Running from God

The other night I read the book of Jonah. It’s a short book, just four chapters. But the gist of the story is summed up in the first two and a half verses:

The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”  But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. Jonah 1:1-3a.

Just as He called Jonah to preach to the city of Nineveh, sometimes the Lord calls each Christian to some task. He calls each of us to share His truth with others as He presents the opportunity to us. Although we may not actively try to run away from the Lord, as Jonah did, we often simply fail to do what He asks. We might tell ourselves that He really doesn’t want us to share with this person or that person. We might argue that the time is not right, we don’t want to drive the other person away by preaching to them. Jonah’s reason for not wanting to go to Nineveh was that he was afraid God would have compassion on them and Jonah thought evil Nineveh didn’t deserve compassion. For us, the reason we don’t share is more likely that we don’t want to offend someone who we believe has already made a choice to believe something different than the Gospel.

So what happened when Jonah finally obeyed God and preached to the city of Nineveh?

 When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. Then he issued a proclamation in Nineveh:
      “By the decree of the king and his nobles:
       Do not let any man or beast, herd or flock, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.”

When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened. Jonah 3:6-10.

The result of Jonah preaching the truth of God’s message to the people of Nineveh was that they changed their ways. They believed in and followed God and God had mercy on them. Jonah’s words, which came from God, had the effect God intended.

Isaiah 55 says:

10 As the rain and the snow
       come down from heaven,
       and do not return to it
       without watering the earth
       and making it bud and flourish,
       so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
       It will not return to me empty,
       but will accomplish what I desire
       and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

So if God wants you or me to share His truth with someone in our path, we should not give in to the fear the world puts upon us. We should not fear offending or driving the person away. If we share His Word, which is Jesus, it will not return empty. Our sharing may not achieve the purpose we think it should, but it will achieve the purpose for which God has asked us to share it.

I know who I need to share His Word with. Now it’s time to quit running away from God by not doing so. How about you?

I am a Jesus Freak, and I don't care who knows it. I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend. My blood family is only part of the larger family of Christ that I belong to. I love to write, especially about my dear Savior.

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6 Responses

  1. Linda,
    How funny, I thought you read “a” book on Jonah, not “the” book of Jonah. Larry Who wrote a book called Jonah and I thought thats what you were talking about. Silly me. Anyway, very good post. Here is the link to the book I was talking about. God Bless
    Jim
    http://jonah08.wordpress.com/

  2. Linda, I was really blessed by the part that it may not turn out the way we think it should, but it will achieve His purposes. 🙂 That same message, pretty closely, came to me in another blog today . . .His purposes will prevail. Very encouraging!!! It also makes me feel that I can’t mess up too badly, as long as I am trying to do what He asks. (that’s probably my biggest fear, just that I will mess up, make things worse.)
    Thank you for your faithfulness to Him and us! deb

  3. Linda,
    Is this Larry’s Book? I want to read it too. You are so right though, most of the time the stickler with us is the whole fear of rejection thing. I agree we need give God a chance to work, and if we are silent he doesn’t get the chance. God Bless
    Jim

    • Jim, Not sure what you mean by Larry’s Book. But this was inspired by two messages God has put on my heart for friends. One is a believer who needs peace, the other a non-believer who needs to understand her need for grace. I’m hoping that by writing this I will actually say what it is I need to say. Peace, Linda

      • Linda, Larry Who is writing a book called Jonah. I don’t think it’s done yet, or out yet though. That’s what Jim was thinking of in his comment, instead of the actual book of Jonah, from the Old Testament. 🙂

      • Thanks for the clarification. I thought Jim might be talking about Larry Who, but didn’t know Larry was writing a book called Jonah. I was actually reading Jonah in the Bible! lol. 🙂 Peace, Linda

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