Have you ever felt like there was something that God had asked you to do, and you just did not want to? Did you run from Him? Did you hide in your closet, or do something to get your mind off spiritual and on secular?
My Dad told a story, which knowing him so well, seemed funny. When he was a young Christian and full of the zeal of the Holy Ghost he was praying one day and made God a promise… “Ask me to do ANY thing and I will do it for You! ANYTHING Lord, just ask.”He said he heard God speaking to his heart saying, “Go downtown Los Angeles at noon on Friday, don’t take your guitar or anyone with you, just take your Bible and at the stroke of noon begin walking north on Hollywood Blvd. and start preaching saying ‘Jesus is coming soon, prepare yourself, be saved!” My Dad was bold when he was in the pulpit, I have seen him preach to thousands and sing until everyone would be on their feet, but that is when he was under the “anointing” not just being ‘Harry the man’. He said he was shaking in his boots at the thoughts of going out there so when Friday came he was so nervous that he just couldn’t bring himself to do it. He had gone to the appointed place to preview the scene and saw hundreds of people going in every direction, his hands were as cold as ice and his voice was trembling…he knew couldn’t do it. For three weeks he fought against doing it, and the trade off was that he couldn’t feel the Spirit of God anywhere. He would cry and pray and NOTHING would happen. Finally he broke down and said “God I promised you I would do anything, and if You will forgive me for being disobedient, I will do it!”He said he immediately felt the Spirit come back and he felt so relieved that he knew that nothing, nerves or any other thing could stop him this time. Friday came and he went to the designated corner and began to preach… he said he saw heads popping out of windows three stories up to see what all the yelling was about. He walked the length of the street and was starting back when a policeman stopped him and told him that what he was doing was against the ordinances of the City of LA and he would have to stop. My Dad knew that the Bible said “Obey those that have the rule over you” and he gladly stopped. He knew that he had finally fulfilled his promise to the Father.
There was a young man named Jonah that we read of in the Bible. His story was similar, God told him to go to Ninevah and tell them that judgment was coming unless they repented! He DID NOT want to do it, so he ran! He got on a ship, went down into the bottom and fell asleep, thinking that he was completely hidden from God. The ship sailed and a great storm started, it was so violent that the sailors were afraid they would lose their lives. They began to cry out to the many different gods they served and to no avail. Finally the Captain went and found Jonah and said “Wake up! Pray to YOUR God, maybe HE will do something!”Jonah knew what was wrong but didn’t admit it. He went up on deck and the storm grew worse! The sailors began to draw lots to see who the guilty party was, and Jonah got the short straw! He finally admitted what he had done and told them to throw him overboard, at first they wouldn’t, but things got so much worse that at last they heaved him over the side! Immediately the storm stopped! The sailors were amazed and started to worship the God of this Hebrew man and even offered sacrifices! But God wasn’t through with Jonah, He had “prepared a large fish” to swallow him and here is the key to Jonah’s release back into life: Jonah 2:7 When my life was slipping away I remembered God, and my prayer got through to you, made it all the way to Your Holy Temple.9 And I’ll do what I promised I’d do!
Both Jonah and young Harry found that to have peace, they would have to keep their promise! Are there promises you haven’t kept?