Let’s continue on with my Lent season journey through the book of Jonah. I intentionally left out verse 17 in the first post. https://talkativeangel.wordpress.com/2014/05/17/fleeing-from-your-destiny-are-you-going-in-the-opposite-direction-jonah-1-1-16/
The Holy Spirits message to ME was in the same manner. I could not understand why I was stuck on this verse for approximately 3 days, 1 hour and 46 minutes. The hour and 46 minutes is how long it took me to put the thoughts to paper. Do you sometimes feel like the Holy Spirit is communicating too much to you at one time and it’s hard to keep up? But God! I needed quiet time-out per the Holy Spirit to think on this one verse…hence the title…Has God Ever Put You In Time-Out? (TYHS)
Jonah 1:17 – Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
|Courtesy of Wikipedia.org
|Time-out is a term for a form of punishment that involves temporarily separating a child from an environment where inappropriate behavior has occurred, and is intended to decrease positive reinforcement of the behavior. It is an educational and parenting technique recommended by some pediatricians and developmental psychologists as an effective form of child discipline. Often a corner (hence the common term corner time) or a similar space where the child is to stand or sit during time-outs is designated.
|While some proponents of time-outs insist on silence and stillness from the child during the time-out, it is easier to use a “release-contingency,” such that the requirement is only that the child is sitting peacefully at the end of the time-out period. Those who use time-out for children to get anger and frustration “out of their system” or for children to think about their behavior, are using time-out in a way that is different than those basing it on operant behavioral principles (that time-out from positive reinforcement may reduce recurrences of the unwanted target behavior).
|Critics of time-out include Thomas Gordon, Alfie Kohn, and Aletha Solter, who claim that the approach may lead to short-term compliance but has the same disadvantages as other forms of punishment. According to these authors, the use of time-out does not enhance moral behavior or teach children useful conflict-resolution skills, and it fails to address the underlying cause of the behavior. Furthermore, they claim that the parent/child bond can be damaged by forced isolation and withdrawal of love in an effort to control a child’s behavior, and this can lead to feelings of insecurity or anxiety in children. Another argument is that time-out, like all other methods of coercive control, eventually stops working as children grow older and begin to rebel against their parents’ authoritarian approach to discipline.
So beloved for three days, I was in thought of events that have happened in my life. It was as though I was watching a movie on my closet wall with my Winnie the Pooh friends and bibles. You’d be amazed at what God shows you when you sit quietly in a closet communicating with Him. He can take you back to conversations you have had with people to show you something you missed in the interpretation of the conversation. God is so good to me. God is truly the best at getting our attention to focus on things in our lives, isn’t he?
We as people, as Christians, and everything else are too busy running our homes without any order, running our churches as a profitable business (aren’t churches a 501 (c) (3) non- profit entity?) running to be on different boards within the church and community, running businesses into chaos, running to do this and that to keep ahead of everyone else, running from our enemies, running up behind others to please them, running from our past, etc. etc. We have ran into lion’s dens, brick walls, and even head on with each other. So, ok, you get the gist of us running, right? We are a running race of people are we not? We run so much so, that we don’t stop to take notice of God in our lives and the direction He wants us to go in.
Like Jonah, we too are running from God, and we are too darn toot’n busy running to notice that we are running from the direction in which He has destined for us. I was thinking as I was writing down my thoughts…why is God bent on me placing focus on the word “running”? The Holy Spirit guided me to turn the pages to Hebrews 12:1-2 ..See here! –
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
By George, I think she’s got it! My life was/is so busy with others, that I did not have a personal life of my own. I was always doing, giving to whomever God led me to give to, worrying about, running three households, and being there for others, especially family, and those in need per God, that I came across. My daughter-in-law has been telling me for years… “woman, get YOUR life!” My reply is always “I can, when you all get out of it.” I think it finally hit the brain during the rending of my heart to God while focusing on Jonah 1:17.
This was the “effectiveness” (read above) portion by me being put in time-out by God. During those three days, I had to visually recognize and lay aside every weight and sin that easily ensnared me. For 3 days I did not communicate with anyone other than God and Winnie the Pooh and friends. Now you know that took a lot out of me, to both be still and quiet. My focus had to be solely on those matters and to use them as memory guidelines why I needed to practically stop running basically in circles when it came to others, and why my behavior and thoughts were as they were.
Let me tell you about the grace of God and what He does for me…on the fourth day while sitting in church on that great Sunday, our pastor spoke about “guideposts in our lives”… “Ebenezer posts” (aka Ebenezer stone-Read 1 Samuel 7) Yes, we ALL have checker boarded and dot-to-dot pasts and passes, hallelujah, amen! God indeed relays messages through others, it can be the same sermon, but a different message to those who receive in via the Holy Spirit. I received God’s grace, a confirmation of what direction I needed to take.
Let me also tell you – there is NOT one earthly person alive or dead who does not/ did not have something in their life that they are /were ashamed of. But God’s grace! Forget about others, they don’t determine whether you get to live eternally in the Kingdom of God or Hell.
For some of us time-out may have its “disadvantages” (read above). There was a time when people would forget what God’s penalty was for disobedience. (Israelites…need I say more?) There are and will be times Christians forget as well. (We are repeat offenders of sin due to our forgetfulness…need I say more?) So how can we avoid the disadvantages beloved? By focusing on the goal to be an overcomer in Jesus Christ and rending our hearts to God. (TYHS) That’s what I have learned on this journey from Jonah 1:17 and am sharing the good news with you my beautiful loves.
Lesson Points – So beloved when it comes to God putting you in time-out, the first thing you should do is put up for yourself an Ebenezer stone to remind you of three very important things per the Holy Spirit’s message to me:
(1) God forgives you when you repent and rend your heart to Him. His mercies are forever flowing.
(2) You have chosen a new direction not in the opposite direction of God’s will for you
(3) Just as God made a covenant with Abraham, He has made one with you through your unyielding faith in Jesus Christ
Now, even though I thought I was running wholly for God, He showed me something else during time-out. I study His word every day, hours at a time. He is always on my mind and heart. I would praise Him even when I would get upset and when things would go wrong. I try to live right and I often tell people, if Jesus were to return today, I’d be ready. But God, showed me differently during my time-out, aka my days of separation from my environment:
Amen! It’s not about me thinking I’m ready…it is about Him knowing I am ready. (TYHS)
God temporarily separated Jonah from his environment to get him going in the right direction. God had to send a big fish to swallow and keep Jonah in his belly for three days and three nights in time-out for him to think about his actions; recognize his sin against God; to repent; and to ask for mercy. If you notice, when God spoke to the prophets to get a message of His will to be done, he would do so when it was just Him and them…time-out away from everyone else to focus on Him and the message. God does not want us delivering a wrong or false message. Do you understand that? You can’t figure out what God is saying or doing when you are running too much and running in the wrong direction away from Him. What does he tell us in Psalm 46:10?- Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! (TYHS)
Beloved, if it takes God putting you in time-out for three days and three nights in order for you to be still and know that He is God, so shall it be done. Trust and believe that Jesus is indeed the author and finisher of our faith for sure. Treasure the moment when you are swallowed up in the belly of a fish per the will of God! Comprende