1. It Seems Easier to Run Away, But We Put More Work on Ourselves
At the beginning in Jonah 1, God gives Jonah the clear command to go to Nineveh and preach against their wickedness. This is not a fun invitation; this is a hard task. However, Jonah decides he is going to try to outrun God instead. Jonah 1:3 says, “But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.”
In our own lives, many times we feel the Holy Spirit impressing upon our hearts to take action, or we read of God’s plan for us in His Word, but fear takes over. Instead of being brave or even just asking the Lord to help us in the midst of our anxieties, we like Jonah run as fast as we can in the opposite direction.
I think about fight or flight mode. Everything in me if, I am being honest, is like Jonah. I am flight mode. I am “get the heck out of here” when times of trouble come. But my God is immovable, He is unchanging, He is the Rock. So many times we are reminded in Scripture to “fear not.” The Lord is always with us and He can be our peace. When our sinful reaction is to run, the Spirit in us can enable us to stand firm and move forward.
It often appears to be easier to run away, however we end up putting more work on ourselves. Jonah could have just been obedient, but instead he encountered a horrible, life-threatening storm on the sea, was tossed overboard, swallowed by a big fish, lived in the stomach of the fish (or whale) for three days, was thrown up onto dry land, and then he went to Nineveh. What a detour! He could have missed out on all of this had he originally just obeyed.
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