Jonah 1:3a (NIV) – “But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish.”
For personal reference that verse could easily read: “But Becky ran away from the LORD and headed for Norfolk.”
If you back up to verse 1 and 2 of chapter 1 you find out what made Jonah run: “The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: Go to the great city of Ninevah and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”
The word of the LORD.
<insert Jonah running in the opposite direction>
I know about running away from God’s call to “go”.
My call from God goes back to childhood. My mother had a wooden plant stand and at the age of five I had already begun to preach from that stand, Bible laying flat upon it.
Faith like a child.
And when I became older and discerned God leading me to attend seminary for further training…I ran.
After receiving my bachelor of music degree, instead of packing and heading for seminary, I went back home to Virginia.
I had driven myself right into the belly of the whale of disobedience.
I prayed and cried out to God just like Jonah had (2:1). Except I didn’t realize the belly-life I was living.
Not being fully used.
Disobedience hinders growth.
Disobedience hinders ministry.
Disobedience takes a lot of wrong turns.
Nothing I attempted could move me beyond and out from that whale’s belly.
But when I began to seek HIM first,
He shined a light. He reminded me of a little girl with an open Bible on a plant stand preaching to an empty living room.
He said, “Go”.
“And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.” (2:10)
It’s not too late.
God still has a plan and purpose for your life.
He still wants to use you.
Give up belly-living.
It’s foul and gross compared to the dry ground God wants to set your feet upon.