You Cannot Outrun God (Jonah 1:7-17)

WW2015-wk25“God does not give up.  He works to turn sorrow into joy and tragedy of unfaithfulness into the triumph of love.” ~ James Montgomery Boice

Last week we encountered how the book of Jonah started out.  We saw just as times got uncomfortable for Jonah, he sought out to find his comfort. Jonah ran from God, just as man has done since the very dawn of creation. This week I want, in our time together, to examine the rest of the first chapter of Jonah, starting in verse 7 to the completion of the chapter.

As we took a closer look at our own hearts last week, what did you uncover?  In what areas of life are you running from God? Where are you right now? Are you lined up in your own comfort or God’s will for your life? I want you to ponder these questions as we take a look at what happens when you rebel and turn your back on God.

Jonah ran from God, and despite his best efforts of fleeing, it only drew him closer to God. This was not exactly the desire he had hoped for but, never the less, we don’t get to choose the ending of our own story. As Jonah found himself on the wrong side of his fellow man, what he had hoped for was a peaceful resolve. Only God’s plan was stronger than Jonah’s will!

Jonah could not outrun God’s plan for his life. Jonah ran up against the odd that he had never known before and was completely humbled in the process. Jonah was so humbled; he knew that his rebellion should be punished by death. As Jonah told the men in the boat to “pick me up and throw me in the sea” (verse 12). Jonah knew this meant death, as that was what he deserved. But even though Jonah deserved death, that’s not what God gave him. That is exactly where we find ourselves today. Despite our best efforts of alluding God, despite all the things we think we are doing in our lives that matter, we are facing odds that are insurmountable. Jonah defied God and was humbled to the realization that he deserved nothing more than death.

That is exactly where God wanted Jonah. God doesn’t want you to go through life rebelling against His will for you, rather He wants you to know you are greater than you could ever imagine. The grace He shows us daily is the only picture of perfect love that has ever been shown. Jonah, and we, deserve death but God gives us what we don’t deserve in order to show us His love through us! Just as Jonah was thrown in the sea and was faced with death, God’s ultimate plan succeeded in his life. God wants His plan to succeed in your life too!

Is the stubbornness in your life too great that you think you cannot overcome it?
Do you think that God doesn’t have a plan for your life?
Are you still struggling to find your identity in this every-changing world?

All answers point to One source, One love, One hope, and One purpose!

This week’s devotional was written by JR Rouse. His heart is in the pastorate and is attending Capital Seminary and Graduate School to pursue a Master of Divinity in Pastoral Studies.

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