A Lesson from Jonah

Jonah had an attitude from the very beginning. He heard God’s voice but he didn’t want to do what God said. So he ran away. Then God caught up with him in a storm. I imagine when Jonah told them to throw him overboard that he figured his life was over, but God didn’t let him go that easily! He sent a giant fish to swallow Jonah and keep him alive! I can imagine Jonah sitting there, feeling sorry for himself, saying, “This day has gone from bad to worse!” Finally he repented and decided to do what God told him to do. But he still seems to have had an attitude! He gave God’s message and people repented! This is what every evangelist wants! But not Jonah. He wasn’t an evangelist. He was a prophet! God showed mercy on the city because of their repentance, but Jonah was sitting waiting for their destruction. I’ve always found it strange that he was angry about God’s compassion, so I asked God recently about it and I feel He gave me a revelation. I thought about what would happen if this story were current. What if Jonah lived today? What would people in his home nation say if they heard that he’d prophesied destruction and it didn’t happen? He’d be called a false prophet! So it seems to me that perhaps Jonah was more concerned with his reputation than he was with bringing God’s heart to people.

How about us? Do we know what God’s telling us to do? Do we do it immediately, or do we spend time trying to do something else? Do we eventually give in and do what He said to do, but with the wrong attitude? And, most importantly, are we concerned more with the outcome, and how we will look to others, than with obeying the Lord?

One of our teachers said when God tells you to pray for healing for someone you don’t have to worry about nothing happening. Your responsibility is obedience, and God’s responsibility is the outcome. God can take care of His own reputation and we need to care more about what God thinks than what man thinks about us!

Wherever you are in this process, surrender yourself to God. Give Him your attitudes. Allow Him to lead you, and walk in obedience to Him.

Prayer: Lord, please forgive me for the times I’ve been afraid to do what You’ve told me to do, because I was worried about what people would think. Help me to look only to You, and to obey You wholeheartedly. Amen.


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"Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live."
Jonah 4:3, NIV


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Today's Writer

Tanya Person Tanya and her husband are missionaries to Hungary who have worked with Ellel since 2005. They are part of the regional leadership team for Ellel Central & Eastern Europe, travelling to many countries teaching Ellel schools and helping with the development of Ellel in the region. They have a passion to see leaders restored, the church discipled and walking in God’s fullness of life and freedom, and for mentoring the existing and developing team.

Tanya Person

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