Jonah struggled with his identity and his calling. He fought against what God had called him to do and he tried to forget the commitments he’d made.
As I read through the book of Jonah, I can’t help but have three thoughts…
First, I AM JONAH. I’ve shared his thoughts and I’ve made similar decisions. I’ve run from God, I’ve gotten angry at Him and I’ve chosen my own way. I’ve often found myself backed into a corner of my own making and have needed God to rescue me from my own mistakes.
Second, I WANT TO BE A DISCIPLE. But I tend to forget what a disciple actually looks like. I live in a culture that says, “Comfort is king,” and I’m surrounded by stories of people clawing their way to personal success. The world I live in says, “If you don’t want to do it, then just don’t do it,” and I’m surrounded by examples of people who have found the easy way around hard things.
And my third thought is, DISCIPLES DON’T LOOK LIKE JONAH. Disciples don’t take the easy way, they understand that anything really worth doing is going to be hard. Disciples don’t live to satisfy their own comfort and desires, they learn to say, “Not my will, but Yours, God.” Disciples don’t run from Nineveh, they don’t hide from God and they don’t pout in the wilderness. Disciples square their shoulders and walk into their calling with their eyes wide open.
Which leaves me with the question, “What is a disciple?”
Here is the simplest definition I’ve been able to come up with:
- Loves God // Matthew 22:37-38
- Denies self // Luke 9:23
- Surrenders desires // Luke 14:23-35
- Loves others // John 13:34-35
- Reproduces disciples // John 15:7-17; Matthew 28:18-20
I don’t want to look like Jonah anymore.
If you’re completely honest with yourself, are you a DISCIPLE? Or are you still JONAH?