I live in Northeast Indiana where there are four distinct seasons. It is an exciting time of year because we are currently leaving summer behind and entering fall. The leaves on the trees are changing colors, the air is getting cooler and each day seems to get shorter and shorter. Eventually, fall will end and be ushered in by winter.
Just like the different season changes in Indiana, God takes His children through season changes. I am reminded how Moses spent 40 years in the wilderness and then one day out of the blue God spoke to him in a burning bush to go back to Egypt and tell Pharaoh to let His people go (Exodus 3 and 4). Moses was experiencing a season change.
Abram heard from God to leave his family and familiar land and go to the place God would show him! “The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you”‘ (Genesis 12:1-3 NLT). It was a season change for Abram and his family!
The one thing both of these men had in common was the fact that they listened to God and obeyed His instructions.
When God calls us to step into a new season, He wants us to respond with obedience as an act of faith as well. Has God called you to step into a new season? Are you responding with obedience or have you run in the opposite direction because of fear, unbelief or stubbornness?
There was a man in the Bible who ran in the opposite direction God told him to go. His name was Jonah. “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. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the Lord by sailing to Tarshish” (Jonah 1:1-3). The Bible tells us that a great storm arose on the sea because of Jonah’s disobedience. It not only affected him, but all the men on the ship with him.
Is there a storm in your life because of a lack of obedience?
I know someone personally who stopped trusting God to bring the right person into her life. She forged ahead without God’s guidance and started dating the first guy to pay attention to her. Over a short period of time, she got pregnant and eventually had an abortion. There is not a day that goes by that she wishes she could have her baby back. She was in a severe storm, and it lasted for months and months. She even told me that the pain was so great she wanted to just die!
Are other people experiencing turmoil around you because you are running from God? Maybe your family is falling apart because you are not being the father or mother God has asked you to be. Your decisions are causing your family to undergo unneeded stress and frustration. Or maybe you are cheating your company out of money they deserve and as a result they suffer. God wants us to respond to His leading by following His commands.
Jonah knew he was the cause of the storm and eventually told the sailors to throw him overboard and a great fish swallowed him and took him to shore. The scriptures say that the storm stopped immediately once he was thrown overboard (Jonah 1:15). With extreme mercy, God gave Jonah a second chance to obey and because Jonah responded with obedience, the whole city of Nineveh was saved from destruction (Jonah 3:1-5). Not only did God show mercy to Jonah, but God showed it to the city of Nineveh as well. They turned from their evil ways and followed God’s instructions.
God is full of mercy to those who will admit when they are wrong and follow God. A contrite heart He will not despise. Just as God showed kindness and mercy to Jonah, He longs to extend it to you and me. The key is to ask God for forgiveness for disobeying Him, turn from your wrong ways and walk in the direction God wants you to go! Will you follow God’s instructions? Will you enter your new season? Obey God today!
Cory can be reached at [email protected]