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Until something is in its rightful place it can’t be what it is.

Our relationship with God is life changing.
When we encountered the presence of the real living God almighty we were forever changed. Isn’t that worth writing about, sharing and remembering?
What was your story? I have shared mine.
How God met me in the moment where I needed Him to come through for me to believe.
I believe He does that for all of us.
Our pastor has been doing a series about encounters…when we encounter something in person we have a total different view of it. It becomes real to us.
Our pastor taught that we encounter God in the dark sacred spaces of our lives.
The places of discomfort.
It is where the sacred meet the spirit.
He talked about the story of Jonah. Remember how he ran from what the Lord wanted him to do? He ran literally for miles and miles thinking that God could not find him.
Jonah discovered that God knew his heart and was determined to make him listen.
Our true character emerges through the storms of our lives. Who we really are-not who we show for others to see. In the dark deep belly of the whale within the process of becoming obedient, Jonah prayed a prayer of thanksgiving. “In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry.” Jonah 2:1 “But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord.” vs. 9
Can you imagine? Let us think about this for a minute.
Jonah is deep in to the belly of a whale. It couldn’t be quiet the breathing and thrashing of the massive fish overwhelming. I wonder as Jonah sat or lay down surrounded by the rotting fish and seaweed and the overpowering smells in the darkness of the deep. Was that when he encountered God?
Jonah was rescued by God because God knew Jonah would become obedient after the lesson he learned. God knows our heart conditions. Pastor calls it the basement of our souls where our hearts decisions lie. Jonah did not want to obey God so he ran fast and far. Yet God found him. Pastor said the dark spaces of our lives deepened our character. It is where God can whisper and touch each layer of our broken lives; layer upon layer till all become healed places.
From the moment we were being formed Psalm 139 tells us we were known. God knew us. Isn’t that awesome? He is faithful from the beginning. We are the ones who move.
So in the process of running or avoiding or disobeying or hiding like Jonah we lose the opportunity to serve. I hope we always remember it is in the dark creepy spaces where our heart can truly meet the savior. His love is deep and wide and intense and I believe He will pursue us till we believe.
Pastor said what we choose to do shape us and also shapes others who watch us.
God is calling us to proper motivation.
When Jonah encountered God and heard him say, “I am going to rescue you because your heart condition has been obedient.” He wanted to serve Him for he knew He had saved his life.
Pastor challenged us to read the book of Jonah and ask ourselves what is our Nineveh?
What are we running from or hiding?

The lesson learned… until our heart condition is in its rightful place, it can’t be what it is.