Key Scripture: Jonah 1:17 – 2:10
What if God told you to go to the worst of the worst offenders and share God’s word with them. Would you go?
Jonah was a man who had to contemplate that very question. Ninevites were evil people, and Jonah felt they should suffer the consequences of their actions. Our God, in all his mercy, however wanted to give the people of Nineveh an opportunity to know him.
Jonah chose to run in the opposite direction. He boarded a boat headed to Tarshish and acted in disobedience. But God wouldn’t let Jonah off the hook. He sent a violent storm and a whale to get Jonah’s attention. Ultimately, Jonah, while sitting in the belly of the whale, cried out to God. He prayed a prayer drawn from the words of Psalm 42. He prayed, “…You have hurled me into the deep, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me, all your waves and your breakers swept over me.”
As we consider delayed-obedience, which is really disobedience, here are a few things to think about:
- We can’t truly love God and run from him at the same time.
- Recognizing foolish actions, even our own foolishness, is way too important to ignore.
- Reflecting on God’s past care of us is a key to knowing he will also care for our future.
- God is willing and able to help us turn from disobedience.
- Praying with thanksgiving, humility and sincerity is how God wants to hear from us.
Nearly 12 years ago a storm came my way in the form of a financial planner. A planner that was trusted by members of my family. He was kind, funny and knowledgeable. He was a man anyone would have trusted.
I thought if I planned well, saved money, my future would be secure. I became the victim of a Ponzi scheme two years before retirement. I received a phone call saying the majority of our retirement money was gone. In that moment I felt like God had forgotten me, but now I understand that God was trying to get my attention in a spectacular way.
If I’m truthful, I was serving God half-heartedly. It was time for change. I turned from disobedience and began to serve God with all my heart, all my mind and all my strength. As I reflect on God’s provision in the past, I have become confident that he will care for me in my future.
With Christ, my future is eternally secure. With Christ, your future is eternally secure as well. Knowing this gives us the confidence to stop running and put our trust in God’s provision.
Steps of Faith: God, help me to not be swallowed by a whale or hit with a storm in order to see what changes I need to make in my life. Remind me to be humble, asking for forgiveness for the ways in which I have sinned. Guard my heart and mind against evil. Thanking you in advance for answered prayers. Amen.
Deeper Walk Scripture: Mark 12:33, Psalm 65:3, 1 John 1:9