Most people have heard the story of Jonah but I would guess that most have not read the book. Jonah has very little to do with a fish and a whole lot to do with God's compassion. Here are some things we see in the first few verses of the book.
Jonah is great because he is like many other biblical characters: a mess-up who God doesn't give up on. Jonah was a prophet of God who had received signs from God but chose to run from him. Jonah knew God was calling him to a dangerous place, Nineveh. Jonah chose to run from God's presence by fleeing to Tarshish rather than remain in Israel burdened with guilt. Jonah is a great reminder that God does not call the "best" of us... He calls ALL of us. God's call is not for an elite group to be a part of his work but we all have a part.
We are much the same. We have even greater signs of God and we choose to run from Him. We have an even more clear calling of God than Jonah, yet we choose to flee the presence of God. It is all about perspective. God is at work all around us and he chooses to reveal himself to people who are looking for Him.
- God does not call the "best" of us... He calls ALL of us.
It is more comfortable for us live life with "I'm a Christian" as a tagline than it is to surrender. God is not as much interested in your successes. It is easy to justify sin by saying "I will do this for God!" Don't buy into the lie of first you become a success, then God uses you. Obeying God's call doesn't demand that you conquer but invites you to surrender. If you do things you are capable of then you get the glory. If you surrender and let God do things through you that you could never do yourself, God gets the glory.
Obeying God's call doesn't demand that you conquer but invites you to surrender.
This week, I challenge you to consider your surrender. Everyone surrenders to something. Some to a sports team. Everything in life stops according to their schedule. Some to friends. Some to work. Some to church. Jonah surrendered not to God, but to his own safety. We will see next week he ended up running into a storm.
For His glory,