We know the story of Jonah. God sent him to Nineveh to warn the people. But, Jonah didn’t want to go. Instead, he hopped a ship, the seas got stormy, and everyone on board was in danger of dying a watery death.
Until, they drew straws and realized it was Jonah who’d upset God; he was the cause of the storm.
Overboard he went.
Sometimes our disobedience is a hindrance to others. We could be the person needed to unlock someone else’s destiny. But, our fear keeps us blocking both their destiny and our own.
We could be the person that has brought trouble with us. From the day we arrived, nothing has gone right. There are quarrels, machine breakdowns, and the milk has soured. You’re like a walking curse; what they call in the world – a bad luck charm. No one wants to be you or be around you.
Can I tell y’all something?
I’ve been Jonah-ish.
But, I Don’t Want to Go to Nineveh.
There was a season in 2015 where the Lord had given me an instruction. I did this, that, and everything but what He told me. I contemplated, made reminders (like I could forget), procrastinated by busying myself with other things, and put it in the back of my mind.
Meanwhile, I was praying to God to give me the courage to do what I needed to. I didn’t like being out of order and disobedient. It caused me great anguish. The anguish would go away but pop up at the darnedest times – like first thing in the morning, when my mind would go right to the thing I DID NOT DO. *sigh*
It was an awful, anxiety-filled way to start the day.
At that time, I was writing content for a Christian organization. It was fun! And, I was excited to see my work being shared on a larger platform.
On the day that I was to be posted, nothing happened. During the day, the post didn’t pop up in my feed. No email notifications showed up. My sister sent me a text to say the link in my blog that connected to the article didn’t work.
So, I made a phone call to my editor.
“We’re having technical problems. I don’t know what’s going on, but we are on it.”
Maybe a few days prior to that, my cousin told me about a sermon at her church that Sunday that talked about who? Jonah. Of course, this popped into my head right at that very moment.
My stomach was in an uproar. My mouth was cottony. I was scared! But you know what I did? I did what God told me to do.
Not too long afterward, I received a text that the site was up and running.
Am I making this out to be more than just a minor technical issue? Maybe. But God is intentional. I am the type of person who ties things together. So, God will show me sometimes what He wants me to know by showing me a string of clues and bringing different parts to mind at a certain time. And sometimes, He is loud and rude. Because that’s the only way I would listen.
Are You Headed Overboard, or to Nineveh?
I just hated the idea that I was being a hindrance to someone else. It’s one thing to say, “Aww man, God is causing a storm for me.” But when other people are involved, the stakes are higher. I could let them throw me overboard, or I could go to Nineveh in obedience.
Under duress, because God did what He had to do to get me to comply – I chose Nineveh.
Since then, I’ve procrastinated again – which I understand is still disobedience. But, I’ve also come to understand that God works with His children on levels. It’s currently easier to do what He’s asked or follow His direction. Now, I just ask for further clarification or for Him to tell me when.
And it’s been amazing! Maybe one day I’ll even tell y’all about how He had me pack up and leave Brooklyn to drive to the midwest (it’s not bad!) to start a new life and the crazy miracles that have taken place.
I don’t know what God has told you to do. But know this – your destiny is tied to your obedience.
Being Jonah will just get you tossed off the boat and swallowed into the belly of the whale – where you are of no use to anyone.
So, what’s the play call?
Three words for you: Just. Do. It.
Three more words: Don’t be Jonah.