“But it greatly displeased Jonah, and he became angry.” Jonah 4:1
Jonah was displeased. He was angry and he wanted justice. In his eyes, it wasn’t fair that he suffered and went through such an ordeal, while the people of Nineveh did not get what they “deserved”.
Jonah’s reaction is very similar to the brother of the Prodigal Son as told by Yeshua in Luke 15. Both felt that God’s display of compassion was unfair and unmerited, especially since the offenders in each story sinned badly against God. Both acted in such a way because, in effect, they were focused on themselves, and what they felt was just.
Often times, we followers of God Almighty forget a very important, basic principle about our faith: everything is about Him and for Him.
“For the love of Messiah controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. Therefore from now on we recognize no man according to the flesh; even though we have known the Messiah according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore if any man is in Messiah, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Cor 5:14-17
When we become new creatures in Messiah, we are no longer our own; we belong to Him. One of the most dangerous trends I see today in the Body of Messiah is the false belief of “the good life” once someone gives his or her life to the Messiah; it’s the mentality that “everything will be ok”. This is not the case my friends! In fact, Yeshua teaches that we will endure more hardships and trials, possibly to the point of death! He tells His disciples that if anyone desires to follow Him, he must deny himself and pick up his cross daily (Matt 16, Mark 8, Luke 9).
So much of our daily walk with Yeshua has become about us. What can I get out of it? How will He bless me? Yes, it is true that He wants to grow closer to us, and He desires to bless us. But it’s ultimately about Him and His glory, not ours!
Please, my brethren, hear my heart. I am not condemning, but exhorting each of us to refocus our eyes on the truth. Our walk with God should not be motivated by what we get out of it; relationship with God has nothing to do with us, but all with Him. That is, once we have accepted the fact that Yeshua died and rose again for us, and we have put our faith in Him, then we in effect have also died to ourselves. We are new creations in Him and our lives are no longer about us.
Jonah wanted what was right in man’s eyes, but God looks at things differently. Let us focus our minds on things above, with His perspective, fully surrendering to Him, even when it does not make sense to us.
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