• Jordan Burchette

What Are You Running From?

I love the book of Jonah.

I encourage you to read the entire book of Jonah to get the full picture of what I am talking about today.

God told Jonah to go to the city of Nineveh. Nineveh was the capital of Assyria at the time and was full of wickedness. The people of that city worshipped the false god Ishtar and Jonah was most likely scared to go preach repentance to these people.

So he ran from God, or tried to, and it didn't go as planned.

Jonah fast-tracked it to Joppa where he jumped on a ship headed to Tarshish. He was getting away from God and what He was calling him to do, or so he thought.

Jonah 1:4-7 says,"But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.

And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah."

I find it interesting that all the other men on the ship called out to their false gods but they didn't answer. Jonah served the one, true God though, so the lot fell on him. I think we often forget that we serve the same God Jonah served. The true God that created us each unique and with a purpose; to love and serve Him all of our days.

Jonah 1:9 says, "And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land."

I get Jonah. He was scared of taking a giant leap of faith. As Christians, I am sure we all can agree that we have been here before. God has instructed us to do something for Him and we immediately run away.

"Oh no, God...You have the wrong person in mind."

"I am unqualified."

"That would be so uncomfortable and people will think I am crazy."

We try and tell God, who pieced us together hair by hair and cell by cell, that He has it all wrong. He must have us confused with that woman or man down the street or we give Him our other laundry list of excuses we readily toss up to Him.

The thing about running from God is that you can't fully run from Him.

Psalm 139:1-12 says, "{To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.} O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.

Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee."

God knows when we open our eyes in the morning light and when our eyelids flutter and we fall asleep in the darkness. We could flee to the ends of the earth in all four of the deepest and darkest corners and He would still know exactly where to find us. God can see the landscape we daily tread because every square inch of the world is His.

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How comforting!

Jonah was tossed overboard and swallowed by a fish. For three days in the belly of the fish I bet he cried. He probably wished He would have just obeyed God and trusted that He would use Him and protect Him. Have you found yourself here before? God asked you to do something but you declined and thought you would take your own way.

God always knows best and will always provide in those seasons where He wants you to take a giant leap of faith.

If you continue reading the book of Jonah, then you know that Jonah prayed out of the fish's belly and asked God to deliver him.

Jonah 2:5-7 says, "The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God. When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple."

Jonah knew that he should have trusted God.

I don't look down on Jonah because I have been there. Just recently, I have felt ready to throw in the towel with my writing and business. I know God has called me to writing and encouraging but it is still scary. You may be in a season where God is calling you to something but you're so scared. How can God provide, you ask? How can He truly enable me to do this?

Don't run from Christ, friend. Run towards Him with arms wide open with a heart ready to trust Him in what is next!

I am starting a Jonah Challenge on my social media platforms next week. I would LOVE for you to join the conversation! We will share something that God is calling us to do and how we can pray for one another as we trust and obey Christ!

Praying for you always!

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