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Jonah Nowhere to Run-Mission Impossible

Do you all remember the show, Mission Impossible? "You will receive your assignment (Impossible Missions Force-IMF) and then in 15 seconds this tape will self-destruct." Don’t you wish you could get a recording? "This is God speaking. Here is your next mission. If you choose to accept your assignment..." I couldn’t help thinking about that show, about Jonah, and about you.

We all are headed in some direction, but is it the right direction?
We are all called, but are we accomplishing our mission?
We all make decisions, but are they ones we can live with?
What do you do when your own poor decisions take you off course and out of the will of GOD? Have you ever started out on a trip and thought you knew where you were going but ended up going the wrong way? Or you thought for sure that you knew the way, but really did not, and was too proud to stop and ask directions?

Years ago, I had a television interview in Dallas. We were on the way to the studio. My driver had a Garmin and my friend had a Tomtom. We were close to the studio, as indicated by both pieces of equipment. One said go left, the other right, so we drove around the block several times, only to find we were so busy listening to the GPS that we missed the signs. Thankfully, we arrived just minutes before the interview was to begin!

Another time, I was supposed to meet my husband, Ken, in Lexington Kentucky. I started out in Virginia and drove 4 ½ hours only to find I was in the wrong state. I stopped at gas station to pick up a map and the attendants were quite amused as they explained that I was desperately off course. I called Ken to let him know I would be about 5 hours late. Years later I told him about the blunder. If only I had taken the time to find out where I was actually supposed to be going.

 
 
In the Book of Jonah, the fifth of the twelve "Minor Prophet" books, there are several profound theological concepts:
repentance,
deliverance,
and the unwavering love of God to an undeserving people.
We could, in essence, rename the book “Mission Impossible” because Jonah’s mission looked nearly impossible.

Also, we see clear directives develop regarding decisions we make, and the direction for our lives and ministry call; keys to finding and following the will of God for our life, our assignments, our missions.

Jonah was a man who was going in the wrong direction. He had set out, thinking...
He would determine his own course.
He would choose his route.
He would head west to Tarshish instead of east to Nineveh.

By verse 3 he had jumped on a ship headed away from the presence of the Lord. Have you ever thought that your way was better than God’s way? If only I had listened? Now be honest.
 

Jonah was called of God to go to Nineveh to warn the people of impending judgment (a viscious and brutal people). Instead of obeying God, Jonah takes his own route and heads in the opposite direction. God sends a storm and the sailors in the ship realize it’s judgment. Jonah confesses that he is the reason for the storm. He pleads with the men for them to throw him overboard. That's when he ends up in the belly of a whale, cries out to God, then he is spit up onto dry land.

After that experience, Jonah again gets commissioned by God to go to Nineveh - this time he obeys. They hear his message to Repent of Perish”, and they repent.

This expression of the mercy and love of God angered Jonah. He could not understand God's heart, that none should perish, not even the vilest and wicked.

The story is the message:

.
• A pouting prophet on the run
• A loving God who cares for those who will not even acknowledge Him
• A fish used as a tool of judgment
• A pagan king who would transform a whole nation through prayer and fasting.

It’s a story of repentance
It’s a story of restoration
It’s a message of miraculous deliverance,
Not just of a person, but an entire nation.

Rid your minds of limited thinking

Refuse to look at this as though it was a children’s story but, instead, as a miraculous, historical account. It is not mythology, it’s not allegorical, nor is it a parable.

How do I know?

Because Jesus referred to Jonah as a real person, during a real period of time, going to a real city.


Nowhere To Run

The flight: Jonah, the reluctant prophet, decided to run. The prophet on the run, fleeing the very presence of God. Have you ever felt like running from God?

Running from His call for salvation
Running from His call to serve
Running from His call to sanctify yourself from the evil that has entangled you
Running from His call to go- like Jonah

Why did Jonah run?
Because Jonah, being the great patriot that he was, did not want to see the mercy of God extended to a people as wicked and vile as the Assyrians.
Jonah thought...-
Why would God protect this nation which stood in direct opposition to the nation He so greatly loved?
Perhaps Jonah’s hatred for Nineveh was greater than his love for God!
 

Robin would love the opportunity to come and speak at your next Women's Event!

Please visit the Bookings section on the Connect page, or contact Robin directly at [email protected]

 
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