Jonah Part 2: A Ship, A Storm, and A Fish posted by Yuen Woh Voon on Oct 25, 2011
Jesus commands that believers share their faith. Sadly, we believers often disobey and treat the Great Commission as merely the Great Suggestion.
Like I mentioned in the first post about Jonah, I have been reading again the book of Jonah and it is exciting how this book on sharing our faith stands up in the Old Testament canon. Jonah had received God’s call to preach to the people of Nineveh, but he refuses to go. Like so many modern day believers, Jonah just heads in the opposite direction. He would have nothing to do with God’s will for Him to share his faith.
I would like to point out 3 things that happen to believers when we refuse to obey God and to share their faith.
Opportunities to Sail Away Appear Instantly
If you do not want to share your faith, there will always be a ship waiting to take you the opposite direction. In other words, if you are looking for an excuse not to share your faith, you will quite easily find one. Perhaps the person you wish to share with is busy, or may not be interested. Perhaps, you might have some other more pressing engagements. You might even be very busy with church work. Maybe tomorrow night is a better time. After all, tomorrow is only a day away! Perhaps your friend just called you and needed your help. There are many well-meaning distractions, but they are distractions none the less. Getting on that ship means you are further away from sharing your faith.
God Lovingly Sends Resistance to Get You Back on Track
If you do not want to share your faith, a great storm will appear to upset your life. The Bible says that the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. God wants us to obey Him for our own good. The path of obedience helps transform our character to be more like His Son’s. When we disobey, God lovingly sends adversity to gently lead us back to God’s predetermined path for our lives. Due to our stubbornness, God often sends a great wind and whips up a violent storm. Everything we do seems to go wrong when we’re running away from doing what God wants.
He Will Get Your Attention Eventually
If you do not want to share your faith, God will confine you in some enclosure where you can do some serious thinking! In Jonah’s case, God provided a great fish to swallow Jonah. From within the belly of the great fish, Jonah could do nothing but reflect until he got around to God’s way of thinking. Often we can be so busy and so stressed out that we lose focus. We conveniently forget to share our faith. Sometimes our health is affected badly. Then, we have no choice but to rest, recuperate and reflect. Finally God has our attention. Sounds familiar?
Let’s go out and meet someone today to share our faith! That’s what the Lord has called us to, and he’ll do a work within us through this active obedience.