We have been studying the Priscilla Shirer study of Jonah. What a work God is doing in my life! We finished up the Beth Moore, study on James and went right into this study of Jonah.
I haven't posted my thoughts in so long....all I can say is when something is weighing on me heavy, it usually means it's time to share.
First question, Jonah ran away when God told him to go to Nineveh. What's my Nineveh? what is a place that I feel is not worth saving, beyond hope?
Second question, Jonah was a prophet of God and he "tried" to run from God's presence. What in my life am I running from? Honesty with self is tough.
Third thought - amazing how it refers to Jonah went "down". Jonah went down to Joppa, found a ship and went down to it, once on board he went down to sleep.
The decisions you are making today will impact your tomorrows. Instead of running away and spiraling down fleeing, I need to look up, to God and His will.
Fourth thought - and I must add I loved this - A horrible storm was breaking the ship apart and Jonah was asleep...did he sleep through the storm because of exhaustion, disobedience that he justified, or hard-heartedness. He had to be awakened by a pagan sailor to pray to His God! Question she asks, how does a pagan man waking a believing man to pray correlate to the world and the church in modern times? ouch
Direct quote: It's time for us to wake up. The Spirit's seeking to rouse you and me, the body of Christ, so we can get busy. The world, with its pagan thoughts and ideals, shouldn't have to rouse us back to intimacy with the one true God. Rather, the soft stirring of the Spirit's conviction in us should be enough to cause us to "Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." (Eph. 5:14)
Little story - I had the blessed opportunity to help with a girls conference and it was such an amazing day and God was so good to bless all of us - one of the young ladies that attended works at the grocery store here in town. Before the conference I was just another face. I went in the other day and she smiled and I was able to hug her and talk to her. It amazed me how many girls feel unworthy, unloved and are fighting negativity of some kind. I thank God that he allowed me to be a part -
Fifth thought - she calls the big fish - A fish called grace. Sometimes we have to sit in the belly of our consequence, but God isn't out to hurt us, He is out to redeem us! God is out to take our "messes" and make them become His "message!"
Sixth thought - in chapter one everyone BUT Jonah prayed, and then in chapter 2 is nothing but the prayer of Jonah! God listened to His prayer, saved him and in chapter 3 told him the exact message, with one exception....in chapter 3 God told Jonah, I will give you the message. God is a God of Second chances! We researched and looked into so many Bible characters that had messed up the first time and God is a true God of second chances. I needed to hear this. It is only after we have been squeezed by life that we can be poured out to bless others. Sweet. With our second chance we have to choose full obedience. No short cuts.
Last thoughts - we still have one more video but I just had to share this so far - Jonah went...obeyed, and the message that he had to proclaim (by himself I might add) to a city that took 3 days to walk through - the message God gave him was 5 words in the Hebrew language. 5 words that's it....and the whole city responds! God showed Jonah that it was not about Jonah and his ability, it was and it is about God! Everyday we must have not only the Holy Spirit "in" us, but we must pray for God's anointing on us. My prayer is that people can see, feel, and just know that I am different -
One point in the video that hit me hard was that we are to radiate the fruit of the Spirit - Love, Peace, Patience, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Goodness, Self-Control, Joy & Kindness. I cannot just work on these at church and Bible study, I must let these be seen in me every single day with every single person.
We must remember that sharing Jesus is supposed to be the way we live, not just something we do. If I am honest, I tend to shy away from sharing my faith. I can try my best to be kind, loving and gentle with others, but when it comes to asking if they are a christian, I struggle with feeling inadequate! I know its wrong and I think what God is working on me about this is life is short - we need to share the Good News with as many as possible!
My prayer is that I will not just continue to do Bible studies and stay in my "safe" little cocoon I have built for myself, but that I will start to share with the lost, the hurting, the hopeless. I want to do God's will, be obedient and shine for Jesus. :-)