Jonah. That's what the Lord said to me tonight. I kind of laughed to myself because everyone knows about Jonah. I was almost cocky in my "spirituality", like I was too good to read Jonah. Doesn't the Lord know how many times I've read Jonah!? But, when the Lord speaks- I've learned to obey. I opened up the Word not expecting to hear from the Lord.
Total opposite. The Lord spoke some truths to me that definately have changed my perspective on the story of Jonah. The Lord also taught me to get off my "high-horse" and to stay a learner. (Always stay a novice! We can always learn something.) The wonderful thing about the word of the Lord is it is always relevant. It works like building blocks. You can always build foundational truths to your knowledge "wall'. It just keeps building on the previous truth.
I thought I would share what the Lord taught me this evening. Here is a recap of the story in case you've forgotten. :) The Lord told Jonah to go to Nineveh. Jonah thought he had better things to do. Jonah bought a ticket and jumped on a ship. An awful storm came about when they were sailing. They casted lots to figure out who was causing it. It was Jonah. (His disobedience.) They casted him over. The sea quit. Jonah got eaten by a whale. Stayed in the whale for 3 days. He spit him up. The Lord told him to go to Nineveh again. He went. He did what he was supposed to do. Nineveh prayed and fasted. The Lord had compassion. Jonah went to the outskirts of the city to watch what would happen. The Lord gave him a shade vine for his comfort. The next day the Lord sent a worm and the vine shirveled. Jonah was angry because of the vine dying. (Sigh.... )
There are many "Jonahs" walking around in our society. They recognize that Jesus is Lord over their life but are running away from their calling. Some are paying to run away from their calling like Jonah did when he bought the ticket for sea. We must wake up to our callings. We must obey what the Lord has spoken to us. He made and created each of us. Why do we question if He knows best!? I get so frustrated with myself when I question God. And I have to remind myself that I do not know best. He has known me longer than I have known me! He created me! Don't you think He knows what is best for my life!? I should trust him and obey!
I laughed when I read that Jonah paid to flee from God. Why do we run so quickly from the things God calls us to!? Fear? Rejection? Pride?
Even the fish obey God. The whale could have eaten Jonah. But the Lord spoke and told it to spit him out.... and the whale obeyed. Amazing.
After Jonah was spit out God did not give him a new assignment. He gave him the first one. We question why we can't hear God tell us what to do in our lives... when He is waiting for us to obey what He has already spoken! Recover what the Lord has spoken and obey Him.
The Lord provided Jonah a vine for his comfort. But the next day He sent a worm. When Jonah questioned God... The Lord replied and asked him if he had tended to it to make it flourish. Many times the Lord does not give us things we are praying for because our character can't withstand it. We have to be in a position to receive what we are praying for! If you can't handle the 20 dollars God gives you ever week then how can he trust you with 2,000 dollars a week!? Be faithful with what God gives you. Tend to it. Cultivate it! Make it flourish!
This last truth is what really got me. I pray for so many amazing things to happen in my life. But I wonder if I'm ready for them!? I need to get to a place where I am prepared and ready for what He gives me so I can continue to hold on to it. I always want the Lord to be able to trust me with what He gives me! I am not saying that this is salvation by works.... No matter how much we do- we aren't saved by our good acts. We are saved through grace. But faith without actions is dead. So the two go hand in hand. I want to be faithful to a faithful God! He is faithful with me, so it should work like every other relationship. And I should return the faithfulness.
Lord, I ask that you speak to each of us! Show us your plan for our lives, give us the boldness to obey no matter what the circumstances are. I ask that if we have forgotten what you have spoken to us that you remind us. Give us the diligence and discipline to build a character that can handle what you want to give us. We are always Yours Lord! We love you. Amen.