OBEY THE WORD OF THE LORD
So Jonah obeyed the LORD and went to Nineveh, a city so large that it took three days to walk through it. Jonah 3v3
Sometimes we know the way we should take in our Christian life but, like Jonah, we prefer to follow our own desires or ideas. Often God’s way is inconvenient or unattractive; it can even appear very difficult or impossible to our human mind. Often God would lead us out of our “comfort zone” as He guides us in spiritual growth or Divine service.
How many people have been led by God into unknown countries or into difficult areas of life to serve God in helping others and showing forth the love of Christ to lost and needy souls? How many have obeyed and how many have faltered or wantonly ignored God’s word to them?
Closer to your own experience and mine: do we know the written word of God sufficiently to follow it and obey it in every aspect of our daily Christian lives? If so, are we ready and willing to follow God’s word whatever the implications?
These are tough questions! Jonah illustrated human weakness and confusion concerning the word of God in his circumstances; a weakness that we all share. We have our own preconceived ideas, our culture, our past conditioning. Our intellectual and spiritual blinkers are often well and truly fixed in position, so that we see and hear just what we want or expect. Like Jonah, we are not open to a special word from God!
Nineveh was a big busy hostile place for Jonah; the last place he would have volunteered to travel to. To go and preach against the great wickedness existing there was even less attractive. You can imagine Jonah preferring something easier! So might any of us!!
I wonder; what is your Nineveh? Is God leading you in some way, maybe something very ordinary but difficult for you? Have you been like Jonah and turned away so far from what you know is God’s way for your present life? Are you loath to offer your time or talent in your church or fellowship because of low confidence or other personal feelings?
The Apostle Paul was able to testify from personal experience: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4v3) In our own strength we will often fail, but in the strength of God, His will prevails through us.
Jonah failed to grasp and obey God’s word to him; he had to endure great hardship because of his willful disobedience, but finally Jonah obeyed and God’s will became reality for Jonah and for those in the city of Nineveh.
Today, look afresh at the “Ninevehs” in your ongoing Christian life. The things that seem insurmountable today will become God’s successes through your obedience to His word. His mighty strength will be working to bring His perfect will into a greater and more effective reality in your everyday life.