In the message “Follow Him to Nineveh” we discussed the will of God in terms of His “general” and “specific” will. We saw that God’s Word has already given a great deal of direction which applies to every Child of God. Our Heavenly Father desires each of His Children to be “conformed to the likeness of His Son” (Romans 8:29). And the process of being conformed is primarily one of obedient worship in ALL areas of our life. But then comes Nineveh!
The story of Jonah and the giant fish is one of the best known in the Bible and provides a wonderful example of how we need to follow when God calls. When God has a specific call for our life He will persistently give us clear direction and use all His infinite resources to make sure we understand. But as we read through the entire Word of God we must conclude that this type of specific call is relatively rare. For most, God’s will never moves beyond a general call to walk in His love.
Yes, Jonah teaches us to follow when God’s call is specific. But there’s an even more important principle regarding God’s general will which applies to all of us nearly every day of our life. This principle is discovered by examining why Jonah ran from God: “‘Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because it’s wickedness has come up before Me.’ But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish” (Jonah 1:2-3).
Jonah didn’t run from God simply because Nineveh was located in a distant and foreign land. Jonah ran because he disliked (even hated) the people who lived in this leading city of the growing empire of Assyria. The people of Nineveh had a reputation for cruelty in war, idolatry, and a general disrespect for God. Jonah had grown up with a hatred of Nineveh and couldn’t bear being sent there to preach. He couldn’t bear the thought of these hated people actually repenting and being blessed by “his” God.
“O Lord, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.”
Where, or who, is our Nineveh?
God desires all the world to turn from their wicked ways and receive His blessings. And His general call is for us to deliver this message of love. We are called to deliver this message to ALL – especially those we may naturally dislike or have been “taught” to fear and hate. Ministering outside our natural group becomes a form of worship because it demonstrates our understanding of the grace we have been given through faith in Jesus; none of us can ever earn God’s love! Let’s take the general will of God into the mission field placed before us and worship our Father by accepting the challenge of ministering to Nineveh.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries