In the last two articles, we looked at what happened when Mary and Jesus surrendered to the will of God. Their lives became rivers of living water that blessed multitudes. Today, we are going to look at what happens when Jonah resists God’s will for his life.
Jonah Flees from God’s Will
The Lord gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai: “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.” Jonah 1:1-2 NLT
God told Jonah exactly what He wanted him to do. God’s will for Jonah’s life was clear. However, Jonah resisted.
But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the Lord by sailing to Tarshish. Jonah 1:3 NLT (emphasis mine)
Unlike Mary and Jesus, Jonah bucked God’s will for his life. He thought that what God wanted him to do was too difficult and dangerous. So, he tried to flee from God. He got on a ship headed in the opposite direction away from Ninevah where God wanted him to preach.
When we run from God, when we fail to surrender to His will, that’s often exactly when difficulties and struggles will come our way.
God Sends a Storm Into Jonah’s Life
Look at what happened to Jonah:
But the Lord hurled a powerful wind over the sea, causing a violent storm that threatened to break the ship apart. Jonah 1:4 NLT
Jonah’s rebellion not only threatened his well-being, it also endangered the lives of everyone else with him.
God loves us so much that He won’t let us miss the best he has in store for us. Sometimes, He uses storms in our lives to redirect us in the direction He wants us to go.
My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights. Proverbs 3:11-12 NLT
God will go to any length to get us back on track. In Jonah’s case, he even used “a great fish” to swallow Jonah up and return him to land after the sailors reluctantly threw him overboard to save themselves from the storm.
God Gives Jonah a Second Chance
Ultimately, God (through the enormity of His grace) gave Jonah a second chance to confront the city about their wickedness. This time Jonah obeyed.
The king of Ninevah humbled himself and ordered the people to “turn from their evil ways and stop all their violence”.
When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened. Jonah 3:10 NLT
By surrendering to God’s will, Jonah saved a city of 120,000 people from God’s righteous wrath. That’s amazing! The faithfulness of one man saved a whole city.
That’s the kind of miracle that can happen when we copy Jesus and yield to God’s plan for our life.