Tuesday Devotional: Jonah 1

Read Jonah 1bible

The pride of man is continuously fed by man’s ability and man’s accomplishments. The more success we have through our own effort, the more we believe “I can” and the less we are willing to hear “You can’t.” This foundation of pride grows in strength alongside us and, although unreasonable or perhaps ridiculous to those around us, in our mind and heart we begin to possess more faith in ourselves than anything else in the entire world. The only way to break this foundation is for us to repeatedly collide head-on with defeat or limitation. For some, the foundation of pride is cracked after only one violent collision. However, for others, this crack only appears after years of repeated collisions. While these collisions are painful, once this foundation is cracked the desire to build a stronger one ultimately emerges. In this moment, God is revealed not as a force bent on destruction but one built on construction.

The purpose of these collisions is not for God to establish himself as simply superior to us. The purpose of these collisions is for us to realize that our ways are futile against the ways of a creator God. The will of God is immovable and unshakable, and when confronted with this power we can finally come into a place where we begin to believe. Without the collisions, we find no need or no place for a power stronger than our own. Without the collisions we still have faith in our ways, and hope that our desires will lead us to the satisfaction we so deeply desire. Following these collisions, we are not left with the impression that we merely crashed and were subsequently injured, at a loss. Following these Godly collisions, we can see clearly that it was our feet on the gas and our refusal to deviate from the course we committed to which caused the collision, and that God and only God is willing to assist in our recovery. From these moments we can finally understand the concept of “Fearing God.” It is not simply his ability to prevent or circumvent us that instills an the fear of God. Rather, the fear of God inspires awe for a God who can and does forgive the destructive pride of the human heart to defy him.  It inspires the most heartfelt change, to be loved by him and to truly love the one that saves us from our own collisions. The fear of God is defined by awe, and the awe is built on the power of His love.

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