But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord. Jonah 1:3
I know when confronted with situations that you think you cannot handle or situations you do not want to embrace, all sorts of thoughts run through your mind. One of those thoughts is to run away from the situation.
Some of you are facing marital issues and you think the best solution is to run away. Some of you feel like you are losing your mind and you just want to get away from the environment you are in and so you want to run away. Some children even want to run away from home as they feel life must be better elsewhere. Some of you are on your ideal job or career path but encounter some obstacles and you just want to run away and start all over again. Of course, there are many other reasons why people want to run away.
In this article, I will focus on Jonah who ran away from the Lord but the Lord gave him another opportunity. The Lord will also give you another chance so embrace the calling that is on your life and do not run away from it.
The story of Jonah
God told Jonah to go to the city of Nineveh to preach against their wickedness. However, Jonah did not want to do this and so he ran away on a ship from the Lord to Tarshish. The Lord sent a great wind and it was very rough on the ship. The sailors were afraid and Jonah told them to throw him overboard so there can be calmness. They did so but God provided a fish that swallowed Jonah and Jonah was in the belly of the fish for 3 nights and 3 days. Jonah prayed to God while in the fish and eventually the Lord commanded the fish to vomit Jonah on dry land. The Lord then told Jonah for a second time to go to Nineveh. This time Jonah obeyed and went to Nineveh and informed the people that the city would be overthrown in 40 days. However, the people believed God and turned away from their evil ways. As a result, God saved the people from destruction. Of course, Jonah was upset and angry because he thought Nineveh should be judged and not saved. God however, demonstrated to Jonah through the illustration of a plant and a worm that he should not be upset as there were over 120,000 people in Nineveh who did not know right from left.
Do Not Run Away
The world has become more corrupt than ever and many us are so quiet and not speaking out against these issues. In so doing, lives are being destroyed because some people do not know the truth or some people know the truth but refuse to do anything with the truth. It is our duty to make disciples of all nations. If we remain quiet, then the world will carry out their agenda which more than likely will be contrary to the word of God. Because Jonah preached in the city of Nineveh, thousands of lives were saved. Today, there are millions of lives in the World that need to be saved and you do not need to go on a plane or a boat to reach people. With the existence of advanced technology, you can tap into any part of the world spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. Do not run away from God. Suppose Jonah did not listen for a second time, perhaps there would have been mass destruction in that city. A calling is on your life to save some people from some destruction. Follow your calling.
Follow Your Calling
While I believe it is the responsibility for all of us to heed the call and spread the word of God, there are other areas that God wants you to do. God may be telling some of you what your calling is through dreams and visions. Some of you are so passionate about some things that excites you as well as angers you. Perhaps that thing you are passionate about is your calling. Some of you have inherent gifts and talents and perhaps those gifts are your calling. These gifts may be active and they can also be dormant which requires you to activate.
Whatever you are called to do, embrace it. You have a mission to accomplish. Do not be afraid. God is right there with you.
I believe sometimes the things you are afraid to do may be the things that God is calling you to do. You are afraid because of the fear of failure or because of lack of confidence. Do not run away as you may be the very one that God has chosen to help deliver people from their situations through God’s grace. Some of you know what you calling is but somehow you do not want to pursue that calling for a myriad of reasons. On the other hand, some of you are still trying to determine your calling. Whenever you find that calling, pursue it. Do not run away from it.