Jonah 1:1-3 (NLT)
The Lord gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.” 3 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.
Last week we examined how Simon Peter was spiritually prepared because he had a “But, if God says so” attitude. This week we will dive into Jonah and see if he was spiritually prepared or unprepared.
Consider the following:
Today’s story is found in Jonah chapter one, where Jonah is clearly disobeying God. In the first few verses, God gives Jonah a directive and Jonah runs in the opposite direction. Here we see Jonah being flat out defiant. No, he did not fall, stumble, or slip up. He literally told God, no thank you, I’m good on that request. How many of us have received a directive from God and without a second thought told God no? When we look at this first part of the story, we can clearly see Jonah was spiritually unprepared. If Jonah was spiritually prepared, he would have prayed to God and expressed, I need you Lord because, honestly, I do not want to do it, I want the people to suffer. But, I know if it aligns with your will, everything will work out! Being spiritually prepared in times of making difficult decisions means you must have a transparent conversation with God about your apprehensions and how you are feeling. If you feel the assignment seems far greater than what you can handle, tell God. If you need divine help, say help me Lord execute your will. Not by my might, nor by my power, but by your spirit, Lord. I need you Lord because I am afraid to fail or be rejected. I need you Lord because I do not think I am equipped. Today, I encourage you to get to a place where you don’t want to tell God a flat out “no.” I pray that you trust God enough to know that when God sends you out, He is not sending you out alone. When God gives you a directive, God will bring the resources to carry out your mission. Get to a place of even if in your humanness you do not agree with what God is saying, that you get in your spirit that God is working on your behalf, you are simply the vessel God chose to use.