Straight talk about God wanting our attention
God will remind you of things sometimes.
Sometimes they will be things you figure He’s already reminded you of - stuff you think you know.
But He gently reminds you that you don’t REALLY know. Not fully anyway.
You see, the devotionals which I’m currently featuring on my podcast were written almost 2 years ago and were then compiled into an e-book. Today is day eleven of thirty and it’s looking at the person of Jonah and the theme of avoidance.
For my personal devotional study, I’m going through the Bible in a year again, this time using an app called ‘Read Scripture’ and today’s passages are also in... you guessed it... Jonah.
So, what does that have to do with anything? Isn’t it just coincidence?
Well no. Not as far as I’m concerned anyway.
Yes, the fact that my podcast makes mention of the theme of avoidance when addressing the person of Jonah is accurate. But it actually only just scratches the surface so I’ve discovered upon some further study today.
Over on the podcast, I haven’t made mention of the deeper rooted problem at hand and WHY he was avoiding doing what God told him to do.
For the story’s summary, you can check out today’s episode on Living Word League’s podcast, but the summary’s summary is this:
Jonah is called by God to go to Nineveh and prophesy to the people there. Jonah doesn’t want to and goes the other way, heading for a place called Tarshish by boarding a boat full of pagan sailors. He eventually gets thrown off the boat (at his own request) and ends up in the stomach of a big fish, where he tells God that he will, in fact, be obedient after all. The fish spits him out. Jonah heads for Nineveh. He gives a hugely half-heated sermon (thinking people won’t really listen because it’s so non-specific). His plan doesn’t work (God’s does) and everyone repents (even the cows). Jonah is angered by this and THEN we find out WHY he didn’t want to do what God told him to do in the first place...
Here’s where we need to lean in and listen.
Called by God? Check.
Given a specific purpose? Check.
Living his ‘best life’? Nope.
You see, God brought this story back to my attention because so many of us love the stories about God working all things together for our good and Him having plans to prosper and not to harm us.
We’re less interested in the ones about sacrifice.
We’re less interested in calling over convenience.
We’re less interested in celebrating success, which doesn’t ONLY just so happen to be our own.
That’s why God brought Jonah back to my attention today. And to yours if you’re reading this.
Because it’s time we recognised that God wants His will done more than He wants us to be comfortable.
Sometimes there will be comfort. For most of us, there will often be more comfort than we know. You know - the house, the car, the bed to sleep in at night, the device to read this post from. And that’s just for starters.
To be honest, we get to ask for more too. Our God is the God of immeasurably more and He May well choose to bless us in ways we can’t ask, think, or even imagine.
But that’s not the point either.
He might also call us into something uncomfortable. Not because He’s cruel but because He wants to teach us something.
He might ask us to love people from whom we can expect ZERO in return from.
He might get us doing both of those things at the same time like he did with Jonah.
Because as much as I have a bit of an internal eye-roll when God calls me to share messages, which don’t just sound like ‘it gets to be easy’...
the truth is that if we’re choosing to be disciples, we don’t get to tell God that we’re up for the walking on water, miraculous part of following Him, but we’re less cool with dying to our selves.
We don’t get to say that we’re excited about speaking to large crowds and having people wowed by our words, but we’re less cool with loving our enemies.
It’s not how it worked for Jonah and it’s not how it’ll work for us either.
God’s not a kill joy. He’s the giver of joy. But you MIGHT not always feel delighted about doing the stuff He asks of you.
That doesn’t mean you don’t do those bits though. Because just like He did with Jonah, He may well just bring those things back around because there’s lessons for you to learn and people on the other side of your obedience.
Do you know what makes it all a bit easier though? Getting to know Jesus more and more and in doing so, understanding that His ways ARE indeed better than yours.
Suddenly, surrender is that bit easier, saying yes happens a little more quickly, and you start to trust just that little bit more.
As with any relationship worth having, it takes work. It takes you consciously carving out time to meet with God in prayer, in His Word, in worship, in silence and beyond. He’s always ready to meet with you, so worrying about His availability need not be a concern.
The question really becomes whether or not you’re ready. Whether you’re ready to learn more, go deeper, talk stuff through with like-minded people – the hard stuff as well as the fun stuff. To lean into the Lord and all He is, knowing that no matter what, His presence is the absolute best place to be.
If that sounds like your kind of thing, come and join me and the ladies already diving deep in my monthly membership program, Living Word League. Let’s journey together and live lives of purpose ON PURPOSE! Click the button below to learn more.
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HEY! I’m Naomi, Founder of Living Word League. Along with my blog and my podcast, Living Word League is home to a monthly membership community that provides interactive Bible studies which practically unpack the Word of God with conversation and content, so that Christian women can boldly walk out the calling on their lives to the full whilst keeping the main thing, the main thing. Also over at Living Word League, you’ll find self-study programs created to support you in owning your God-given identity and walking out your purpose alongside ‘Biblical Business Academy’, my hub of business building programs, courses and live coaching support for faith-focused female leaders and entrepreneurs seeking to start, build, scale and grow their online businesses.