Hey there everyone! Did you enjoy digging into week one of Jonah? If you are joining us today and have not had a chance to pick up the book and start week one, please continue reading! It is my hope that anyone on our blog community can read these bible study posts even if you aren't actually doing the study. But, I must say, this study is excellent and is totally worth your time!
To get started, let's first talk about what we know of the story of Jonah. Most of us remember this story from our childhood about a man who was swallowed by a whale. If you are like me, that is about all you know about it. I didn't know the reason why he was swallowed up into the mouth of a giant fish or God's purpose behind this crazy tale. The first day of week one, Priscilla explains that Jonah was the only prophet who ever ran from God. His plans were interrupted and he didn't want to do what God called him to do.
Have your life plans ever been interrupted? Have you ever run from God?
As mentioned earlier, Jonah was a prophet of the Lord for the people of Israel. Part of his "job requirements" were to hear from God, declare God's messages to His people, and being identified as a true prophet of God. Jonah was probably very popular, highly respected, and enjoyed financial security. So, when God told him to go spread His name to his enemies, the Ninevites, Jonah rebuked Him and spent a lot of money hopping on a ship to Tarshish, which was in the complete opposite direction of Ninevah. He was running from God.
Jonah had plans, and he Was frustrated that God was interrupting his plans. I mentioned this in our welcome post, but want to take a moment to reiterate what Priscilla says. She uses this equation: Insignificant Person + Insignificant Task = Interruption Significant Person + Significant Task = Divine Intervention Will you yield your plans to Him if He requests that you do so?
On Day Two, Priscilla says that God's calling you means He has chosen you above anyone else. Wow, does that give anyone else chills? On Day Three, she asks us to fill in these facts about ourselves: Name: Hometown: Denomination: Job: Closest relative: Go ahead and do the same if you haven't. Then, she asks us to go back and look at our resume and put a check mark beside any in which we have tried to seek our significance. I was surprised to find that I had tried to seek my significance in each of these categories. She tells us that, "Our significance, at least the kind that will leave an eternal mark, can only really be found in how fully we yield to God's purposes for our lives." She challenges us that today is as good a day as any to write our declaration of our dependence on God.
On Day Four, she says, "As long as you view Him as insignificant, you'll think His plans for you are too."Priscilla states that our lives involve us but is not ultimately about us. Is that a wake-up call to anyone? The point that she is making is that this is God's story.
Finally, on Day Five, she uses my favorite Bible verse to explain how we should follow God's plans for our lives. Proverbs 3:5 says, "Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding." Like Jonah, sometimes we don't understand God's will for our lives, but we have to trust that God's plans are better than our own.
I sure do hope that y'all enjoyed Week One as much as I did. Go ahead and get started on Week Two's homework and we will discuss it next Wednesday. Below, I have some questions that I would love for y'all to leave your comments on. Feel free to post even if you aren't following the study at home.
1. What did your resume look like? What did you place your significance in? 2. God singled out and pinpointed you as His partner for a particular project. How do you feel about being God's partner? 3. Are you being challenged to arise and go? What is holding you back?
Till next time, let your light shine!