Obedience is better than sacrifice. Don’t sacrifice your time to a storm. There’s work to do.
Mark 4:37 – And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
Today we continue with our look into “Storms” as we delve into the second kind of storm mentioned in the Scriptures. This is the kind of storm the Lord sends to arrest you, and is so clearly seen in the book of Jonah. I’m sure you’re familiar with that story. God had called upon Jonah, sending him to Nineveh to warn them of their sin and call them to repentance. Jonah seemed to be a bit of a racist bigot, and instead of obeying the Lord, ran from the call, going down to Joppa. There he went down to the shore, down into a ship, and down into the sea, and finally down into the belly of a great fish. After three days in the belly of the fish, the fish vomited Jonah out on the shore, and Jonah went to Nineveh to fulfill the command of the Lord. It was in the midst of his running from the Lord that Jonah encountered the second kind of storm. This was a storm the Lord sends to arrest someone. And in that statement, we must realize that when God arrests someone, it is not for persecution, but for rescue, giving them a second (or possibly third or fourth) chance to do the right thing.
Think about what I’ve just written. Jonah had run from the call of the Lord, being fully disobedient. Yet God both loved Jonah and wanted him to fulfill this call. And in that, we can also see God’s deep love for the people of Nineveh. From the time of Jonah’s attempt to run from the Lord, he went down. You can be assured that running from the will of God will never lift you up. But in all that running, because of God’s great love, long-suffering, and patience, He set in motion a plan to turn Jonah back to the right path. The Lord prepared a great fish. Then the Lord sent a storm; not to take anyone’s life, but to bring the man He wanted to arrest and the fish He had prepared for him together.
Throughout this scenario, we see the Lord providing a series of carriers. While Jonah sought a carrier to remove himself from having to obey the Lord, the Lord’s system of carriers was designed to bring Jonah, first to repentance, then obedience, and finally great success. The first carrier was the storm that arose at sea. This served to position Jonah to connect with his second carrier, the great fish. And though the storm ceased for those around Jonah, it did not cease for him. There were yet three days of apparent adversity to draw him to repentance. And it was his repentance that channeled him into obedience, ultimately arriving at great success in Nineveh. Are you in a place at which you are resisting obedience? If the Lord sends an arresting storm, don’t say “Peace, be still.” That won’t work in this kind of storm.
Manna for Today – Mark 4:35-41; Romans 8:1-17; 2 Timothy 2:15; Jonah