Can I just take this time to process something with you? Most of you know that I get “one liners” all the time. God lays a thought or a one liner on my heart and I type them in my phone. I have joked with my closest friends that when God takes me home someone needs to snatch my phone up and set it back to its factory setting because there are literally hundreds of thoughts peppered there. This one I am about to share is one I have kept for bit. It’s more of a thought than a one liner so just bear with me.
Why would God call a man named Jonah? For today we will call him the “running prophet”.
The story of Jonah really focuses on him not the people of Nineveh. Those folks desperately needed to hear the warning that God gave Jonah to give to them. Yet Jonah was resistant. I looked up synonyms for the word resistant on dictionary.com. These might interest you!
We all know God is after the one! We know that God is after those who have lost their way. The prodigal son comes to mind as well as many other stories. Biblical narratives flood my mind but my own personal accounts have started surfacing as I process Jonah’s life.
Here’s where I have landed today….
There are tons of other applications to be made from this story but I just wanted to sit with this one little area today.
God is pursuing not only the lost but His own wayward kiddos. Wayward kiddos that sometime include you and I….We rarely sit with our own rebellion! We like to focus on “self affirmation” and “self gratification”…yada yada yada. Self puffs up. Jonah was puffed up no doubt. I have been as well.
But why would God call a contrary, defiant, disobedient, opposing, rebellious and unyielding prophet? I would like to chat about that today about perhaps why it might be that God gives assignments to His defiant children.
Does He know that this season will expose their sin of distrust in Him? I think so!
I can give lip service and say someone has authority over me but if I don’t yield to their direction, my words are empty. I can say I trust them but my defiant, disobedient, opposing, rebellious and unyielding heart exposes something deeper. How can we call him, Lord and not be obedient and yielding? I struggle with this more often than I would care to admit.
I would have loved to have seen the story go a little differently. Wouldn’t you? I would loved to have been able to see that Jonah heard God speak the first time and just bought that boat ticket off “ninevahboattours” as soon as God spoke to Him. Nope! Jonah goes in the exact opposite direction. He gives every reason why those people didn’t deserve to hear the good news.
How can His prophets get so off course? How can we get so off course? God takes Jonah through some trials to get His attention. I’m saving you the full story of Jonah. I trust you have some remembrance of the story. He is disobedient the first time around….The directive to go to Ninevah comes yet again! He is finally obedient! The city is receptive to the word Jonah brings as God said they would be but Jonah isn’t happy with God.
Lots of conversation happens between Jonah and God as this wayward prophet struggles to love those who have the same sin as he does. Ninevah was a debaucherous city but one thing Jonah had in common with Ninevah was his distrust in God. Ninevah didn’t know God and Jonah didn’t act like he did….
We don’t see Jonah ever have a change of heart! I can’t even wrap my head around that. His obedience to the task God assigned comes only because God has made him swim with the fishies for three days. Once delivered from the struggle brought on by his own sin, he shares his displeasure with God.
God sometimes allows us an assignment because the assignment will expose deep rooted sin we would have never seen otherwise.
We too can be a “running prophet” that argues with God about what assignment we will take and which we would like to bow out of gracefully. The Lord performs ten miracles in the book of Jonah, nine of which are to get Jonah’s attention and bring him back. God truly pulls out all the stops to turn Jonah’s heart back to Him.
I think about those that bowl for a living. I’m not a great bowler! It has no purpose. I’m not throwing shade at those who bowl it just spark joy for me. I’ve never been athletic as you can tell from looking at my body but even I don’t need lane assist when I bowl, most don’t! We know the path to get a strike! But I think God sometimes puts up the “spiritual” lane assist to keep us on track.
Miracle after re-alignment after gentle encouragement after 3 days with the fishies….God’s doing it all to get Jonah’s attention. God provides and provides for us as a way of showing His loving kindness to us and often times we continue to run from the assignment to be His voice. God is doing His work to curtail us back and we continue to try to take detours.
What roadblocks and detours are you taking to purposefully divert Gods plan for your life? Why are you running from God’s assignment? Why do I run?
What miracles and reassignments has God charted to get you back on track so you can speak life to nations?
Do we see them?
Did Jonah see his?
This is timeline work here! For those that did the Joseph study with me, this will spark a deep journey for you!
I think He calls running prophets to hard assignments to expose the realization that we are as broken as those we are assigned to. This my friend is a deep well of growth if we are willing to sit with it…..