Jonah

This summer my mother-in-law and I did a Bible study together. We met every wednesday morning at a church with about 50 other women and studied the book of Jonah.  We used a curriculum book, workbook and dvd set by Priscilla Shirer and she was amazing.
Throughout the course of the 6 week study, I learned a lot about Jonah, but even more about myself.

I'm sure, whether your a Christian, an atheist or a 3 year old, you've heard the wildly unbelievable story of Jonah; the man who was swallowed by a whale (or "big fish" according to the Bible), spit out 3 days later, and lived to tell about it!  But what I learned throughout the course of the study, was that the whale was really only a small part of Jonah's story.

If you have time to read through the book of Jonah, I encourage you to do so.  It's only 4 chapters long and should really take you no more than a half hour to read through.

Throughout the book, you see that Jonah knew God... like really knew Him.  They had a relationship... they talked to each other.  Jonah could hear Him clearly.  So when God told Jonah to go to Ninevah and deliver a message, there was no confusion.  Jonah knew exactly what God was telling him to do.

And he ran.  He deliberately disobeyed God.

Haven't we all been there?  Haven't we heard God speak to us and deliberately disobeyed Him?  Or pretended like we didn't hear Him?  I have!

So throughout the study we were challenged to find our own "Ninevah's".  A place where God has asked us to go to that we DON'T want to go.  And we have a choice... to obey or not.

For me, one "Ninevah" that I knew God was calling me to was with MOPS.  I knew God was telling me to take over the MOPS in Miami... but I didn't want to do it.  I could hear God telling me that that's where He wanted me, but I was reluctant.  But when I finally did obey, I knew that I knew that I knew that that was where I was supposed to be.

A "Ninevah" that God revealed to me during the course of this class was homeschooling.  I felt like God was whispering it to me... but I am soooooo reluctant to do it.  I never wanted to homeschool.  I don't have the patience.  (I'll be posting more about this next week).

Here's what I most took from the study.  God can see the big picture.  We can not.  We see things linearly... God sees things in every way imaginable... from the front, back, beginning, end, sides and in between.  So God knows that what He is asking us to do now will create repercussions throughout our lives and other people's lives for all of eternity.  Does He NEED us to do it?  Does He NEED us in order to accomplish the goal?  Absolutely NOT!  He's GOD!  But WE need Him.  We need what He's offering us.
"And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" Romans 8:28
Doesn't that bring you hope?!  We can trust, without a doubt, that whatever scary thing God is asking us to do, will inevitably be for good.

Jonah's disobedience caused him to be thrown overboard and swallowed by a fish.  While we think that the fish is the consequence to his disobedience, it was really his saving grace.  Had that fish not swallowed him, he would have drowned and would not have been able to complete the task God had laid before him.  Although reluctant, he went to Ninevah, and an entire city was changed.  God used ONE man to turn the hearts of thousands.  Jonah didn't want to do it... but he obeyed anyway.

We have to let go of our "feelings" and just do it.  We have to trust God enough to know that His promises are true always.  And our "feelings" and our "emotions" are hormonal and imbalanced and not absolute truth.

When God tells us to move, we need to obey regardless of how we feel.  God will take care of us.  God sees the big picture.  God is guiding us.  God loves us.  And God wants to use us to change us and to be a tool to help change others.

Be encouraged, friend.  The road up ahead may be scary, but you've got Him right beside you.  And if He brings you TO it, He will see you THROUGH it!

3 comments:

Callie Nicole said...

Such a good post Nicole! I know I've had those things that God was telling me to do that I've fought, but it's so much better just to obey Him! I can't wait to hear more about your homeschooling venture - good for you! I'm only a few years behind ya. :-)

Tami Marie said...

Great post!

I am your newest GFC follower from the blog hop. I would love to have you visit whenever you have a moment. The Things We Find Inside

Have a great weekend!
Tami

Mindy Harris said...

found you on mama marchands' blog and now follow thru GFC. do you have time to follow back? THANKS!