Sunday, July 22, 2012

Everyone Has A Nineveh

The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish…
~Jonah 1:1-3a

Modern day Nineveh isn’t the loveliest of places, but it is nothing in comparison to the ancient city of Nineveh which stuck terror into entire regions. 

Modern Day Nineveh:

As the capital of Assyria, Nineveh sat along the eastern bank of the Tigris River.  At the time of Jonah, this city, which was referred to as the ”city of bloodshed” in Nahum 3:1, was considered to be one of the most powerful and unforgiving cities in the entire region.

Let’s answer the following “Why’s” about this Biblical story:

Why run?
There could be any number reasons that aren’t found in the direct Biblical text as to WHY Jonah ran away from where God was calling him. However, God did give us insight into the city of Nineveh when he talks about its treachery in the book of Nahum, specifically in verses one through four of chapter three.

Knowing what a scary place it must have been, especially for a prophet of God, it is easy to see why Jonah’s immediate inclination would be to run. Going to Nineveh would likely mean being mocked, treated as a fool, attacked, and even possibly killed. 

Why Tarshish?
Many scholars believe that Jonah fled to Tarshish because the city was considered in that time to be towards the end of the earth, and was literally as far east as you could go. The city of Tarshish sat on the coast of today’s Spain and to Jonah looked like his best option for getting away from the city of Nineveh

Why us?
As we read this story of Jonah, we see a man who hears from God and runs the other direction. It sounds so silly doesn’t it? Yet…we do it every day. We run from things that make us uncomfortable and things that frighten us. Dear ones, we can’t let ourselves be led astray by our fears. In fact, 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind.

Hear this: everyone has a Ninevah – a place that we feel God calling us to. We have two options in the midst of a calling: to answer or to flee. Beloved if there is one simple plea that I can make with you today, it would be this: Do not fear and do not flee! Answer the call. Take the challenge. Go to Nineveh.

I promise that God will not forsake you or leave you, and that you will feel his presence even more in the midst of your obedience.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Changing Our Filter

As I type this I am riding in a van home from a family vacation – totally exhausted & a bit loopy, but nevertheless, with a word on my heart from God…. to change my filter.

For those of you who know me, you know I’m a lover of all things tea & coffee :) So, I have a lot of experience with filters. However, for as much as I change my coffee, tea & even water filters, I have a burden in my heart to take a really good look at my “life filter”.
Everything we do and see passes through a filter before it reaches the place where our brain determines it’s worth. Our filter can be made up of our experiences, our trust, our personality – so many things. For the most part, I believe that our filters are made up of our emotions. If we are in a good mood – we will filter everything through a positive light. If we are grouchy – everything get’s filters more suspiciously. If we are tired… well, you get the idea.

Ask yourself this question today: What in my life would change if I started to filter things through a Godly filter? What would that do to my relationships? My conversations? Our lives?

Let me challenge you today to begin using your God filter – to filter everything you do, see and experience through a lens that points back to eternality and supremacy of God.

Praying for you dear ones.