Photo by dhester on Morgue File.
A couple of days ago, I posted about the first chapter of Jonah. You can find that post HERE.
I gave a devotional at a church training seminar yesterday on the topic (thanks for the inspiration Bro. Jeff!).
I took a bit of a different angle to it. While in Atlanta, I saw and bought a “No” Button. It is a simple device. It is a big round button that has the word NO written in white letters and when you press the button, shock shock!, it says NO!
It actually has several ways of saying No. Sometimes it simply says, No! Other times it says, No, No, No! I think it has some twenty different ways to say No!
I used this button in my devotional. I looked at Jonah’s life from, what could be called the lost-years. Or, as Paul Harvey would say, the rest of the story!
I discussed the fact that Jonah was a prophet of YHWH. Undoubtedly, he had been sent on assignments for God in the past. He had heard the word of YHWH and delivered that word to his Jewish countrymen and women. I seriously doubt the commission we read about in the first chapter of Jonah was his first.
In other words, there were previous missions, previous prophetical assignments God had given to Jonah. Previous times of hearing God’s word and proclaiming it faithfully to the people. Previous times when God called upon Jonah to fulfill the prophetic office and Jonah had answered Yes! Jonah had answered in obedience.
But, not this time. This time, the time in Jonah 1, the time when God called Jonah to head to Nineveh to preach to those unruly Assyrians, Jonah said No! Jonah pressed his own big, red NO! button and ran for the hills!
It got me thinking, a thought I shared in the devotional . . . what is my/your No! issue? What is the thing (or things) that we have boxed off from God’s sovereignty and Lordship and said, Okay God, I’ll do anything you ask of me, except this.
What is that one thing you hope and pray God never asks you to do?
What is your Nineveh?
Who is your Nineveh?
Where is your Nineveh?
We all have one, don’t we? Or at least, we have all had them before. Perhaps you are past your Nineveh now. If so, be cautious, there are always new ones ready to take its place!
I referenced Ps. 139 in my last post and I will do so again here. If I/you have a Nineveh, an area of our heart/obedience/trust in God that we have marked off and told God, in our best Gandalf impersonation, Thou shall not pass!, an area we have quarantined from the Divine, an area we have roped off with No Trespassing signs: then this area is one we need to allow God’s Holy Spirit to search and bring to light.
We need to pray anew the great confessional of Ps. 139: You have searched me and known me!
Is there an area that comes to your mind? Is there an area that God has been dealing with you?
What is your Nineveh?
Our call, as Christ-followers, is to be obedient. Obedient to the call of Christ whether he calls us to go proclaim his good news in Jerusalem or Nineveh.
Our position is as a servant before Christ our Lord. Our position is one of obedience to his commands. Our position is one of gratitude and thankfulness for the privilege and honor of being on-mission for our great God, Savior and King.
Bet your bottom dollar (and your top one too!) that God knows your Nineveh. He knows and sees the area you are trying to hide from him. It is hard to hide something from Omniscience!
And, do not be surprised, if like Jonah, that is exactly where he calls you to go!
Just a lesson from a fellow sojourner: God has a way of doing that!