Turn

traffic-lights-49705_640Jonah 3:8: but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands.

The king of Nineveh decreed repentance. He leveraged on his authority to instruct his people to turn away from evil and to God and led the way. That is expected from Spiritual leadership in the church. Paul told Timothy to be an example to the believers in every way, leading the way in living right before God (1Timothy 4:12).

Nineveh’s king could have ignored the warning coming from Prophet Jonah, wave it aside, and continue in the errors of his way, nose-diving into destruction (Proverbs 14:12). But he recognised the holiness of God and how deserving of judgment he and his people were because of their evil ways.

King Saul did not know this. So Samuel had to tell him, after he confronted him with his sin and he wanted to excuse his guilt, that God has no interest in the blood of bulls and goat but in harkening to his voice (1Samuel 15:22).

The people of Nineveh responded with repentance but Saul responded, when confronted with the error of his way with excuse, lies, with a show of bravado, with cover up, as if he could hide from God.

Repentance is commanded or we fall into judgment. Jesus preached: repent for the kingdom of God (his rule) is at hand. He told Nicodemus, except a man be born again he cannot see (experience) the kingdom of God (John 3:1-8). Paul said that the time of ignorance God has decided to ignore but now he calls everyone to repentance and faith in Jesus (Acts 17:30-31). The first part of the elementary principles of Christ is repentance (Hebrews 6:1). The kingdom of God comes in power, power against his enemy (sinners) in judgment and power towards his people in the Holy Spirit.

Peter told the people in second of chapter of Acts that they should repent so that they can experience times of refreshing from the presence of God (Acts 3:19). That will make them escape the judgment coming on the world (Hebrews 2:3).

Jesus also told Nicodemus that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son so that whoever believes in him will not perish (be condemned, judged) but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

With the light of the gospel, you are able to see the danger ahead and make a turn from death to life, from the broad road to the narrow road (Matthew 7:13-14), from darkness to light (Acts 26:18), from the house of bondage to the presence of God (Deuteronomy 5:6, Exodus 19:4), from lies to truth, from death to life (2Timothy 1:10), from error to correctness, from evil to good, from Satan to Christ (Acts 26:18).

Nobody can make that choice for you, you cannot have an hand-me-down relationship with God, and you cannot presume you have a relationship when you do not. If your heart has not been touched, changed by his Spirit then you have not turned to him.

Paul wrote that till this day during the reading of the Law of Moses, there is a veil over the eyes of the people, but when they turn to the Lord the veil is removed and they can be changed from glory to glory, in praise of God (2Corinthians 3:13-18). You cannot be right if you are not right with Jesus.

Moses, had a famous turn that changed the course of his life (Exodus 3). He had been leading the sheep of his father-in-law for forty years, he thought that was the way his life will end, but after that turn he had forty years unimaginable adventure.

There was a bush burning in the wilderness, there was fire all over it but as it burned, it did not burn. That was a certified mystery. Moses turned to see what it was and from there he heard the call of God to go to Egypt to set the people of Israel free. That burning bush was a manifestation of God to him, to get his attention.

When he woke up that morning he did not know that his life was about to take a radical turn. After that he confronted Pharaoh, take the children of Israel across the wilderness, to the edge of Canaan.

That God got Moses’ attention in that incident was a turning point in his life. In the same way when you pay more attention to God, his things, his ways; that will definitely be a turning point in your life. When to take steps to be closer to him as Moses did to better observe the burning bush, then you are about to experience a turn for good. He had been on an assignment for his father in law but now he will be on assignment for God.

Many voices are striving for our attention in this world, the fire of the flesh wants to get our attention instead of the fire of the Holy Spirit. Paul said there are many voices in the world, but we should listen for the voice of God and let that hold our attention (1Corinthians 14:10). It is for our own good.

When Elijah paid attention to the words of Jezebel (1Kings 19), it led him to the downward spiral of depression. The bible even says that we should not pay attention to everything we hear (Ecclesiastes 7:21). Elijah took heed to the wrong voice, the voice of fear and his life experience took a turn for the worse.

He went many kilometers, removing himself far from Jezebel, from her toxic words, to hear the word of God, which restored calm in his life and gave him a renewed sense of purpose. He turned to God and he received help. He went to the presence of God, and gained God’s perspective.

Turning to God means turning for his help, power grace and truth. When we turn to the Lord the chains are broken, the clouds lift, change comes, healing empowerment, direction, and understanding.

When Elijah was about to be taken to heaven (2Kings 2:1-14), Elisha, his protégé, who would later receive a double portion of his anointing, followed him. The condition was that if Elisha saw Elijah going up to heaven he would receive what he wanted from him: a double portion of his anointing.

Whatever turn Elijah made Elisha followed. Elisha’s business was to just to follow and eventually Elijah’s chariots of fire took him to heaven in an upward turn, and it was Elisha turn to walk in Elijah’s anointing, the double portion of it.

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