead. Interesting that Tarshish was a very prosperous and popular place to be, while Nineveh at that time was a dark place with a dark history. Who wouldn’t rather have a ministry in an exotic and idealized port such as Tarshish? One could hide from God very well in a prosperous environment like that.

We all know the story; God sends a storm while Jonah is in route via a ship, and Jonah is thrown overboard in the storm. It’s while he is in the belly of a fish that he wrestles with God’s will for his life.

So, I ask myself, ‘What storm am I wrestling with, either external or internal, that God would send into my life because something isn’t right within me spiritually?’

Am I trying to determine my destiny and life, or am I listening to the voice of God? Jonah was willing to preach–just not to Nineveh. But that was only partial obedience. ‘I’ll preach, but where I want to preach.’ And that is where the fine line is for me. I can do the works, be a doer, that isn’t that hard for me. But am I listening, taking the time to get quiet and listen to who He may be asking me to walk with or talk with?

Oh Father, why do I do the things that I don’t want to do, and not do the things that I want to do? Why do I give my flesh so much strength? Forgive me of my selfishness, deliver me from myself, teach me Your ways, lead me and guide me in this journey of life.

Steve Ryssemus

Heartland District Assistant Supervisor
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