Jonah 3: Success Awaits Where God Beckons
This is the third in a series of six blog posts from the prophet Jonah. In Jonah 1:17 through 2:10, we see:
"The Lord made a huge sea creature to swallow Jonah, and he spent three days and nights in its grasp.
"Jonah prayed, 'I called on you, Lord, in my distress, and you answered me. I cried out in the belly of Sheol and you heard my voice. You threw me into the depths, and the current overcame me. Your breakers and billows swept over me.' Then I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight, yet I will seek once more your holy temple.’
"Water engulfed me. The depths overcame me. Seaweed wrapped around my head and I sank to the foundations of the mountains. Earth’s prison bars forever closed behind me. But you spared my life from the pit, oh Lord, my God.
"As my life was fading, I remembered my God. My prayer reached out to you in your holy temple. 'Those who cling to worthless idols forsake your truth and love. As for me, I will gladly sacrifice for you. I will fulfill what I vowed. Salvation is from the Lord!' Then the Lord commanded the creature of the sea to vomit Jonah onto dry land."
You can ignore this story, accept it, or reject it. But truth is truth and your opinion isn’t going to change it. Ignorance and rejection can't alter this story. But acceptance has changed a lot of lives. The clear overarching fact from Scripture is that almighty invisible God alters our visible course to mold our destiny.
Jonah was living his life as he willed it, which was certainly within his prerogative. But God was at work in a lost world and uses men to reach other men. God did not impose himself on anyone. The sailors were free to keep fighting the storm. Jonah was free to lie in his bed until he died or reached another port. But life gets dangerous and scary, and people get hurt, when they drift from God to face worldly headwinds.
Jesus Christ knew that God uses men to execute his will and reach other men. He modeled it. He surrendered his own will to perform God’s will. He faced life’s greatest storm and answered God’s call to do something great. In the process he blessed and saved all who choose to acknowledge his great sacrifice.
Right now, I believe God is calling out to you. Surrender your will and you can find God’s peace in the midst of life’s greatest storm. Stop resisting. If God has called you to be a sailor, get strife out of your life and allow God to navigate you to calm seas. If you’re running from God and resisting his call, step out right now. Jump out of that seemingly secure boat you’re in before it breaks apart and sinks before you know what happened.
God prepared a fish to do something great for Jonah. God prepared Jonah to do something good for Nineveh. God prepared Jesus Christ so he could do something wonderful for you. And God has prepared you to do something needed in the Nineveh you’ve been avoiding. How long will you tarry. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and trust God to take you where you were born to serve! God has sent me, to tell you, that you’re blessing awaits you in the very place you’ve been dreading to go.