Running From God

God occasionally nudges us to do something specific for Him. He may impress a verse directly to our hearts. Scripture can jump off the page in our Bible reading. The words of a child may stab us in our hearts. Whatever method God uses, He gets our attention.

Jonah had one of those moments. God’s voice spoke plainly to Jonah. I want you to go to Nineveh and proclaim My Word. 

Nineveh was a wicked city. Its reputation was well known and about 600 miles from Joppa by sea and land. Instead of seeing the opportunity to be used by God, the fear of man took over.

In the New Testament, Saul of Tarsus (later known as Paul the apostle) was on his way to Damascus to arrest Christians. As the city came into sight, the Lord struck Saul with blindness. After three days, God instructed Ananias, a certain disciple, to go to the street called Straight. Upon arriving, he restored Saul’s sight.

God’s children need to know you cannot outrun God. He knows where you are regardless of where you hide. When you play hide and seek with God, you always lose. Think about this situation. The Lord knew Jonah was inside a fish. He also heard the prayer that Jonah offered.

What does it take for you and me to surrender to God? When the God of the universe wants His children to do something, He will enable you to accomplish the assignment. So, when Jonah surrendered his will to God’s will, the Lord delivered him to dry land. The Lord in His patience confirmed His assignment to Jonah—Go to Nineveh (a gentile city) and proclaim the Word of God.

Jonah kept saying to himself on to Nineveh, on to Nineveh, until he was three days from the heart of this city. Then Jonah began his God-given message. The city repented becoming believers, including the king.

What a revival. Did Jonah rejoice over this great accomplishment? No. Jonah decided to pout and sulk. Instead of being happy, he wanted to die.

God used Jonah to bring a revival, but he refused to enjoy the moment. Jonah could have instructed 150,000 new believers in how to live for God. Maybe Jonah wanted God to rain down fire and brimstone on the city as He did to Sodom and Gomorrah.

When our wonderful all-powerful God uses us in a way that does not satisfy our expectations, do we have the right to get mad at Him?  

We are to obey Him.

God is in charge, not man. 

Sometimes we get things mixed-up.

So, when the Lord gives you an extra nudge, be the obedient child of God and complete the task. Be thankful that The God of the universe chose you to be His instrument for service.

Something to ponder. If Jonah was happy that God used him, how would the last chapter of Jonah be written? The book abruptly ends with nothing else about Jonah.

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