Bible Reading: Jonah 1:1-17
Flesh verses spirit! As a photographer and writer, I want to claim ownership of my “intellectual property”… when someone used one of my photos without my permission or giving me credit I felt robbed. However, after a few moments and some deep breaths, I took another look at what had happened. God’s word had been placed over the image. It was a beautiful scripture and what the person did was crop my tagline off. Hmmm… lesson to learn here? Yes, I think so. How often do we take credit for something only God could have done? How often do we “crop” His name off in order to glorify ourselves? How often do we think that what God gives us isn’t enough so we don’t cultivate our own talents but desire an easier route by taking from one of His children? God allows me to capture His beautiful nature, that we see every day, and I share it on social media.
Jonah 1:3 The flesh part of me wanted to RUN AWAY: on emotions – from how this could help me grow in humility – from being an obedient servant – from how I could glorify and honor God through my response. Thanks are to God that I stood STILL! (Jonah 1:17) The Holy Spirit intervened and not only was I able to calmly approach the “thief” I was able to open a dialog that will hopefully prevent her from doing it again. A seed was sown.
The lesson in this case was difficult for me to understand at first but, God softened my heart, gave me clarity, and allowed me to see the bigger picture. (Jonah 1:12) By not focusing on feeling violated and instead how I (we) do this everyday. Nothing belongs to me. I am covered by grace and mercy I don’t always deserve but, God freely gives to me, to all of us. How I and how we react in our fleeting emotional states will affect the outcome.
Going forward I pray we can approach all things through the eyes of God and ask ourselves:
- Is God being glorified?
- Am I pointing towards God or desiring people to settle for me?
- Am I acting out with my flesh or reacting through the spirit?
I pray discernment is quickened and clarity is readily available for all of us, so that we may not end up in a storm we could have avoided. Jonah 1:3-4