On Sunday, February 23, we begin a four week look into the book of Jonah. To grab some background knowledge on the book, check out this video done by the Bible project on YouTube:
Now that we know the major players and activities on the book, I want to call your attention to something we will unpack on Sunday… The call. At the very opening of the book, we see Jonah given clear instruction from God. We will unpack that call and Jonah’s response when we gather, but for now let’s focus on this: Is your call from God so clear?
To answer this question, lets put aside all of the particulars that apply to Jonah and focus in on a word the is destruction to relationships: Ambiguity. It is frustrating enough to ask someone,” where would you like to eat?” and receive “I don’t know” as a response. It is another level of frustration to not know what someone expects of you, or to have conflicting data, or to not have a clear method of communication available. If that defines your relationship with God, that ambiguity attacks faith.
Where might you be feeling ambiguity? Are you clear on the call God has for you presently (we will define “call” on Sunday!)? Are you struggling to hear His voice or wondering if He hears yours? Are you unsure of how to accomplish what he is asking, feeling unprepared, ill-equipped, or not sure where to begin? Think about these questions and be ready to respond to ministry on Sunday!
For now, I offer you this for preparation…. Consider this verse Jeremiah 29:11:
ForI know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord.“They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
We need to be careful not to take this out of context. This was a small piece of a letter Jeremiah wrote to the leaders and people of the nation of Israel that were exiled to Babylon, certainly a more stressful time then we are experiencing as we prepare for Sunday.
For us, we can read this scripture and notice two things. First, God is sovereign.He is over all things. You matter to Him, He knows you, He knows what He is calling you to. Second, it is His will that is active. This means that “our”calling is for His glory. Knowing these two points can establish (or re-establish) faith and get the focus off ourselves. So, read the verse, pray the verse, and sit with the verse in silence… Let God deal with you through this verse.
My prayer for you this week is the Creator God would connect with you about mission. Not go to another country mission, but His mission and the role He has for you. I pray peace over you, and I pray that you would see yourself not as an individual seeking after God but as a community asking, how can we help?