Have you ever said to yourself, “Well, since this has happened, God wants me to do that!” Careful! You may be dead wrong as were both people in today’s devotional. There’s only one safe place to go for guidance. God bless you.
Because of Calvary,
Jonah 1:1-3 (ESV)
1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” 3 But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.
“Observe the misconduct of the prophet Jonah. He had a plain command from the Lord, and he knew it to be a command; but he felt that the commission given to him would not be pleasant and honoring to himself, and therefore he declined to comply with it. We see, from his action, how some, who really know God, may act as if they knew him not. Jonah knew that God was everywhere, yet he ‘rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.’ What strange inconsistencies there often are even in good men! Here is one, who is favored with a divine commission, — one who knows God, and fears him; yet, for all that, he ventures on the fool’s errand of endeavoring to escape from the Omnipresent. He ‘went down to Joppa,’ which was the port of his country, ‘and he found a ship going to Tarshish.’ Learn from this that providence alone is not a sufficient guide for our actions. He may have said, ‘It was very singular that there was a ship there going to Tarshish, just when I reached the port. I gather from this that God was not so very disinclined for me to go to Tarshish.’ Precepts, not providences, are to guide believers; and when Christian men quote a providence against a precept, — which is to set God against God, — they act most strangely. There are devil’s providences as well as divine providences, and there are tempting providences as well as assisting providences, so learn to judge between the one and the other.” [Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit LI, (1905), p. 106]
When Hitler escaped from the explosion of the bomb placed in the conference barracks at his military headquarters in East Prussia, Wolfsschanze, by Claus Schenk Graf Stauffenberg, he declared, “It was Providence that spared me. This proves that I’m on the right track. I feel that this is the confirmation of all my work.’” [Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2010), p. 481]