What God Can Do
God wants us to obey him. But, he doesn't really need us to obey. He can do what he wants to do with or without our help. Sometimes, he even uses our disobedience to do something amazing.
How do I know this? Well, that's what happened with Jonah. God called Jonah to go to Nineveh...
But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the LORD. Jonah 1:3
Jonah did not obey. In fact, he did the complete opposite of what God wanted him to do. But God did something amazing while Jonah was busy running away.
You might know how the story goes. Jonah got on a boat and God sent a storm. It was a storm big enough to scare the other men on the boat. And these were men who spent a lot of time on boats, men who had been through a lot of storms. But this one was...different.
So, they started asking Jonah questions. He was the stranger on the boat, and he had already told them he was running away from God. Maybe God was angry with Jonah, they thought. Maybe God sent the storm to teach him a lesson, they thought.
They were right, of course. But God also had another reason for sending the storm. God wanted these men to know him.
You see, these men did not know God before they met Jonah. But they saw the storm he made. And then, they saw him stop it as quickly as he had started it.
Then the sailors were awestruck by the LORD's great power, and they offered him a sacrifice and vowed to serve him. Jonah 1:16
These men believed in God because of what happened when Jonah ran away. God used Jonah even though Jonah did the complete opposite of what God wanted him to do. That's pretty impressive.
And do you know what that means for all of us? It means God can use us even when we make bad choices. God can do things in our lives even when we mess up. God can introduce himself to other people through us even when we are doing the complete opposite of what he wants us to do.
That's what God can do.
Read Mark 4:35-41
In this passage, Jesus calms a storm. What happens to the men who see him do it? How is their response like that of the sailors in Jonah's story?
Make a toy boat. You can make it out of anything you like...cardboard, aluminum foil, paper, whatever you have on hand. Then, with an adult's supervision, put the boat in water. You can use a pond, a pool, a stream, or even a bathtub. Notice how the boat is moved by the water and remember what God can do...how he can not only control the wind and the waves but how he can change the lives of people who see his power in action.
Take some time to pray, focusing on these things...
Praise God for his awesome power
Tell God you are sorry for the times you do the opposite of what he wants
Thank God for using people even when they disobey
Ask God to introduce himself to people in your life who do not know him