A message on running from the call of God. If you are trying to get away from God, you may want to read this! An instructive example is Jonah, who ran from God’s calling. He knew he had nothing to say that the perverted pagans wanted to listen to. The story of Jonah, who ran from God, is a short book tucked between Obadiah & Micah. YHWH directed Jonah to go preach to the largest city in the world, Nineveh, a pagan city steeped in evilness since Nimrod founded it, and tell them to repent. I expect most of my readers would have the same dread…reluctance…excuses… as Jonah, who was an Israelite born 4 mi. north of Nazareth (Jesus’s hometown 750 yrs. later). Nineveh was to the east, so Jonah ran off to the west…he wasn’t simply sulking…he was travelling the other direction as far & fast as he could! He headed for the Atlantic Ocean!
“WE ARE JONAH”. It is standard Jewish liturgy to read the book of Jonah at Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement for sin) & upon finishing it, the congregation then says, “We are Jonah.” Yeah, buddy…”we are Jonah” probably more than we admit to ourselves. Our pride, independence, selfishness & fears combine to propel us in our own paths, rather than seeing things God’s way. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, & lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”(A) That sounds good until He orders us into a valley where it appears the enemy will dominate from his higher ground & kill us. Then our fears, self-doubts, & memories of failures kick in. This is why the Word of God gives us another verse, “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.”(B) Sometimes that seems counterintuitive, like in Jonah’s circumstances. Walking with God looks harder than Running from God.
LIKE JONAH, I LEARNED THE HARD WAY. I can personally testify that first, that the fear of man does contain a trap, & secondly, that running from God’s calling makes things worse!! I was called to expose evil & call people back to the Word of God in 1978. After doing my calling for 6 months, I quit. Ten years later, I was ready to do my calling. When God selects us, He perseveres with us. Or should I say, He waits until we have had our fill of gulping nasty seawater & smelling like whale barf. Hey brothers & sisters, our Creator has a higher purpose for us than to merely make our lives problem-free. He tells us that the World looks tempting but “What will you get if you gain the whole world…??”(C) If God is with us, who can be against us?? So the Apostle Paul said, when I am weak, then I am strong.(D) When we quit doing it our way because we recognize our inadequate weakness, then God can be our strength. Jonah learned this also!
GOD’S PRESENCE. Running from God is really silly…He is outside of space-time. As the Word says, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?? (E) Oh, He’ll let you run, and wait for you like the father for his prodigal son. In His vast wisdom, He knows that He will complete the good work He has started in you! “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”(F) And what’s the worst that can happen? “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”(G) I keep thinking of those snails that persevered until they reached Noah’s ark.
SAILORS ANALYZE THE STORM. Who is at the helm of the World? Those that sail the ship of today’s World by such devices as the Bilderberg mtgs.; who are sailing through its seas of people, and see the Christians as the problem. The sailors on the ship that Jonah was sailing on correctly assessed that he was the problem. Yes, God’s people may indeed be the problem—NOT because they are too holy…just the opposite, because they have run from God’s calling…& the storms of life are due to the judgments of God which are brought on everyone because His people are no longer spiritually strong enough to preserve things. Because of the weakness of His people in America, America murders millions of innocent babies, tortures illegally arrested people, and will soon call anything a “legal marriage”. Jonah was sleeping while the storm he caused threatened the ship & sailors. The church spiritually sleeps while today’s storm intensifies. If the salt looses if saltiness, it is only good to throw out.(H) We were to be the salt of the earth, preserving goodness, keeping things from spoiling.
OPERATING W/ GOD & HIS PROVIDENCE OR FLOWING WITH THE CROWD’S OPINIONS. Let’s review some principles of truth that God’s Word teaches: If God wants us to do something—should we really fight it? In Acts there was a drama where it was said, “…If this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it—lest you be found to fight against God.”(I) If God has called us, then it is the work of the Spirit that we do with Him. If we trust God, He will make our path straight. Or to rephrase this from another perspective…God prepares the path like He did for Israel escaping Egypt, a type of the World. If we go our own way, we pay the fare. If we do it God’s way, He provides. Moses’ mother protected baby Moses by placing him as directed by the Spirit in a little boat. When the princess found him & adopted him, she hired Moses’ mother as his nanny/wet nurse, “I will give thee wages.”(J) (Cool, paid to be a mom!) When Moses led the Israelites into the desert, God first gave them the spoils of Egypt, & then provided them with daily manna. On the other side of things: Jonah did not get a refund on his ticket when they threw him overboard.
FINAL THOUGHTS. The Word of God is like a lamp lighting up the path we should take. It contains many centuries of distilled wisdom. When green half-trained troops are put on the front lines, sometimes they listen to advice & sometimes they don’t. So there are two ways to learn, from those who have gone before, or learn the lesson the hard by doing our own thing. Either way, I know that God is ABLE to complete the work He has begun in us. May we delight in doing our divine duty and may God bless you my friend.
(A) PRV 3:5-6 (B) PRV 29:25 (C) MT 16:26 (D) 2 COR 12:10 (E) PS 139: 7 (F) PHLP 1:6 (G) PHLP 1:21 (H) MT 5:13, MK 9:50, LK 14:34 (I) ACTS 5:38b-39 (J)EX 2:9