I love Peter's experience of walking on the roaring sea with Jesus. But the thing is, Peter's story is often misunderstood. Do you have a step you need to take?
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Jonah has been totally messing with my comfortable view of God. I mean, am I the only one that immediately thinks – “You do good, God can use you well. You run away from Him, you are useless.”
Jonah actually shows us that God uses the flat out disobedient and the proud.
And yea – if I’m totally honest, I can fit safely into both camps.
Let’s take a look at the miracle God demonstrated through Jonah’s flat-out disobedience.
We know the story. God tells Jonah to go to Nineveh and Jonah decides to sail in the complete opposite direction to Tarshish. (See Jonah 1:1-2).
As you flashback to your flannel-graph days, you will remember that Jonah boarded a boat in Joppa that was sailing to Tarshish – the exact destination he wanted to go.
Just because disobedience seems easy doesn’t make it right.
As the boat is in route, God stirred the seas with a violent storm:
5 Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. And they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. (Jonah 1:5 ESV)
Did you notice the lowercase “g” in god?
The sailors were in trouble, but they were not yet in a relationship with the One true God of the universe.
They may have heard about Him.
They may have wanted to believe in Him.
But right here, at this crucial life and death moment of the journey, they had not made Jehovah Lord of their life. They were still clinging to the hope that their gods provided.
Who helped usher these men into this crucial crossroads? Yes, God used flat-out disobedient Jonah.
Jonah had no clue how God was using him to bring the lost Home.
When we think we are far away from God, He is still writing His story with our lives.
Look with me just a few verses later as the sailors decide to throw Jonah into the sea:
13 Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to get back to dry land, but they could not, for the sea grew more and more tempestuous against them. 14 Therefore they called out to the Lord, “O Lord, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not on us innocent blood, for you, O Lord, have done as it pleased you.” 15 So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows. (Jonah 1:13-16 ESV)
After the sailors hurled Jonah into the sea and the storm completely went calm, these men met God’s power and were completely changed. They no longer cried out to their “gods” but they found the “LORD.”
Their lives changed from that moment on.
Jonah preached his best sermon yet and had no clue what had happened.
Even with a heart filled with fear and pride, God used Jonah to bring men closer to Himself. That is just incredible grace!
Even during Jonah’s fit, God used him to save all of Nineveh.
Jonah isn’t a book about a man running away from God. It’s a love story of a God never ceasing to run after His child. Don’t miss it!
You are never out of His love and grace.
You are never too far for Him to rescue.
You are never too hopeless for Him to use.
You. Are. LOVED.
Dare to do more than just survive, step out and thrive!
(Purchasing these resources from the links provided will allow Step Out & Thrive Ministries to receive a portion of the sale).
I just started reading both of these books and I’ll post a review once completed. Both are available on Kindle, but the second title has an amazing audiobook version as well. Both really force you to think and wrestle internally (both of which I need!).
Have you ever felt far away from God only to discover a greater story He was writing in your life?
Hello and welcome to Step Out And Thrive Ministries! My name is Bethany Boring and I am proud to be called a child of God before any other title or role. I am a mom to 3 amazing boys. I enjoy writing for this Step Out And Thrive community and walking with you as we venture through the ups and downs of life together. I am an ICF trained Certified Professional Christian Life Coach (Christian Coach Institute Graduate), Motivational and Inspirational Speaker, mentor, Certified Human Behavioral Consultant (DISC Personality) and an author. As always - dare to do more than just survive, step out and thrive!