No Such Thing as Pick and Choose
I don’t think he was lost. His map was just fine, and confusion wasn’t clouding his mind. The problem was his obedience, for many decisions we make in life come down to this: All or Nothing. If you haven’t discovered the Bible character that I am speaking about, his name is Jonah. God tells Jonah these words: “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh…” (Jonah 1:2). The man must not have thought Nineveh to be as “great” of a place as God did. I believe this because he went in the opposite direction! Fighting in a great sea storm, Jonah was facing the consequences of his disobedience. Because it was his fault that the dangerous storm in the sea was occurring, the people on the ship with Jonah threw him overboard! Then, as you’ve probably heard, a gigantic fish swallowed him. Jonah prayed to God inside the fish, and eventually he went to Nineveh. Think of all the trouble he could have avoided by obeying.
I was reminded of this Biblical account as I thought about the topic for this devotional. God spoke to me about this topic through a personal experience. At Wahama, we have a free after-school meal program that provides students with something to eat before their practices. I recently went into the cafeteria after school to get a bottle of water before basketball conditioning. The water was all that I wanted; however, the teachers make it look like you must take a meal too. So I did…only to throw it away.
You see, following God is not going in your direction. It is going in His direction. When we follow God, we don’t get to pick and choose what part of it we will keep and what part we will throw away. The Bible talks about making your yes be yes and your no be no. We are either completely committed or not committed at all. I hope you don’t expect to tell your teachers or bosses that you will come to work on the days that you feel like it. Good luck trying to keep the starting position on the team when you only show up occasionally. Life doesn’t work that way, and neither does God. Being a follower of God is the BIGGEST commitment that you will EVER make. I am not saying that we will be perfect, but it is either All or Nothing—no exceptions!