Nineveh was northwest; Tarshish was west. When God called Jonah to preach repentance to the wicked Ninevites, the prophet knew that God’s mercy might follow. He turned down the assignment and headed for Tarshish instead. Jonah 1:1-3
From the onset of this passage I would want to clearly state that there was no single problem with the assignment God had given Jonah nor was the problem with the great city of Nineveh. For a moment let us pause on the fact that the people of Nineveh were wicked and focus our attention the prophet of God, “Jonah.” Jonah after receiving his assignment, did not yield to it but rather decided to go the opposite way. There are many who have been called into the ministry and service of God, and despite our weakness and our past sinful nature He still chooses to send us into the world and to them that need to hear the Word of God. God is seeking men and women who will fulfill His desires and not of the world.
What most Christians have missed out on this scripture is, God does not cancel out the material things that we need to live by in this world, but rather in that very same scripture He says that “…all these things shall be added unto you.” Meaning that in the present state God has supplied that which will keep you going, and as you seek the Kingdom, ALL these things shall be ADDED. What we should understand is that one is not lacking in anything but rather has a supply and an addition will come as we serve Him.
Jonah took a different direction not because he felt that he was not ready to fulfill his assignment or rather because he was not anointed, it is simply because he had not allowed God deal with the desires of his very own nature that made him take a different direction. His thirst was contrary to God’s assignment. We often find ourselves in the same situation. When one has to choose between fulfilling a particular assignment God has given you or worldly desires. Most Christians are at this point like Jonah, where we have a divided heart and deeply ask ourselves whether to serve God or not. It is easy for one to disobey God or walk in delayed obedience if one does not have an intimate relationship with God.
Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.Psalm 86:11
Only when our hearts are united can we serve him in sincerity.
What our prayer should be is
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties;Psalm 139:23
Only when we make this our daily prayer and allow God reveal our anxieties, then and only then can we have a heart that is tried and tested of Him and ready to serve Him. Only with a pure heart can we fulfill our purpose in life. It is a high time for them who are called into ministry to allow God be the potter and remove every marred thing in us before we set off to go and minister to others, lest we find ourselves serving God and walking in disobedience because we are having a different thirst contrary to God’s will.
When we are in the potter’s hand and ready for ministry then we are filled of the Holy Ghost and given an assignment, we won’t be excited and assume the in filling of the Holy Spirit to be a sensation or just a mere feeling that is temporal. Every time a prophet of God was filled with the Holy Spirt it was not just based on the feeling of being excited but rather it gave them the strength and direction to fulfill a particular assignment.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”Acts 1:8
A feeling satisfies our own being; a direction from the Holy Ghost allows us to meet other people’s needs.
Is there anything worldly thirst that is keeping you from fulfilling God’s desire and assignment in our generation?
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light. Ephesians 5:8
This verse speaks of how we were once after the desires of the world but now that we are light in the Lord that we should walk in His likeness.
May the Lord strengthen you, as you progressively deal with your thirst, because your thirst defines your source.