Based on a True StoryWhat restoration has God brought to your life?
Top Christian Music Videos
The Shrinking Self
But Jonah . . . went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord (v.3).
My boys like to play tag. For the moment I can still outrun them. One of our favorite spots to play is a green space in our neighborhood. It’s an odd-shaped, grassy lot that narrows on both ends. My boys have the habit of running to one of the corners at the field’s edge. They think they’re creating distance from me, but they’re really only painting themselves into a corner. I give them room to roam; and then when they think they’re safe and far away, I close in. Rather than escaping, they realize that their world has shrunk.
Jonah was a prophet, which means that he was one who spoke for God. When God told Jonah to travel to Nineveh, however, and “announce [God’s] judgment,” Jonah ran (Jonah 1:2). He headed for Joppa, a city in the opposite direction.
When he ran, Jonah’s world steadily shrank. The disobedient prophet snagged a ship sailing for Tarshish and jumped aboard. He “was sound asleep down in the hold,” literally “down in the far reaches of the vessel” (v.5). Jonah thought he was escaping; but if he had noticed, he would have clearly seen that his world was closing in around him. Soon enough, Jonah would be trapped in the belly of a large fish. At that point, his world consisted of merely a tight circle.
Jonah was running from God, but he was also running from himself. Jonah’s identity was as a prophet, but Jonah didn’t want to do what God commanded. He didn’t want to speak God’s message to a people he hated. As a result, it was not only Jonah’s world that was shrinking—but himself. Jonah was becoming less his true self, less the person God had created him to be.
When we run from God, we aren’t merely running—we’re shrinking.
Read 1 John 1:1. Note the various facts we’re told about our identity—who and what we are through God. How would running away from these truths diminish us?
In what area are you most tempted to run from God? How does this running make you less your true self?
- Based on a True Story - What restoration has God brought to your life?...read more
- New Beginnings - How has God equipped you to follow Him?...read more
- What's Important - How has God been training you lately?...read more
- Choosing to Forget - What painful memory is holding you back from peace with God?...read more
- Not about Fame - How has Jesus changed your life?...read more
- Faithful and True - What experiences have shaped your understanding of what it means to be faithful?...read more
- Living Houses of Prayer - What does it mean for you to be a living house of prayer?...read more
- Test of Courage - Read Proverbs 21:30-31 to see how true success depends on God....read more
- Calling on the Air - In what ways have you called on God for direction ?...read more
- Only the Beginning - What hope has God brought you today?...read more
- Disciplined for Freedom - Praise God and display your gratitude to Him today!...read more
- What Will We Become? - What does it mean for you to be God’s masterpiece?...read more
- Taking the Hate - Which portions of the Bible trouble you the most?...read more
- Not a Distant God - Read Romans 8:31-39 to be reminded of the intimate love God has for us....read more
- A Greater Power - Read Jeremiah 31:20-25 and consider the power of God’s restoration...read more
- Anger Management - Read Matthew 5:21-22 to see what Jesus said about anger and sin....read more