“Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, ‘Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.’ But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.” – Jonah 1:1-3
Hope and Change.
That sounds like a great slogan, doesn’t it? Wait, you’re saying that it’s already taken? Well, we’re going to use it anyway, because there’s still plenty more change that needs to happen, amen? And we know that God is the only one who’s able to give us hope for the change we need in our lives and world today.
In fact, I want to revisit one of the greatest stories of change in all of scripture—the story of Nineveh. Now, let me first say that there is no city in our world today with problems that Nineveh didn’t have going on. I mean, they had every form of wickedness you can imagine, and the city was huge. But God loved the people and wanted them saved, so He sent Jonah.
Mark that. In order for that change to happen in Nineveh, what had to happen first? Jonah had to go. But Jonah didn’t want to go, so God needed to hijack him. Jonah fled in the opposite direction of which God had sent him, but—and this is a big but—but the Lord brings on a storm that cancels out Jonah’s little trip.
God forced the issue of Jonah’s rebellion and disobedience. In other words, it was like God was saying, “Hey, Jonah, I want to save Nineveh, but I’m not doing it without you. Get your big “but” out of that boat and come with me!”
Jonah had a big but and a lot of us do, too. Jonah’s but was, “But I don’t wanna!” Does that sound familiar? Maybe you’ve caught yourself saying that a time or two to the Lord.
We need to get hijacked. Surrender. Forget the excuses.
“Well, I was going to go down to Mexico, but…” “Well, I was going to tithe, but…” “I was going to serve, but…”
In order for that great city to be reached, it required Jonah to get hijacked. Listen, we’ve got a world to reach today. We’ve got a city to reach that’s as lost and sinful as Nineveh was back then. And we can’t continue to come up with excuses why God can’t use us.
What is the city, nation, people group, or realm of society that God has put on your heart? Now, are you hijacked enough to do something to bring God’s change to them?
I need Your help! I do not want to be like Jonah, fleeing from Your presence and disobeying Your voice. Please give me wisdom and boldness to follow You to bring change to this world!