In the book of Jonah, God called Jonah to go and deliver a prophetic message to the city of Nineveh; a great and wicked city. Jonah refused to go and fled to Tarshish. Jonah 1:3 says Jonah went down to Joppa and got on a ship, trying to flee from the presence of Lord. Because of his disobedience God brought great wrath and turbulence upon his life by way of a raging storm. But when Jonah cried out to the Lord (Jonah 2:1-9), God received his prayer (vs 2: 10).
When we willingly disobey God His covering will not be over us, therefore we become vulnerable to all kinds of curses, dark places, and torture from satan. In contrast, the great thing about God is that it is never too late to come to Him. Unfortunately, usually it is when we have come to the end of ourselves and realize we can’t make it on our own. Oh but how loving is our Father, with arms outstretched wide, He rescues us from the hands of our enemies. Verse 2:10 goes on to say, ” So the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.” In Galatians 5:17 it says, “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, and these two are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” Many times God may tell us to do something and we simply refuse. The main root is disobedience which often arises out of fear, unbelief, and the most damming of them all–doubt! We doubt God can do what He sent us to do, and we doubt God’s ability to carry us through to the end. In the midst of life’s tide will come sharks, piranhas, and the proverbial whale. But, do we just let satan throw us overboard to be eaten alive because we selfishly don’t want to go through pain, hurt, and suffering that is often required to walk with God? Or, do we stand up, while inside the belly of the whale, and start praising and worshiping God; stirring up a commotion, agitating its loins, and upsetting its stomach so much so that it has no choice but to regurgitate us out? Light can not live inside of darkness. Either of two will happen: darkness will conform to light, or the light will be too powerful for the darkness and it will have to flee! Hallelujah! Will you heed the voice of God pertaining to your life? God may allow you to be overtaken by the enemy for a moment, but will retrieve you–despite your disobedience, so He can show you how faithful and merciful He is. It’s situations like these that God allows us to go through to increase our faith (1 peter 6,7). When you first started on this Christian journey your trials may have been small, but as you pass one faith test after another, you will begin to see that the level of faith required to go through the next situation will need to be of a higher magnitude. Will you walk bold like David did and face your Goliath, or will you do as James 1:23, 24 says and forget what kind of man you are? Intermittingly, we sometimes forget what God has already brought us through, forget who we are in Christ, and forget that Romans 8:37 says that we are more than conquers.
Moreover, when we finally accept God’s will for the thing that He has called us to do, when it does not go the way we think it should go do we start to murmur, judge and complain? We begin to usurp God’s authority and do His job for Him when all he simply told us to do was obey! The assignment He sent you on was for Nineveh’s (other person’s) deliverance, not you! But, you’re complaining, “why is this person in my life?” “Why am I going through this?” Some of you are even praying and wishing harm on the one that God sent to you to intercede for! Because you are subject to pain in the process, you get angry at God for not punishing the person (vs 4: 1,2). God had to show Jonah the mercy of His heart through a plant (vs 4: 9, 10). Just as Jonah was as passionate about that perishing plant, so was God about His perishing people (vs 4:11). Beloved, God will send us as laborers to the harvest when He is trying to reach unsaved sheep. It takes maturating in Christ not to look at a trial subjectively. It takes a selfless person to love another human being that is perishing in darkness; to suffer for that person so their soul can be saved (1 corinthians 13:2). Instead most run away from Ninevah. We must have a willing heart and sensitive ear to listen to the voice of God and follow His direction for our life. Instead we let hurt, pain, and anger toward’s a person paralyze us, thus saying “no” to God and forfeiting the person’s salvation. Oftimes, God is already speaking to the person’s heart, calling them out of darkness. God needs you to be His physical body to reach out and embrace them. The people you are assigned to will most often react to you in anger and hatred because like you–before you surrendered to God–they are trying to run away from God’s calling on their lives. Beloved, don’t run away from God. Did He not tell us to, “pick up your cross and follow me?” Matthew 10:24. As Christians this life is not ours, 1 peter 4:2 says, “that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.” Saints, we are ambassadors for Christ.
By Puah Neiel