We each have a unique way of screwing things up if we’re left unchecked. Me, well I rush into everything and leave a mess in my wake. Maybe you’re like me, or maybe you’re more the opposite. You wait too long on everything and generally watch life pass you by and get a whole lot of nothing done in the process.

Maybe you’re the type that gets totally stuck in their head, or maybe you’re the type that never stops to really think about it at all. Maybe you’re ruled by fear, by the what-if, by the stories you play on repeat in your head. Maybe you’re a bit puffed up thinking you’re better than most everyone else, or maybe you’re convinced you will never be good enough.

Extremes. Imbalance. Unchecked.

Lord, check us. Help us get back in balance.

God created each of us in perfect fashion. He didn’t design a single one of us to live a life of chaos. He designed you to be a reflection of himself; to be a vessel of his power; to carry his light in this dark world. But if we’re living unchecked, we’re being ruled by something other than his design. We’re ruled by our habits, by our tendencies, by our weaknesses, by our fears, and by the stories we tell ourselves.

Jonah was a man designed by God to fulfill a purpose. As a prophet, he heard from God clearly and could share God’s word with others. But when God told Jonah to go somewhere he didn’t want to go, to share a message he didn’t want to share, Jonah went a little sideways.

You know, sideways… You stop doing what you know you should do. Have you ever just stopped what you know you should be doing? Maybe you’re there right now. You’ve stopped. Dang it, you know you should have kept going, but something got in the way and you just didn’t go around it. Now here you are, going sideways, unchecked.

You’re out of alignment and you know it. You can feel it. What are you going to do about it?

God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and share a message that would save the people living in terrible ways. Jonah knew going there would be hard. He knew the people would be different. He knew he wouldn’t be received well. So he was afraid. He was afraid what would happen if he went and did what God said to do, so instead of doing what he knew he should do, he went a little sideways. In fact, he hopped on a boat going in the opposite direction.

Jonah’s fear was his driver. And who knows how dangerous the ride is when fear is the one driving? He was avoiding what he perceived to be too hard for him. He believed the stories he had told himself and predetermined his own failure.

Sound familiar? Have you been avoiding what you have perceived as too hard for you? Have you believed the stories you’ve been telling yourself of predetermined failure? Oh, you’ve been letting fear drive this car, and my guess is, fear has you going in the wrong direction sister.

Look around, is this what God had for you? Is this where he wanted you to be? Are you doing what you were created to do? Or, did fear bring you here?

Let me tell you, fear creates some real crapfests. Fear has us hiding when we are supposed to show up. Fear has us chained up when we are supposed to be unleashed. Fear has us doubting when we are supposed to believe. Fear has us on a boat heading in the wrong direction, in the middle of a storm.

Jonah was running away from God in fear. Now the boat is being crashed by wild waves and nearly falling apart, and Jonah knows this is on him. He’s thrown overboard, and he’s swallowed by a whale.

Dang it. It sucks to know you’ve caused the storm. It sucks to know your fear got the best of you, but hiding from it hasn’t worked. It’s time to face this Sis.

God, check me. I’ve been running unchecked. My fear has overrun my faith and it’s caused a huge storm that I don’t know how to calm. I don’t want to run any more. I want to get back in alignment with your good plans for my life. Today, I choose faith over fear. I choose trust over telling myself the same old stories.

God got Jonah back in check during his 3 day vacation in the belly of a whale. He prayed in Jonah 2: 9-10 “I will fulfill all my vows. For my salvation comes from the Lord alone.” Then the Lord ordered the fish to spit Jonah out onto the beach.”

Now, back in alignment with what he knew he should do, he went straight to Ninevah and faced his fears. And surprise surprise, guess what … it wasn’t nearly as bad as he thought. The people there weren’t awful. They didn’t attack him. They received everything he had as a word from God and it changed their lives.

Well hot dang girl … if you’ll get yourself back in check and do the thing you know you’re supposed to be doing, it probably won’t be nearly as hard as you’ve made it to be in your head!

Just how big have you made this in your own head? How terrible are the stories you’ve been telling yourself? How incapable have you believed yourself to be? Well girl, what if you’re wrong?!!!!

Now is the perfect time to look around and realize maybe you’ve been letting fear drive and it’s taken you to places you know you shouldn’t be. Maybe that ol’ unchecked you has made a few messes and you’re ready to get back in alignment. Now is the time to pray as Jonah did and make the commitment “I will fulfill all my vows.” The Message translation puts Jonah’s prayer like this “I’ll do what I promised I would do.”

You made some commitments, but maybe those commitments ended up being a little harder than you first imagined. Maybe you felt unqualified to continue, so you dismissed yourself from your own promise. And now, you’re in the middle of a mess that just doesn’t seem to be getting better.

Sister, now’s the time to pray … Lord, I will do what I promised I would do. Show me how to do that. Strengthen me to do this right. Help me to overcome these fears and move forward in the right direction. I will be obedient. I’m done living my life unchecked. I’m ready now.

Maybe your attitude has been unchecked sister. You’ve been doing the things, but you’ve been doing the things hateful. Uhh huh, you’ve been down right hateful about it. Let me tell you something, you unchecked is a real hag to live with. Your whole house has been avoiding you. You show up for work and people start hiding! Oh girl, that attitude is unchecked.

So Lord, not only check my actions, but check my attitude. Help me get that in alignment and as I do what I promised I would do, I will do it with joy because I don’t have to, I GET TO!

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