A few weeks ago, I was inspired to speak a word from the Lord. It was entitled, “There Is No Struggle in God.” I touched on the story of Jonah in the bible (Jonah 1-3).
In the book of Jonah, God instructed Jonah to warn the people of Nineveh to repent and turn from their wicked ways or He would utterly destroy them. Jonah, however, had plans of his own and refused to obey God’s instruction by heading on a ship to Tarshish the opposite direction of his assignment. He somehow believed that he could hide from God.
I too have had times in my life when I wanted to run away from God’s instruction. It seemed so much easier to go the “other” way and do my own thing. However, my plan left me with nothing.
I felt God one day pulling on me to give this homeless man my freshly purchased sandwich. I had not eaten for a while that day and I really wrestled with God on this assignment. The guy was posted against a wall at the end of an alley in the afternoon. I was so hungry but my eyes fixed on the man as I walked pass him. When I came to my destination they had a buffet style set up of different sandwiches, chips, and drinks. My heart sank to the bottom of my stomach. I felt so bad, I didn’t even touch the sandwich I had purchased. When I finished eating and my agenda was done I rushed back to the alley area only to find the man gone. I had failed my assignment.
When Jonah hid on the ship and it began to sail, the storm began. Waves began to toss the ship about and thundering, dark clouds filled the sky. The other passengers aboard began asking each other, “Who sinned to cause this great storm to come upon us?” Jonah was thrown into the sea and swallowed by a great fish.
There are consequences that we bring upon ourselves because of our selfish acts. In those times no one can release us from our punishment but God.
Do you feel trapped in the belly of a circumstance? Is there a situation in your life that seems difficult to escape? When Jonah cried out in the belly of the fish, he admitted to God that he had done wrong. He knew he deserved his punishment.
“I cried out to the LORD because of my affliction,
And He answered me.
“Out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
And You heard my voice.
For You cast me into the deep,
Into the heart of the seas,
And the floods surrounded me;
All Your billows and Your waves passed over me.
Then I said, ‘I have been cast out of Your sight;
Yet I will look again toward Your holy temple.” Jonah 2:2-4
The word sheol* in Hebrew is translated as the “pit”. God delivered Jonah into the pit but also out of the pit. After Jonah prayed, God commanded the fish to release him.
No matter what pit you’ve found yourself in it is not too hard for God to pull you out. There is still life in you and an opportunity for you to be made over. According to 2 Corinthians 5:17, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” You don’t have to be ashamed of your past because God is able to deliver you.
Pray this prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for loving me and accepting me as I am. I know that I’ve made mistakes and I am not proud of what I’ve done. Please forgive me. You promised to make me over if I believe in you. Help me to believe in myself and love myself as you love me. Please deliver me out of this pit and place me in the center of your will. I give you praise. In Jesus’ name, Amen.