Change. Different. Not the same. Other. Those are words that we speak about but don’t really like. Change is hard. Especially when WE are involved!
Jonah was an interesting character. He was doing his thing, in a small town. Solid guy. Faithful. Constant. Then God (as he usually does) messed his whole life up. He called him to change three things:
Jonah 1:1 The Lord gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.”3 But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the Lord by sailing to Tarshish.
1. Change in location. Jonah was a good small parish pastor. He had family in town. He was well liked. He knew the people and the people knew him. Then God “ruins” his best laid plans. He told him to go where no one knew, liked, respected or was related to him, at great peril to his life. What if God did that to you? Would you go? I believe with some of you, he has been telling you: “Don’t get comfortable. You won’t be here much longer”.
2. Change in his ministry objective. God told Jonah to change his target. He went from a small town prophet to a mission to the big city. A large city that needed to hear from God. A city that had been abandoned. Much like Jonah’s contemporaries, we have also abandoned the cities. Instead of leaving the city, we must be loving the city. God gave him two reasons to go:
a. It is a large city. (potential for great impact)
b. It is wicked. (great need for God)
That call hasn’t changed. Large cities are not to be left alone. We must give the last warning.
3. Change in strategy. God told Jonah to “get up and go”. That was strange. The people of Israel didn’t “go”. Others came. Others were invited in. You come to us, not us to you, was the modus operandi. God calls him to a paradigm shift. To a different strategy. He wanted Jonah to understand that our job is not so much to bring people to church, but to take church to the people. Is God calling you to use a different strategy? Are you afraid? Please don’t do like Jonah, who “bought a ticket” to go a different way. Many of our people are paying NOT to do what God told them to, which is to share Jesus.
If this short devotional has been a blessing or if you need me to pray for a life or career change, leave your request in the comment section. Remember: Don’t get comfortable. You won’t be here much longer”.