So, why are you running away?
Jeremiah 29:11 says For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. In the church that I am a member of, we believe in the call to Ministry for all, which means, wherever you are, whoever you are, God has a plan for you to minister in some shape or form, He has a plan for you! Maybe, you’re a preacher, maybe you’re a musician, maybe you’re a sports star, or maybe you’re a volunteer to take care of “the least of these” type folks. Regardless of what that looks like, it’s a ministry.
This can be a scary thing, of course, to know that you have a job to do for God. I mean, come on, not too many bosses out there that could be that intimidating right? I mean it’d probably feel better to hear The Donald say “You’re Fired” then if we were to hear the Good Lord say that right? Well, here’s the thing, He will not fire you, but as a famous story in the Bible tells us, if He calls you, and you run from His call, He will find you.
God told a guy named Jonah, to go to Nineveh and tell them about God. Jonah was nervous and afraid, so he ran in the other direction from God to a place called Joppa and jumped on a boat to head towards Spain. Next thing Jonah knows, he’s being woken up by all the other folks on the boat. They’re in a complete panic and fearing for their lives because the boat is doing all kinds of rocking and tossing in a huge storm. Jonah realizes that this is God’s way of showing that He isn’t all too happy with Jonah since he decided to run. Jonah still isn’t too keen on the idea of going to Nineveh, because that place isn’t exactly known as a hospitable place for followers of Yahweh, so he tells the folks on the boat to just go ahead and toss him in the ocean to save themselves from the wrath that is really just intended for him. So splash and sink arrives and all of a sudden he’s in the belly of a big ole fish, of course Jonah now realizes that this whole running from God thing probably isn’t gonna work out too well for him, so he prayed to the Lord and told Him he would follow His command. Immediately, the fish spit Jonah out, and he high-tailed it to Nineveh.
I can’t personally say that I know of too many folks that have hung out in the belly of a fish or been chased by a huge rainstorm these days, but I do know plenty of people that run from God’s calling on their lives. Maybe they’re afraid of rejection, or feel they’re not educated enough, or whatever the case may be. A lot of people, when faced with adversity, are fully content with sitting down and just praying and telling, if not just asking, God to take care of it. A lot of these same folks get discouraged when nothing ever comes of these prayers and they continue to watch bad things happen all around them. I’d be willing to wager that after asking God why He won’t fix it or do something about it, if they would take a couple minutes to listen to His reply, they’d be surprised to hear Him saying something to the effect of “I DID do something. I made you!”
Now, don’t get me wrong, I definitely think we should ALWAYS start with prayer, and not just a brief little blip, but true, honest, earnest prayer and meditation, but if we look at the world around us and see things that are wrong, we should ask God to fix it THROUGH us, not just FOR us. We need to reach a point where we can become the answer to our own prayers, because chances are, if this thing is truly laid on our heart that much, He probably put it there for us. So, what’s the question I’m asking today? I guess, that’d be “Should we really expect God to do it for us?” Moral of the story? God has assigned you a job, He may or may not have told you yet, but when He does, It would probably be a good idea to start heading towards your Nineveh.
Zach is a father, husband, and social media addict that describes his approach to faith as being a “Charismatic, Evangelical, Anabaptist that loves Catholic tradition, or just a plain old ‘lover of Jesus’ for short. He is the Youth director at Poages Mill Church of the Brethren and hangs out with an odd group he calls the “Holy Burrito Crew”.