Lets read Philippians 2:16-30.
I want to focus on one part of this one part.
“I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. For everyone looks out for their own interest , not those Jesus Christ.” Philippians 2:19-21
I’m excited to send you Timothy. He’s a great guy, and I hope I’m as happy when he returns because I just know y’all have been good… but there really isn’t anybody better than this guy. He’s the real deal, something you don’t find much because unfortunately.. we as people only care about ourselves and our agenda.. and not what Jesus wants, not what Jesus says.
My husband and I were laying in the bed talking about the book of Jonah last night. Most people know that Jonah was ate by a whale, but alot of people do not know why. God spoke to Jonah and told Jonah to go to this people and tell them what Jesus told him to. These people were some of the toughest people around then, and instead of doing what Jesus said, Jonah literally walked in the opposite direction, loaded himself up on a boat, and skipped out, running away from everything God had asked of him.
I asked my husband how different did he think God’s communication with the old testament people was compared to His conversations with us? Like do you wonder how often does He ask something of us that we don’t know it? Or how often He asks something of us and we do hear?… but like Jonah, we keep walking.
How different would our lives be if we didn’t.
If we listened. If we heard. If we obeyed.
I can say with complete confidence that if I had lived a life of complete obedience, if I had heard, if I had listened to every word given to me by the Father that I most certainly would not be living the life I call home.
I’ve made mistakes. Wrong turns. I’ve ignored the truth and exchanged some of God’s guidance for my own plans, but we are a stubborn people. Like Jonah, we’re given instruction and we run in the opposite direction.
Jonah ran once, but I’ve spent my entire life running. I grew up in a broken home where a new town meant a new start and it wasn’t until recently that I have found even a new name carries the same old soul.
There are so many ways to get this one thing wrong.
Sometimes we can’t let go of the past; sometimes we forget too much of it.
Sometimes we try and run from our yesterdays; sometimes we let them run over us.
….and all of these are wrong.
Remember enough about yesterday to make sure it’s not tomorrow. Remember nothing else.
Jonah was scared, so Jonah chose Jonah. Jonah said ahhhh God probably not, I just think this will be better…because of his disobedience, he spent three days in the dark.
I’ve sat in the dark for some of my mistakes too, and even now in the sun, a cloud will interrupt a brighter forecast to remind me of my wrongs.
Jonah realized he had messed up and it wasn’t until Jonah accepted accountability that he was spat out. Then Jesus said now Jonah… go and do what I said.
Y’all this time Jonah picked up his feets and went. “okay Jesus… I’m on it.”
Sometimes you have to stumble through sin to step into purpose. Lord knows I would have never found the Lord had it not been for my error and His correction. Jonah was no different and neither are you.
“Indeed we felt like we had received the sentence of death. but this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead” 2 Corinthians 1:9
When you felt like you were dying, God did that on purpose. That we might rely not on ourselves but on God.
Listen. Hear. Obey.
God says I have this thing for you to do.. your thing is different from my thing, but you have a purpose. God will reveal this to you and it will be scary. You will feel inadequate or unqualified and y’all, those kinds of feelings are not of God and you will never do wrong trying to do right by Jesus. Ever.
Paul said I’ve got this guy and you know why he is good? because he is not like every body else. Everybody else is running to themselves, and Timothy? He runs to Jesus.
Not like everybody else.
“Come out from them and be separate” 2 Corinthians 6:17
I think the thing I feared the most about being separate is it meant that I wouldn’t be the same. Now I look back on the person I was, how I hurt others- how I hurt myself, and I thank God I’m not.
If you run the first time, don’t carry those mistakes around, only take with you what it taught you. Jesus came to heal the wounded, not the well. It’s okay that you’re not okay. He came to save and salvage and He has something just for you. Don’t let old stuffs and scary feelings keep you from stepping into who you are meant to be, into who God says you are. Lay it down, come out and be separate. Don’t be swallowed by the fish, be obedient and be saved.
I know there are so many people carrying around things they should have laid down long ago. The very things we run from, we forget to take out of our bags before we leave and it just follows us around. God, I pray that you would make your voice heard and your will known. Give those that need it the courage to step out of what is father, and into what should be. Keep them separate, Lord. Keep them safe. Thank you, God, for the opportunity to trust you more, Thank you, God, for you.