Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Back to basics

10 But the LORD said, “You have had pity on the plant for which you have not laboured, nor made it grow, which came up in a night and perished in a night. 11 And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left—and much livestock?” (Jonah 4:10)

Jonah was caught up in self interest. The plant which God had given to Jonah to make his life more comfortable was the focus of Jonah's attention, and Jonah had no desire or attraction towards the focus of God's purposes. On the other hand, God had to take away the creature comforts that Jonah enjoyed (which were expressions of God's grace and beneficence and not rights) to enable Jonah to be able to refocus his perspective.

In my own life this has been repeatedly my experience. I have enjoyed the blessing of God, but far too quickly, the acquisition of that blessing becomes the focus of my life, and I fail to hunger and thirst after the Kingdom of God and the glory of the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. God has had to repeatedly strip away His blessing, and bring me back to basics: "Seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you."

Creature comforts are the manifestations of God's covenant kindness towards His covenant-keeping people. However, when we lose sight of the greater work beyond those creature comforts, and settle into middle-class mediocrity, then God often has to do radical things to regain our attention: even bringing us back to basics.

Today, Lord, help me to hunger and thirst after Your righteousness; help me to live only for the glory of the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and for the extension of His Kingdom in time and throughout the earth. Amen!

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