Are you running from God? There are many times in our lives when we find ourselves doing just that. Maybe we don’t even notice in the moment, but our boots are still pointed in the opposite direction. In John 12:26 Jesus said His servants must follow Him and we know that having accepted salvation we have become servants to the Lord. (II Cor. 6:4) Yet still, in times that our hand should be on the plow, we have walked out of the fields. Is it possible that we have become prodigal children? Is it possible we have run away from the mission that God has given us, especially in this last year?
I want us to consider maybe the most famous man that ran from God. The Bible mentions many prophets, yet only one has become known to us as the reluctant prophet. I want us to consider Jonah. Jonah was called to go and preach in Jonah 1:1. Like Jonah we are called to go and preach as well. (Matt. 28:19) Jonah ran the other way in Jonah 1:3, and I fear many of us have done just that in this last year; myself included. Maybe our reasoning’s are different than Jonah’s, but the result has been the same. We’ve begun running from God.
It didn’t take Jonah very long to face the consequences of his actions.In fact, the remainder of Jonah 1 is going to illustrate those consequences.V.4 a tempest rises up against Jonah. V.15 Jonah is thrown from the boat into the sea. V.17 Jonah is swallowed by a giant fish. Now I don’t believe God is going to prepare a great fish as He did with Jonah, but if we run from the task He has given us we better be prepared for the consequences that follow.
Thankfully the book of Jonah is a book of repentance and that’s exactly what we see in Jonah 2.After being swallowed by the great fish, Jonah cried out to the Lord. (Jonah 2:2)The verses that follow show a realization of the severity of his situation, a remorse for his actions, and a repentance to turn back to the Lord. Thus,God saved Jonah. (Jonah 2:10)
The last chapter shows the success that Jonah had in his ministry. (Jonah 3:5-10) Imagine the impact we can have with the help of God? In fact,that’s what Paul, through inspiration of the Spirit, writes about in I Corinthians 3:5-8. We are able to achieve the mission that God has given us no matter the circumstance of the world. There will most certainly betimes where it is more difficult than others, but when those times rise as they did this past year we must not run from God.
It is time that we turn around. It is time that we put our hand to the plow and not look back. (Lk. 9:62) It is time that we get back to work for the Lord. There have been many challenges that we’ve had to face, many hindrances, and there are yet more to come, but we must not run from the job that is before us. So, are you running from God? If you are, my prayer is that you turn around. My prayer is that the church gets back to work seeking and saving the lost.