Staying In Tune

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Jonah 1:1-17

All this week we're looking at and considering the story of Jonah. As I started into this short but packed Book, what stood out to me was Jonah's tuned outedness (I know, pretty sure that's not a word) to God. Right away we see Jonah intentionally turns from God and actually tries to run away. But as the storyline progresses Jonah's tuned outedness gets worse and increases. Jonah is on the ship and the storm is raging, so what is he doing? He's oblivious to it all, sleeping. And even after the men wake him up because they are freaking out about the storm and worried for their lives, Jonah matter of factly tells them that he's the problem because he's running from God, so just throw him overboard. The situation is pretty awful, not to mention scary, yet Jonah doesn't take any steps to reach out or get back in tune with God.

As I finished up this chapter I found myself thinking What in the world was going on with Jonah? But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I've acted the same way on a number of occasions. It's kind of sad really that sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom before we truly submit, focus and get in tune with God.

So can you relate to Jonah? What did you see in this passage that you can use to help you stay in tune with God? Tami W.

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9 Comments

I see a lot in common with my life and my past. I was on a very self destructive path, and I knew it, but it was as with Jonah, I was complacent and asleep, and tried to run from my problems. Only after being saved can I look back now and see with clarity all the errors I committed. I think if a lot of us take a look at ourselves through the lense of truth, we will see a lot of Jonah in ourselves. This is one of the wonders of the Bible, that we can find so many commonalities with our ancient ancestors, and we can see the same kind of problems they dealt with we still do. That is why Bible study is so important to me. It gives me insight into the lessons that God is trying to impart to me.

Can I relate to Jonah? Absolutely! For over 40 years I "tried" to run away from the LORD. Not knowing that HE was always there, I only fooled myself. 40 years lost/wasted on the sea of life, I was nothing more than a, I believe the word is: derelict. i.e. I was lost! I was dead! But now, found, alive. Hallelujah Jesus! Two verse's that struck home with me are, v.9, I am a Hebrew, and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land. And, v.14, for you, O LORD, have done as it pleased you. HE is GOD! HE will do as HE pleases (and doesn't have to answer to me). I know HE is all-powerful (omnipotent), all-knowing (omniscient) and ever-present (omnipresent). When I think of the awesomeness of GOD; I tremble, then thank HIM for HIS mercy and HIS son WHOM I love more than anything in "this" world. I hope you do too! Have a blessed day everyone. Jesus loves you and so do I!

I think this is marvelous. God so loves us that He will go to any extremes to pursue us to do His will. It is very encouraging to me to know that. God does not give up on us.

Because of my divorce almost 3 years ago, I continued to attend church regularly but struggled with God. How could God allow this to happen? I asked. In some ways, I felt asleep like Jonah. Recently, I got a job and then lost it because I became very ill. I was so depressed for a month but constantly giving it over to God in prayer. Others prayed for me. My relationship with God is much stronger now. I am also struggling with my son's behavior But I am finding many answers through his school, my church friends, and my parenting support group. I believe God is helping me. I feel much better than I have in three years although my job problem and son's problems are not solved. God gets our attention, bless him.

Such a familiar story but always something new. I was also struck by Job's declaration that he was a Hebrew and feared the Lord, in the midst of his disobedience. It's not hard to relate.

My heart goes out to you, Kim M., as it always does when I hear of divorce. My divorce happened 25 yrs ago, after 5 children and 23 yrs of marriage. There have been rough patches but God has been so faithful in walking the journey with me. The key is to stay in communion with Him, and to consult with Him and other Christians, thus avoiding the Job experiences, which we so regret afterwards. But we do learn from them and they help us to understand others in their struggles.

I can certainly relate to each and everyone's comments thus far today. What I feel compelled to share today is this...when studying Old Testament scripture, I'm always inclined to contrast what was going on in the story against the work of the cross. Things are different for us today, but God's nature is unchanging, so if we parallel these two things we can draw conclusions about God,s nature and gain new insight and a clearer perspective. This is certainly reflected in everyone's comments today, but what cathy said really stood out to me.

Food for thought that I see from this passage: We know that the Hebrew nation were God's chosen people...they were meant to be a model for right living for the rest of the world. So, in these stories, I contrast the characters from God's chosen people with modern day followers of Jesus Christ because our duty is the same...we are meant to be a model for right living for the rest of the world. Were the Israelites always a stellar example of right living? After just finishing a study on the book of Judges, I think that we can all agree on a resounding NO! What about you and I? Same story. But we learn from our mistakes, and God preserved for us these stories so we can learn from others mistakes as well. What about Jonah? In today's passage, God gave Jonah a clear directive and Jonah was less than enthusiastic about doing God's will, in fact, he deliberately tried to avoid it. Has this ever happened to you? It certainly has with me, and I can appreciate Tami's self admission of the same as well as her comment about hitting rock bottom and submitting to God. Contrast your experiences of denying God's will in your life with the way God dealt with Jonah...His nature is unchanging...take time to reflect deeply on this, you'll learn something about God and yourself. I know I'm jumping ahead in the story here, but I don't think that Jonah ever does hit rock bottom. Seems like he couldn't carry a tune if it had a handle on it...but we'll get to that later.

Thinking in terms of believers , we can all relate to Jonah. We keep God close to us in our hearts till there is something we want to do or say that God will not approve of, then we put God in the back and what we want to do in the forefront. We end up sorry like Jonah for doing this.

Reading Jonah makes me think of all the times I ran away from God and how I tried to rationalize it. It never work then and it won't work now. When God calls I must be willing to answer the call or miss the blessing that may come from the call. Just think of what Jonah missed just by running away. I know there are many blessings I have missed just because I chose to run instead of heeding God's call.

Dear Kim,
When you said: "God gets our attention, bless him." am I too assume that you and your son pray together? GOD is all about families, and it is said that the family that prays together stays together. It has for mine, anyway. There is one thing that we all can do for you and that is pray! It is the Christians most powerful tool!

Did you know Jesus prayed regularly-Luke 5:16: "Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed." The word "often" is not hidden, but makes it obvious that Jesus prayed regularly. Throughout the Gospels whenever we read of Jesus and prayer, it comes up regularly and naturally. It was simply a part of His worldview, integrated into every aspect of Christ's life. Can we say the same about prayer in our life?

I will pray for you and your son, Kim.

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About Me

Hi, my name is Tami Weissert, the P4 facilitator and the "voice" behind the blogs. I'm passionate about helping people grow spiritually and actively encourage Bible engagement through conference speaking and writing. I also served as co-host of the Back to the Bible radio program for over 8 years. A little about me. I'm married to Jeff, and we love scuba diving, playing with our 3 dachshunds and going to Husker football games. I also love growing orchids, singing and Diet Pepsi. I hope you'll join in the conversation as we read the Bible and grow together.

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This page contains a single entry by Tami W published on October 31, 2011 5:00 AM.

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