Run Jonah Run
Do you remember the story about Jonah? If not check it out here.
Jonah was a prophet of God that when God asked Him to preach a message of salvation to the Ninevites here ran in the opposite direction like a man on fire.
He hated the Ninevites. The last thing he wanted for them was forgiveness and God grace. The only thing Jonah wanted for these people was death, destruction, and distance from him.
But God wanted more.
God wanted more for the Ninevites but He also wanted more for Jonah.
It’s pretty clear what God wanted for the Ninevites – repentance, and deliverance from imminent doom. But what did He want for Jonah?
I believe His purpose is evident in this interaction with Jonah,
Jonah 4:10-11 But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”
God could see Jonah heart behind his actions. Jonah ran because there was a hatred for people in his heart. He ran from God’s purpose and he ran from a great opportunity for God to do something in him and through him.
God wanted to grow Jonah in his love for people. But unfortunately, it would require Jonah loving the people he hated.
The Jonah in all of us
How about you?
What opportunities for growth are you running from?
God has placed people in your life to help you grow as a Christian. They are probably difficult and know how to push your buttons. You even hate them.
But God wants to use them to rip away deep-rooted sinful attitudes in your life.
Stop running from those opportunities.
It won’t be easy but that’s what usually brings the greatest growth.
- In order to get bigger muscles, you have to pick up bigger weights and do more repetition.
- In order grow in knowledge you have to study and sit under teaching that stretches beyond what you know.
- In order to grow in your relational capacity, you will have to get outside of your current level of comfort.
- In order to grow your fear tolerance, you will have to do things that scare you.
That’s the only way to grow. Growth is always ahead of where you are. You can’t stay complacent and encounter growth.
Embrace God’s plans. One thing is for sure, it will always require you to grow in love.
Love for God and love for others.
Do you feel like you’re not experiencing any personal growth? Stop running away from opportunities that promote growth.
Instead, run to them. Embrace them with all the courage and strength that God graciously provides and anticipate gradual personal, relational and spiritual growth.