Stepping Beyond My Fears to Faith
When God told Jonah to go to Nineveh, God gave Him specific instructions. “Get up, go to Nineveh, and cry out.” (Jonah 1:2) God provided a clear three-step process. He clearly told Jonah what to do, where to go, and how to speak. You would think if the details were spelled out so clearly, Jonah would have no problem following the instructions.
But instead of getting up and going to Nineveh, Jonah exerted his energy by fighting against the very purpose God designed.
It’s easy to look at Jonah and shake our heads. If he only knew about the storm that would rise up causing him to compromise his life as a direct result of his disobedience he would have just obeyed from the word go.
The instructions God gave him seemed clear to me, but we know Jonah had other things in mind. Perhaps questions, fear, and doubt consumed him so much that he was willing to give up his life to pursue his own direction. It’s difficult to grasp the reality of his situation when we think of Jonah as a children’s Bible story. The reality is that Jonah was willing to escape God’s direction at all costs.
When it comes to us and our instructions, it begins to get complicated because we, just like Jonah, exhaust ourselves questioning God, doubting our skills, and forgetting everything we heard from God in the first place. As we run from God’s designed plan, we struggle and we fight. The question is how long will we run?
God has instructions for you and for me. I believe He spells them out clearly, yet we miss it by over-analyzing the details. We begin to feel like we could never succeed at the very thing God has called us to.
We begin to believe we must have misinterpreted what we heard in the first place. We obsess over the possibility of failure and we fight the very purpose God designed for us by trying to do everything in our own power. When we don’t succeed, we become frustrated, feeling like we are spinning our wheels and not fulfilling our true purpose in life.
God has a call for each one of His children. No one is excused or excluded from the instructions God freely offers. God could have easily chosen someone else as soon as Jonah ran the wrong way, but He pursued Jonah for the specific purpose of Nineveh even after Jonah jumped ship. How beautiful the mercy of our mighty Savior!
If you know God called you to do something for His kingdom and somewhere along the way frustration, and confusion has set in, it’s time to return to the instructions you once heard. Just like Jonah was given a second chance to go to Nineveh, many times God gives us a second chance too.
If God is calling you:
Don’t run the wrong way. Run to God. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8
It’s not time to have fear. It’s time to have faith. When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Psalm 56:3
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6
You can’t do it alone. You need God’s presence. The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17
It’s not impossible. All things are possible with God. Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27
Get up. Go. Tell others.
Whatever it is that God is calling you to do, He will give you what you need to succeed.
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ”, Philippians 1:6
What are you waiting for? Choose faith over fear especially when you are hurting.
Comforting thought for the week
Having faith in God’s call does not mean you completely erase every fear from your heart and mind. It means you take the first step no matter if your knees are knocking, your heart is palpitating, and your hands are shaking like a leaf. So go ahead. It’s time to take the step that God has instructed you to take. It’s time to do what you know God is telling you. Take the leap. Jump into the deep end and don’t look back. When we finally choose obedience, we will see God’s hand at work. It might be the most difficult thing we have experienced. It might be a lot of hard work, and it might be that we see God in way we have never seen Him before. God’s power is available to each of us and His instructions are clear.