There is a difference between a fleshly stubbornness and a godly perseverance. The former insists on getting one’s will done in heaven, and the latter determines to get God’s will done on earth.William Thrasher
About six months before I moved to Canada, I had a dream. In that dream I saw myself standing in the middle of the newly formed a concrete foundation of the house. Bent over the construction drawings, I was discussing something with other men.
I graduated from the Ukrainian Academy of Banking of the National Bank of Ukraine with a bachelor’s degree in finance. My principal subjects were Economics, Cybernetics, Intellectual Banking Systems and everything related to banks and finances.
Besides, my hobby was web development and programming. During my student years, I was programming for money.
Thus, when I was planning to move to Canada my target was to get relevant to my education and interests position. But little that I know, that God has a unique plan regarding my life already.
Woody Allen said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” And it is true in my case.
Looking for a job in related to my hobby and education fields, I was running away from construction jobs. But they were chasing after me, and the need of money left me no other choice but to accept an offer.
Although I remembered my dream I saw before moving to Canada, I was ignoring it persisting on my plan to be a web developer.
Long story short, I ended up building my career in construction industry. And I am happy that I made a wise choice to follow God’s plan. Because I know that a good Father will offer nothing bad, but the best for His child.
Today’s devotional reading is from the Book of Jonah and Revelation 10. Please, read our recent devotional from the Third Letter of John: How To Be Supportive Amiss Times Of Distress
The Book of Jonah is amazing. There are so many to learn from Jonah’s stubbornness, imperturbability, disobedience, and even his hypocrisy. But today I want to focus on his stubbornness and disobedience.
Please, read our two prevoius devotionals from the Book of Jonah:
Jonah’s disobedience to the First Call of God
In the Chapter 1 verses 1 through 3, Jonah received an assignment from God to go to Nineveh and to preach against their wickedness. But Jonah even did attempt to listen to God, instead he run away to Tarshish.
Tarshish is a city in an unknown location, probably somewhere in Spain. But that is not important. The idea here that Jonah chose an opposite way to what God commanded to him.
Originally, Jonah was from Gath-Hepher, and as you can see from the map above Tarshish not just in the opposite way, it is far-far away across the Mediterranean Sea.
Being a Jewish, Jonah flatly refused to preach to gentiles, and especially to Assyrians, – enemies of Israelites.
Jonah’s obedience to the Second Call of God
On the way to Tarshish, God interrupted Jonah’s trip by raising strong wind on the sea. When the crew on the ship found out that Jonah is Jewish and his God caused the storm on the sea, they tossed him out of the ship into the sea (Jonah 1:4-16).
In the Chapter 2, God appointed big fish to swallow Jonah, where he prayed to God for salvation and repented of his rebellion. And when big fish puked him out on the dry land (Jonah 2:10), Jonah felt obligated and he went to Nineveh and preached to them as God has commanded him.
Please, read devotional Out of the Belly of Sheol I cried
The Little Book – Revelation 10
Please, read the entire Chaper 10. But this time I want to focus on the verses 9 through 11. I think that the story of Jonah is akin to this from John. Thus, mirroring the passage from the Book of Revelation, I want to conclude the story of Jonah in 3 points:
- Eat it Up. We must do the same as Jonh. We must fill ourselves with God’s Word that is written in the Bible. That is why we ought to have the time solely devoted to God only. Every day we have to fill our hearts and minds with God’s Word. Our spirit requires it, same as our body requires daily bread (see also Ezekiel 3:1-3, 10).
- Sweet and Bitter. When we receive God’s Word, it feels to us as sweet as honey. God’s Word comforts us, it gives us hope and joy. But along with sweetness comes bitterness, too. God’s Word reveals to us our depravity and damnation. Although by grace of God we saved, there are many people who remain to live their lives in darkness, away from God.
- Prophesy to All Nations. Thus, we are ALL CALLED to preach God’s Word and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We ought to carry on The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). People who remain in darkness deserve to know how GREAT and MERCYFUL our God is.
This is the time for your journaling. Reflect on these questions. Ask the Holy Spirit to test your faith and your walk with Christ.
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? — 2 Corinthians 13:5 KJV
- Have you ever had a situation when everything goes against your plan?
- Do you think it was because of your stubbornness and disobedience to God?
- Why do you think Jonah disobeyed God, when He called him to preach to Nineveh?
- What makes the Word of God sweet and bitter at the same time?
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer: Matthew 6:9-13