Forgiveness and God’s Will
Are you a Noah or a Jonah? I suspect the majority of us are Jonahs.
When God told Noah to build an Ark, he just got his tools, cut down a tree or three and started work. When Jonah got the message for Nineveh, he said, “Nah” and went in the opposite direction.
God doesn’t call many of us to uproot our families and take the Gospel to another country and culture. But he does call us all to uproot ourselves from our self-absorption and minister to those around us in the way he has created us specifically to do so. And this can be quite hard to be willing to do because of the cost to self. And it can be fraught with frequent failure, especially if we are naturally Jonah types. (That’s most of us.)
So, what happens if (when) we avoid doing God’s will? Is there a second chance? Or have we blown it for good?
Some folk view God’s will as a road map. When you take a wrong turn this can only be corrected by going back to the deviation. Trouble is, in real life this is not always possible as many actions are not undoable and become forever set in history thus there is often no way back.
I have met despairing folk who feel there is nothing they can do to get back onto God’s will, so have given up.
I don’t think it works like that. Rather, when you return to God from your moment of disobedience, he has a fresh plan for you from that point forward. It may be quite different from the original because of circumstance but it’s still his plan for you! Why do I say that…?
Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter came up to Him and said, Lord, how many times may my brother sin against me and I forgive him and let it go? As many as up to seven times? Jesus answered him, I tell you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven!
Does God live by his own rules or not?
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