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It’s Never Too Late to Obey

I search for God and always do his will, rejecting compromise with evil and walking only in his path– Psalms 119:2-3

I had just arrived at a speaking conference for women. As we settled in and unpacked our belongings it didn’t take long for me to realize that I was the odd man out. As we went around the room introducing ourselves I was impressed by all of the accomplishments the other attendees had. Most of them were writers with published books and successful blogs and apps that they had created.

There were literary agents present, ready and willing to hear your book proposal (if you had one). Most of the attendees took advantage of the opportunity. I on the other hand did not because I never dreamt of writing a book.

To say I felt inadequate to be at the conference was an understatement. The feeling that I didn’t belong grew stronger with each passing moment. I desperately wanted to pack up my things and go home. It was getting too hard to keep the tears in my eyes from spilling over.

I was a little caught off guard that there was so much talk about writing when the focus of the conference was supposed to be on speaking.  Once the conference ended, I was relieved to be on my way home. However, I did walk away from that experience with one key takeaway.

After all the emphasis on writing, I started giving it some thought. I came to the conclusion that if I wanted to be a good communicator, I couldn’t ignore writing. In fact, writing could be an even more effective and powerful tool than words that are spoken. When you say something to a group of people it only reaches that group. Spoken words don’t generally live past the moment. However, when you write your words down, they live forever. They can reach anyone, anywhere, anytime.

But even with this revelation I was having a hard time accepting the new direction I felt God was leading me in.

I had about one million reasons why I could not be a writer. One being that I don’t think I ever got better than a C in English. Writing felt laborious. I didn’t feel I was naturally good at it. I knew I’d have to work long and hard to hone my skill. Not to mention when I was in college I asked a dear friend to edit my paper and she had so many corrections I could barely see my words through all her red ink.

Even though I doubted my ability to write I felt that God was leading me to do it regardless of my lack of self confidence.

It’s been six years since that speaking conference and I’m not proud to admit that I still haven’t fully embraced my call to write consistently. After all this time, I can’t shake the feeling that I have something to say.

I’ve made up every excuse I could find not to write all because I doubted my ability. I worked at menial jobs that took my time and energy which left me depleted. I enrolled in school fulltime in a field I wasn’t passionate about. Anything and everything I’ve invested my time and energy to outside my home hasn’t worked out for one reason or another. I’ve known in my heart that nothing has gone smoothly because none of those endeavors have been meant for me. None of those pursuits aligned with my one true calling.

In this season I have found myself identifying with the story of Jonah. Jonah was called to preach to a city called Ninevah. God appointed Jonah to be his spokesman and tell the Ninevites to repent and turn from their evil ways. However, Jonah did not want to go to Ninevah. He had a long list of reasons why he didn’t want to do what God asked of him. Ultimately Jonah decided he wasn’t going to do what God asked. Not only was he not going to obey but he was going to run away. He boarded a boat heading in the opposite direction to a city called Tarshish.

While he was on the boat a severe storm came and Jonah knew in his heart that the storm was in direct correlation to his disobedience.

The storm was so severe that the people on the boat were panicking and afraid the boat would sink. In hopes of getting the storm to stop Jonah jumped overboard. God appointed a giant whale to take Jonah to Ninevah and Jonah walked the city preaching, telling the people to turn from their evil ways. The people listened and repented of their sins.

Maybe like me, there is something God is calling you to do but you haven’t done it yet. Remember that our obedience is an important part of our relationship with God. It doesn’t matter if we think we’re good enough. Our job as Christ followers is to obey and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.

Things to think about from the story of Jonah:

* When God gives you a job to do, do it quickly without delay.

* God doesn’t change His mind when He gives you an assignment. Follow through with what He’s asked you to do or there could be consequences.

* If things aren’t going smoothly in your life it could be because God is trying to get your attention.

* It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you’re good enough, skilled enough, worthy enough or smart enough for the task God has called you to. All that matters is that you try your best and follow through.

* When God guides you He will also provide a way for you.

Prayer– Lord Jesus, I pray that you will help me to be quick to obey your leading. That I would not make excuses for my disobedience. God please use me and work through me to bring forth your kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.