‘But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord’ -Jonah 1v3.

IT is amazing that a man of God would abandon God’s assignment of proclaiming His message to the perishing. Prophet Jonah made a conscious attempt to run away from God. First, he went to Joppa for a ship bound for Tarshish. Second, he bought a ticket before the roundabout journey started. He felt that God would not get back at him.

But Jonah forgot the import of Psalms 139v7-9: ‘How can I escape from God.’ Let it be stated that any attempt by any individual to suppress God’s assignment in his life, this year, shall not succeed. Yes. Whether in the religious circle or secular world, God’s assignment is for us to reach out to the perishing and bring them to Him. There is no gainsaying the fact that many are wallowing in sin and are on the great road to destruction. Certainly, God requires you to go out there and win perishing souls for Him.

Nineveh found herself in a sorry state of sin. In 40 days, the great city would be crushed by God’s wrath. God anointed Jonah to bring them back. Rather than do that Jonah chose to run away.

No one takes God for a ride. And the Creator decided to act. He sent a turbulent tempest into the sea. Jonah, of his own volition, begged to be thrown into the ragging storm by the unbelieving sailors. God provided a big fish that swallowed him up and deposited him in the city he was running away from. That was after he spent three days and three nights in the belly of the fish. What a shame!

This year —2013, God is in need of men and women who will go out and bring back the perishing to God. Are you willing to be used? As a child of God, are there hindrances on your way to realising such great dream? Remember, we have no option but make ourselves available for use by the Lord.

We are encouraged by the story of Abram in Gen 12v1-4. God asked the 75-year-old to leave his native country for a land that He would show him. Abram did not hesitate or consider how convenient it was. He followed God, knowing well that He would not disappoint him. Claim this by faith, especially when you yield yourself totally to God. Yes. God needs you and we need to respond to Him wholeheartedly.

Child of God, even if what you expected did not come as programmed, don’t be discouraged. God needs us this year and we must be ready to represent Him wherever we find ourselves.

Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Retreat Centre,
Delta State.

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