Did you ever want to run away from home as a child? I sure did. I even wrote a letter, but I had no idea where I was going.
Unfortunately, as adults, some of us still want to run away from problems, people, or pain. When I was considering running away (as an adult), what I was really running away from was the plan of God. Because things weren’t working out as I thought they should, I got mad with God. I was going to leave the city where He told me He would bless me, quit the job where He said He was going to give me a promotion, and leave the ministry where He sent me. I wanted a clean slate. I wanted a fresh start. Since God wasn’t doing anything (so I thought), I was going to make it happen, but what I really was going to do was make a mess.
Running from your problems will only create other problems. When Jonah disobeyed God and went where God didn’t send him, he went from experiencing a great wind to a great fish. Jonah’s problems were a result of his disobedience. A lot of times we want to blame people and conditions for what we’re going through, but they aren’t the problem. We are the problem.
When Jonah disobeyed God, it not only affected him, but it affected other people – innocent people. Those sailors didn’t know Jonah or why he was on the ship, but because he didn’t do what he was told to do, they suffered loss. While Jonah was sleeping during the storm, they were throwing their goods out of the ship in hopes it would make the ship lighter and easier to control.
Let me tell you what I know from experience. If you are your problem or if the problem is in you, it doesn’t matter where you go. You can’t run from you. All you’re going to do is run back to what you were running away from. It happened with Jonah. You see, God loves you so much and He loves the people He is sending you to so much (because they need what you have) that He is not going to leave you alone. You are not here for nothing. You’re here for a reason and for God’s purpose. I know you don’t want to be bothered by anyone right now. You want to be as far away as possible, but where can you go from His Spirit? Where can you run from His presence? No matter where you go, He is there. You may leave Him, but He won’t leave you.
It wasn’t the plan of God that I didn’t like because I knew His plan was good. It was the process that I didn’t like, but you can’t arrive at the plan without going through the process. The process requires change and I wanted my life to change, but I didn’t want to change. You can cry and you can beg God to change your situation, but He is not going to put new wine in old wineskins. If He does that, both the wine and the wineskin will be destroyed and He is not going to allow that to happen. God doesn’t just want to give you good things, but He wants you to keep and enjoy what He gives you.
Once Jonah was swallowed by the great fish, he couldn’t run anymore. He came to the end of himself. He had to face himself. It was in the fish that he finally prayed and called out to God because he needed Him. We are branches and branches can’t produce anything without being connected to the Vine. What you’re trying to do can’t be done alone for apart from Him, you can do nothing. You are going to need Him.
You can’t love the plan, but hate the process. If God says His plan won’t harm you, then that means the process won’t harm you. God loves you and He is not withholding no good thing from you, but your disobedience is withholding good things from you.
You may look young and feel young, but you’re not getting any younger. You’ve been going around the same mountain for too long. It’s time to obey God and receive what He has already given you. Jonah ran from his assignment and when he paid to go to Tarshish instead of going to Nineveh, he never arrived there, but when God sends or leads you to go to a place, not only will you get there, but He will pay the fare.