Scripture Reading: Psalm 5:6-22
When trouble comes, there are two ways of meeting it…run away from it or allow God to intervene.
The problem with running away is that we’re trying to apply a definitive solution to an indefinite, ongoing problem. We’re attempting to tie up the loose threads of our lives before we’ve detangled any of them. We’re putting a bowtie on the issue. Dressing it up! We all want resolutions as simple as purchasing a plane ticket. We forget that we can never fly far enough away from ourselves to escape what it is that lies unresolved within us. This is where God comes in! He helps you find peace!
The scripture says: “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way.”
This brings us to Jonah. Jonah started out by trying the “fly away” philosophy -just like we all have during our lives. Jonah was called upon by God to travel to Nineveh to preach! Instead, Jonah boarded a ship to Tarshish. Caught in a storm, he ordered the crew to cast him overboard, whereupon he was swallowed by a giant fish. Three days later, Jonah agreed to go to Nineveh and the fish vomited him out onto the shore. Jonah successfully convinced the entire city of Nineveh to repent, but waited outside the city in expectation of its destruction. God told Jonah to go out and preach, but he did not want to go. Jonah was one fantastic preacher to preach to the most evil city in the world. They believed God and repented their evil ways! Instead of avoiding trouble, Jonah invited it, as people usually do when they run away from themselves and their responsibilities. They may not be swallowed by a fish but they may be overwhelmed by a sense of guilt or depression.
Like Jonah. He struggled with issues that we struggle with.
-What do you do when you don’t want to do what God wants you to do?
-What do you do when you know what’s right, but that’s just not the path that you want to travel?
-What do you do when you and God just don’t want the same things for your life?
-What do you do when God’s plans and your plans just don’t match?
These were Jonah’s dilemmas. Are they yours?
There’s Jonah lurking in the heart of every one of us. There are times when our will is locked in a power struggle with God! Times when God tells us to obey! The Jonah in each of us says “No way”!
What does God want you to do with your life right now? What is God asking you to do? What ministry is he calling you to? Why aren’t you doing it enthusiastically and whole heartedly? Are you running from him?
The God we serve is a God of grace. Just look at how stubborn Jonah was in his rebellion. He tells the sailors to throw him overboard. Despite the trouble that he has caused, despite the storm, his resistance to God’s calling continues. He would rather die. He would rather drown than do God’s will.
Maybe God is calling you to a ministry within this church. We all have our Ninevahs that scare us right down to our bones. My prayer is that we become like Jonah-that we say “Lord, here I am, send me, use me.” Let’s pray that you don’t have to wait for the storm!