1 The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2“Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”
3 But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD. (Jonah 1:1-3).
I have a very short question for you: What are you running from?
I chose this familiar passage about Jonah because, for me, it is a mirror of certain times in my life where (if I were honest) I was PETRIFIED about where God was taking me. Did you catch that? Not what He wanted me to do, but where He wanted me to go. Sure, I was ready to hold a bible study class in New York in a posh Starbucks, but what about Nigeria? Or Asia? What dilemma would that pose in my life? What “negotiations” would I try to have with God? (i.e. I won’t go to too many parties, God or I will listen to gospel for the entire year). It is amazing that we were “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) but at times it is hard to comprehend that we ALSO are to possess the same spiritual DNA of FEARLESSNESS!
Being presented with a challenge is a revelation of two major things: Number 1: that you have a connection with God. Face it: if it were up to you, all things would work well all the time. It can be hard looking at some of our counterparts that seemingly have it easy five days of the week, and then golf all weekend. “Again, God? I have to sacrifice again?” is a thought that may have popped up once in your life. But challenges should not remind us of God’s wrath, but of God’s TRUST in our daily walk. He TRUSTS that we will be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. He TRUSTS that we will be a peculiar people. He TRUSTS that we will bear fruit IN & OUT of season! And He TRUSTS that we will avail ourselves to the purpose He designed for us before we were even conceived. Circumstances were made for this world, but that is not a problem for the AUTHOR of circumstances. And as His children and heirs, we have inherited heavenly favor to conquer what needs to be conquered for any task to be completed. If you are being led to do something you otherwise would have never imagined, don’t run away–run to the Father.
Number 2: that you truly were created to DO, not just to BE. We are all born human beings, but once we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, we have a renewed creation–we are now human DOINGS. Our life is defined by our actions. Our witness to others has very little to do with what we KNOW of God, and more to do with what we SHOW of God. Running away from a challenge is not only a reflection of one’s walk with God, it is a detriment to those who are waiting for you to SHOW God in their life. Did you ever stop to think that your ENTIRE life could be to save one child across the country? Save a family from famine in Singapore? Save a stranger from an addiction? Jesus would have died just save YOU! So…Yes…YOU have that same power!
I encourage you to read Jonah in its entirety. Jonah was human, just like you and me. Yet his story made it into the Bible as a testimony of how human we are, and how GREAT God is. But let it also serve as a reminder of how great WE can be if we take on the mission impossible.
Embrace the task.