Thursday, October 30, 2008
(Today’s post was inspired by Jonah Chapter 1)
How many times have you looked at the task at hand and looked at yourself, looked at yourself and the task at hand and reasoned that it was easier to allow the task to go undone than to try and not succeed? How many times have you been given an assignment that you felt unqualified to complete? Just as we work for employers in the natural that hand us assignments to complete, we more importantly work for a Heavenly Master that has certain tasks for us to complete. If we decide that we just don’t feel up to the challenge in our natural jobs we have to face the consequences. There are also repercussions for our refusal to complete assigned Heavenly duties.
Perhaps one of the most famous examples of someone that attempted to abort their assignment from the Lord was Jonah. It wasn’t that Jonah was incompetent or confused that prevented him from going to Nineveh when God told him to. It was the fact that Jonah felt his energies and time could much better be spent elsewhere. Therefore, Jonah went off to Tarnish instead. Even though Jonah may have meant well and had great plans to do great things in Tarnish –– that’s not where God told him to go so God would not allow him smooth sailing.
I can personally recall leaving relationships, congregations, assignments, ministries, etc. all because I felt that I wasn’t making any progress or because things were not progressing the way I thought they should be. As a result, I didn’t have peace. The storms of life were raging and I felt heavy at heart. I knew that the problem was. I wasn’t “where” I was supposed to be. I was miserable until I was able to move beyond my pride and my self-will and surrender to the will of the Almighty.
God caused a great wind and a mighty tempest in the sea which caused Jonah’s ship to be tossed in such a manner. It felt like it was going to break. In other words, God twist-turned Jonah’s life upside down all because Jonah heard the voice of the Lord and did not hearken to His call. Jonah’s shipmates were afraid. They knew that their vessel was carrying too much weight. They tried tossing unnecessary objects off the ship in their attempts to lighten their load but unbeknownst to them, it was Jonah’s disobedience that really weighed them down.
The assignment that God had for Jonah was too great from him to be hiding out on a ship. He was called to go cry out against the city of Nineveh. I’ve come to learn that some of the most difficult things to do for God are the most important things we’ll do for God. God wants us to come to a place where we trust Him enough to say what not many people want hear (truth), live (holy) how many aren’t willing to live and most of all to be willing to sacrifice (obedience) everything to follow Him.
All the mariners knew was that their ship was sinking. But Jonah knew exactly what the problem was because he was at the root of it. Isn’t it amazing how connected we really are to one another? Isn’t it amazing how our disobedience and refusal to do the will of the Father not only affects us but those around us?
Every time I read this story, I can’t help but to critically analyze everything that takes place. I came to the conclusion that it is a lot easier for us to do what God tells us to do the first time willingly than it is for us to run from God because there is no where we can go that He can not see us. God’s will will be done whether we comply or not. God will get the glory.
If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword." For the mouth of the LORD has spoken. (Isaiah 1:19-20)
Author of By His Stripes We Are Healed
Posted by Shanita Waters at 7:24 AM