The prophet Jonah is often described as the “runaway prophet”. God called Jonah to preach a message to the city of Nineveh, but instead Jonah transversed across the known world in order to get away from the calling on his life. The book of Jonah ends in a poetic and inspiring manner:
Jonah preaches to Nineveh (3:3); Nineveh repents of its wickedness (3:5); Jonah becomes angry and upset with God because he did precisely what Jonah thought he would do by sparing the city (4:1): Jonah becomes suicidal, telling God “[he] is angry to the point of death…[saying] it is better to die than to live…” (4:8); then concluding with God’s thoughts on the whole matter, “And should I not spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than six score thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also as much cattle?” (4:11).
How often have you come across a situation like Jonah’s? Has God called you to a great task? Perhaps God is calling you to repentance? Is not God calling you to repentance…?
I have dealt exhaustingly on the subject of “calling” and “career”. It is a subject of unbelief for many, just like it was with Jonah. Jonah indeed had a grand calling, but he allowed his unbelief to detour him from such a calling. Often times, it appears unbelief causes many to shy away from the amazing calling God has placed in our hearts. The Bible says, “God has placed eternity into the hearts of men” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) so are you fulfilling that eternal call? What are you doing (or not doing) that is in regards to that eternal call?
Just as the “runaway prophet” struggled to obey God in a grand matter, so do we often disobey God in our grand matters! If we do disobey God in such grand callings, how much more do we disobey God in the smaller callings?
The answer I believe is illustrated by an account of the great preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon. Spurgeon is said to have most sincerely come to the point of conversion when he was fifteen years old because of a simple message in Isaiah 45:
Look to the Lord and be saved
The Gospel, my friends, is not complicated but it is indeed a narrow passage due to the resistance of the natural man’s heart. All we must do is simply look to Christ, confess, believe, and be saved.