Unpacking our Internal Bags

This week’s “Wow!” moment in Jonah:

“We can pack our internal bags just as quickly as Jonah packed his and be on a boat headed in the opposite direction of God’s will even while we are in the throes of everyday life.” – Priscilla Shirer

Would you agree that running from God is easier to spot if buying a ticket to Tarshish, but a bit more difficult when it’s our heart/mind that’s doing the packing?

I may not hold a ticket in my hand, but I am, unfortunately, much like Jonah when it comes to mentally running from God. Perhaps we’re not alone in this boat?

  • We properly position our bottoms, Bibles, and bible studies for quiet time—all the external necessities in place—without realizing that our heart, the one internal necessity, is playing hooky.
  • We go to church, but rather than expecting God’s presence to be active, alive, and eager to speak, we perceive a faint mental click in the background, signaling the proverbial ✓ being placed in the “I went to church this week” box instead.
  • God prompts us to speak truth, shift priorities, __________ (fill in the blank), but instead of running towards God’s desires, we choose instead to get busy, avoid prayer and other believers, or dive into a new addiction (do Junior Mints count?).

To unlock the internal luggage, we simply need to confess to God the specific ways we’ve tried to flee (He already knows!), ask for forgiveness, receive it, and head for the Ninevah God has planned for each of us. No luggage required!

I begin this week with a fresh appreciation in knowing there is no place—physically, emotionally, or spiritually—that my heavenly Father is not already there. (Psalm 139)

How about you?

– Photo courtesy of Lifegroup413.org

Interruption or Divine Intervention?

I’m not a fan of the interrupted life (unless your name is Piper, of course!) There it is. I said it.

But what if my perceived interruption is actually divine intervention? Enter the study of Jonah.

Becky Kirby and I are eager to meet and greet the 25+ women who’ve signed up for this study, which kicks off Tuesday night. Below is but a nibble from the smorgasbord of truth that awaits:

Power-packed principles:

  • Interruptions only become positive when we consider the person or circumstances to be more significant than what currently occupies our attention.
  • A life interrupted by a holy God is a privilege.
  • Your story begins with God’s call. It is not your legacy or lack thereof that makes you significant. It is God’s call and your willingness to obey it.
  • Making sense of what God has asked or feeling compelled to cooperate cannot be the prerequisite for choosing obedience. His Word must be enough.

The quote that plunged the deepest through my steel-toed shoes: If you find yourself balking at God’s instructions in your life, it is an indication of the importance you place on God and His will.

Our final word of encouragement to attendees (and ourselves) as we approach Tuesday night: Come anticipating — fully expecting — God to speak, to move, and to divinely intervene on your behalf.

It’s never too late to join us!

Ladies’ Study in Jonah Begins February 21

What do we do when God interrupts our lives? Many times, like Jonah, we run! In this 7-session Bible study, Priscilla redefines interruption and shows that interruption is actually God’s invitation to do something beyond our wildest dreams. When Jonah was willing to allow God to interrupt his life, the result was revival in an entire city. -Jonah, Navigating a Life Interrupted, by Priscilla Shirer

How do you suppose our lives would change if we chose to see daily interruptions as divine opportunities?

I look forward to finding out, beginning Tuesday, February 21st, as the Ladies’ Community Bible study group gathers in a beautiful turn-of-the-century home in downtown Simpsonville to study the book of Jonah over a hot cup of coffee and sweet fellowship.

Throughout the week, participants will have a small amount of daily study time in the workbooks. On Tuesday nights, 6:30-7:45 p.m., we’ll come together to discuss the truths we’ve learned (no one is put on the spot to share). Lifeway has plenty of workbooks in stock ($11.95). You’ll want to have the first week completed prior to our first gathering on February 21st. The study will be completed by the end of March.

Becky Kirby and I will be co-leading this session and we invite ladies of all ages to come join us!

We’d love to see you there!

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