I used to like running. When I was a good bit younger, I would run 3 miles or so a day. You can’t tell it now. I’m out of shape and probably couldn’t run very far. I enjoy watching my son Luke run. I realized that I say I’m running quite a bit. I tell my secretary that I’m going to “run” across town to show a house, when really I’m going to drive. I tell my wife that I’m going to “run” to town to get some groceries. It would be tough running back home with 5 bags of groceries!
I do think that for the most part we are a fast-past culture. Yes, even here in Georgia, where we talk slow – we still move at a pretty fast pace. I guess my use of the word “running” is descriptive of moving quickly. I also think that we are often running toward something or from something.
I love the story of Jonah because I’ve done what Jonah’s doing in the story. Running from God is a frivolous activity. Check this out…1 The Lord spoke his word to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Get up, go to the great city of Nineveh, and preach against it, because I see the evil things they do.” 3 But Jonah got up to run away from the Lord by going to Tarshish. He went to the city of Joppa, where he found a ship that was going to the city of Tarshish. Jonah paid for the trip and went aboard, planning to go to Tarshish to run away from the Lord. (Jonah 1:1-3 NCV)
I wonder if Jonah really thought he could pull this off. Can anyone escape the notice of God? I think the answer to that is a resounding “NO”! The Lord is present everywhere and I could never escape His notice. I think it very safe to assume that I can’t escape His call on my life as well. I can ignore His call or His instructions and find myself lost and confused. I believe it’s always wise to follow the Lord’s call or His instructions. Jonah’s disobedience about caused the ship he was hiding on to be wrecked and possibly claiming the lives of all on board. He finally confessed to the men what he had done. He instructs them to throw him overboard. Check this out…14 So the men cried to the Lord, “Lord, please don’t let us die because of this man’s life; please don’t think we are guilty of killing an innocent person. Lord, you have caused all this to happen; you wanted it this way.” 15 So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea became calm. 16 Then they began to fear the Lord very much; they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made promises to him. 17 The Lord caused a big fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights. (Jonah 1:14-17 NCV)
I think Jonah thought he was going to die. To be thrown into a raging sea, his chances of survival were nearly zero. He felt it necessary to give his life to save the rest of the men.
The thing I like about the story of Jonah is that I see myself here some. I’ve not always followed the call of God on my life. There are times when I’m hearing Him instruct me to speak and the words won’t come. There are other times that I’m hearing Him prompt me to go do this or go do that and I push back. I need to tune my hearing to hear the Lord speak. I then need to act upon His call for me. I should NEVER ignore the call of God on my heart. He clearly spoke to Jonah and he ran the opposite way. He speaks to me through His Word and I should get moving and honor Him with my simple obedience.Pressing On! Dwayne