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Jonah 1 NET
Some of us have been walking with God for a while and have become familiar with His voice. We know when He is speaking to us. Jonah knew God wanted him to go to Nineveh. God said it very plainly. So Jonah, a prophet of God, who knew God and was aware of God’s Omnipresence, decided to ‘run away from God’. It seems foolish to run from God who knows everything and is everywhere. But we’ve all run from God at one time or another in our lives. We’ve all heard God’s voice or felt that ‘nudge’ and decided to go our own way. Decided that we know what’s best.
And just like Jonah, when we decide to go our own way, the storm comes. The scripture says that God sent a great wind on the sea. He was trying to redirect Jonah, in His mercy, to save him from his own rebellion. The Bible says a storm so violent arose that the ship threatened to break apart and all the sailors were afraid. They were sailors – this wasn’t their first storm at sea. But clearly this was the worst they’d seen.
While everyone else was busy praying to their gods and throwing cargo overboard, Jonah went below deck, lay down and fell asleep. Doesn’t that strike you as odd? Amidst all the noise and confusion, amidst all the violent rocking the boat must have been doing in the storm, not only did Jonah not panic, but he fell into a deep sleep! On the surface it seems weird, but when we look closer we see that it isn’t that strange after all. You see, when the sailors were at their wit’s end, Jonah told them it was his fault that the storm had come. Jonah knew exactly what God was saying through the storm and instead of yielding, he decided to ignore God.
When we willfully reject God’s plan for us and rebel against His attempts to put us back on track, when we ignore His voice and the ways He speaks to us, it’s as though we fall asleep spiritually. We deaden our senses and close our eyes to God’s work around us. We no longer experience that amazing, constant fellowship with God. We sleep. We ignore. We turn our backs on what God and what He wants to do in and through our lives.
Pray this with me:
Father, may I never seek to be away from Your presence or outside of Your will. There is nowhere I’d rather be. I know that Your plan won’t always make sense to me, but help me to trust You. To run to You, instead of away from You. To always put Your will above my own desires, knowing that it will all work out for my good and Your glory. Help me to be the type of child who obeys their Father immediately. Help me to hear Your voice clearly and not to choose to ignore You. Keep me from spiritual slumber and numbness. May I always be sensitive to the nudges of the Holy Spirit, pointing me in the right direction.
Thank You Lord that you will never give up on me. That even in the midst of my rebellion, You will always chase me with Your love and rescue me from destruction. Thank You for always being there to put me back on track. For being ready to give me a second, third… a millionth chance. Your love, Your mercy, and Your kindness are beyond my understanding. I am in awe of Your love. Thank You Father, even for the storms, that bring me back to You.