Monday, March 15, 2010

A Jonah Sister Revelation

The Book of James declared what I felt in my own heart when I was a young child growing up.  Ecclesiastes reminded me of the sorrow I felt in my spirit, immediately after the Lord began showing me supernatural visions.  And the Book of Nehemiah confirmed how real the adversary is, and how the adversary assigns people to you, in order to effectively Discourage, Discredit, and Delay you, create Diversion away from Holy Spirit teaching, and cause you to Doubt the Word of God, in hopes of Defeating you.

Psalms confirms the heavenly miracles of hearing angels sing, and hearing the sound of heavenly music coming down from heaven.  The Book of Psalms helped me to understand the inspiration a person feels, and why they would want to write songs and poetry about life, and their spiritual experiences.  Also, Psalms helped me to understand how Almighty God really does live among the praises of His people.  The Holy Spirit sings to you too, and you can actually hear the Holy Spirit singing through your human spirit!

I have read that Psalms reveals our freedom of expression, when we are deeply concerned or confused about things going on in our life, or in the lives of other people around us.  Poetry and songs will open our mind to human emotions and acknowledge a need to go to Almighty God in prayers and with thanksgiving.  And by doing so, this will create a personal relationship between us, and our Heavenly Father.  When we take our feelings, and humble ourselves before Almighty God with prayers and singing, He will hear and act upon our concerns.  Psalms is a powerful revelation about the truth and power of worship to Almighty God.  It’s an awesome experience seeing the manifestation of the Holy Spirit actively working among your praises, and the worship of our Heavenly Father.

Apart from these specific books of the Holy Bible, I believe that the Book of Jonah helped me to understand my own personal experiences, of not wanting to let go of worldly pleasures, and wanting to stay spiritually blind to the Lord’s efforts in trying to reveal certain things to me, and about me. I didn’t want to know about those things, during my young adult years, neither did I want to learn how to be a good Christian.  I had no interests in being a committed church member either.  I was terribly bored during the church meetings I did attend on the few occasions, with family or friends. When I was living in St. Louis, Missouri, a friend of mine actually held my hand, during an altar call prayer service.  She had invited me to her church, and I thought she was just happy to see that I showed up.  Later, I realized she wanted me to become a church member.  Maybe the Lord was working through her too, I’m not certain of that.

Anyway, I was connecting knowledge about Almighty God to churches that took the fun out of the “party” life, and just living a fun life in general.  Whenever, I experienced a vision, or a dream about something weird, or a strange occurrence, I would immediately feel obligated to be a good Christian.  I thought it was more than enough just to go to church on Easter Sunday.  It was fun going to church then.  I could dress up and show off my new Easter shoes and clothes And my Easter hat too, if I found one that I liked. But, I was determined not to be a permanent member of anybody’s wearisome, or boring church.  Attending church made me sleepy and tired, during the years, when I was much younger.  I’d be happy and excited on the way to the church, but in less than thirty minutes after getting there, I’d be restless.  And after finding more interesting activities going on in the hallways, or just outside the doors of the church, I would begin to wander and roam about (Satan wants people to wander and roam away from the Word of Almighty God).  At least that would keep me from falling asleep in the church’s sanctuary.

And every church I visited had beautiful buildings, and gorgeous images of Jesus Christ hanging on the walls throughout the facilities.  However, I never quite understood why Jesus had so many different faces, and His clothes were always different in each picture, or on the statue images of Jesus Christ that I saw at the various churches.  Even His cross was inconsistent.  Some crosses were very elaborate, while others were plain and simple.  A few of the churches didn’t even show Jesus on a cross!  He was only pictured hanging on a single post.  Anyway, I thought that Jesus Christ looked very fashionable since He had an extensive wardrobe, and Jesus had a great hair stylist too!  And, all of the church ministers gave stirring sermons.  Also, I was fascinated by how a minister could choose one scripture out of the Holy Bible, and preach about that single scripture during the entire church service.

Now, when I first heard about Jonah in the bible, I began thinking how easily I could identify with his experience.  But, Jonah ended up in the belly of a fish.  What would be the chances of something like that ever happening again?  There were no fishes that big in the water near where I lived (not saying that God couldn’t have caused one to miraculous appear or something).  But, in my own limited human thinking, what could happen to me, if anything, that would be worse than being eaten by a fish?  Besides staying away from water where big fishes could swim.  And, I was also impressed by Jonah’s tenacity.  This would be one reason for cautiously adopting his philosophy, after much thought and consideration.  I remember that decision clearly, as if I were reliving the exact moment.

If you’ve never read the story about Jonah, you must make every effort to do so. Jonah’s story made me laugh out loud.  The story is a short one, but it’s filled with a lot of real life realities about how people can judge others, and have a wait and see attitude about things in life.  Something that still exists in the world today.  Without trying to write about Jonah’s entire story, I want to share some interesting highlights of his story that made me want to consider myself as a sister (by having almost similar thoughts) to Jonah.  Not as a sister, or brother in Christ (which we are), but, I could actually understand where Jonah was coming from.  I’m just now beginning to wonder, at this very moment, was the man that I saw sitting and waiting nearby, in one of my visions, as if he was waiting for someone, or something to happen, Jonah? What would be the chances of that actually being him?  That would be absolutely amazing for me, to have Jonah be in one of my visions!  But, that’s another story entirely.

It is written that Jonah was a strong nationalist.  Jonah had problems understanding how Almighty God could be merciful to Ninevah of Assyria.  Jonah thought these people deserved severe punishment.  I, myself sometimes have difficulty understanding why the Lord don’t strike people dead in their footsteps, when I see them do, or hear them say things that I would never do, or say for fear of the Lord’s punishment concerning those things.

Jonah is the only prophet being sent to preach to the Gentiles.  My understanding of this story is that Jonah may not have been so much against doing what God was asking for him to do, in as much as Jonah had a problem with doing what God asked him to do concerning the people of Nineveh.  Jonah thinks that God should allow the pagan people to decline!  Jonah wants Nineveh to lose the power that they used against Israel. I notice right away that this story is all about what Jonah wanted.  Now, that should have been the very first red flag for me.  But, of course I can read Jonah’s story with a spiritual mind now.  When I first read about Jonah, I was spiritually blind, and totally living a happy worldly life.  However, Jonah doesn’t want God to show mercy to these pagans!

Jonah’s name means “Dove” or “Pigeon”.  Jonah’s disposition was said to be strong-willed and hasty, among other things.  But, Jonah was loyal and committed to the nation of Israel.  Jonah did fear the Lord as God of heaven, and Creator of the land and sea, but his willful disobedience (another red flag) and reluctance was based on his anger about God showing mercy to the pagan people.  Skipping over all of the historical stuff in the Book of Jonah (about the fish and all of that), Jonah finally relents to Gods call, and he decides to go and prophecy to the non-covenant people, Nineveh of Assyria.

After Jonah gives the message to the Gentile people, Nineveh of Assyria, Jonah is disappointed that the people are actually listening to God’s message of repentance and deliverance.  Now, Jonah is angry and confused about what is actually happening in his presence.  Jonah just can’t understand why God would have mercy on these pagan people who abused the nation of Israel.  Finally, the story made me laugh very hard when I read how Jonah, still not believing the people is genuine in their repentance, he builds a shelter for himself on a hill overlooking the city of Nineveh from the east. Jonah then sit and wait (as if he was camping out) on this hill for the date to come, which God had set to judge the people if they didn’t repent.  While Jonah is waiting, God uses this opportunity to teach Jonah a lesson.

Almighty God causes a plant to grow overnight in a place on the hill that will shade Jonah’s head.  Jonah thinks this is a good fortune for himself, so he rejoices over the shade tree that suddenly appeared out of nowhere.  Next, God prepares a worm to destroy the plant (see how personal Almighty God can be, and have a sense of humor too).  But, that should have been another red flag for me also.  Now, the worm cuts the stem of the plant.  The plant withers.  After that, God cause a hot wind to blow in from the east.  The blowing hot wind makes Jonah uncomfortable.  The story reveals how miserable Jonah is.  I would imagine that Jonah could have been experiencing something almost similar to a hot day in the Texas summer heat.  But, while reading the story, I also get the impressing that God possibly caused Jonah to be more hotter than a summer day in Texas, because the hot east wind dries Jonah’s parched body.

Jonah laments the death of the plant, and shows his displeasure to God.   And, God show Jonah about his inconsistency at being more concerned about a plant than he is about the fate of the pagan Gentiles.  God loves the Gentiles too.  The moral of Jonah’s story is to show how much God cares for all people.  Almighty God desires all people of the Earth to receive His mercy and forgiveness.  When the Holy Spirit directed Jonah to go to Nineveh and give the people a message from God, Jonah had refused to go at first. Jonah did not want to follow the Lord’s guidance.  But, Jonah’s reluctance didn’t stop the Spirit of God from continuing to intervene in Jonah’s life.  Until finally, Jonah gave in to God’s will for him to go and prophesize to the pagan people.  This allowed the Holy Spirit to work godly sorrow in the hearts of the people, and the people responded to God’s message of judgment.  After Jonah refused to accept God’s divine work in the lives of the people, the Holy Spirit showed Jonah the contrast between his concerns for a plant, and God’s concern for the people of Nineveh of Assyria.

Today, God still wants people to turn away from their worldly ways, and turn their lives around so they can freely receive His mercy and offer of forgiveness.  Almighty God desires for all people on Earth to be reconciled to Him. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19.  Israel was commissioned to reveal God to the world. Genesis 12:3.  Now, the church has been given this mission to go into the world and preach the gospel. Matthew 28:18-20.  When a church have the attitude of Jonah, that is to consider itself exclusive, like Jonah and Israel did in their era, the church is not accomplishing its tasks according to the Lord’s will.  When the church take the command of God seriously to arise and go to the nations of the world, those people who hear the Word and respond in faith, experience the mercy and forgiveness of God in life-changing, culture-impacting measures.

Now, during my older young years, Jonah’s story has taught me how to grow spiritually. It’s true that the wisdom of the world is foolishness with God. 1 Corinthians 3:19.  And experiencing life has been the greatest teacher for me in my life, and learning how to overcome difficult situations in life.  A young woman once asked me, “Why is life so hard?”  She had asked me this question, during a time when I was much younger than I am now, but a few years older than she was.  Her question caused me to “ponder” about an answer, but I couldn’t come up with a sensible answer that would make any sense to me.  So, I answered, “I don’t know.”  But, I remember how much it bothered me that I couldn’t answer that question.  I kept hearing that question over and over in my mind, trying to understand why I couldn’t come up with an answer.  It was a very simple question.  But, there were no simple legitimate answers for me to give to that young lady.  Also, I realized that any attempts I’d make to try and justify the hardships in life, I’d probably end up confusing her even more.

If anyone should ever ask me the same question again, I would have a very simple legitimate answer, and one that would make perfect sense.  Why is life so hard?  Life is so hard because of Satan’s authority in this world.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” 1 Peter 5:8-9.

Some people act like Satan is a fairy tale, or someone to poke fun at in cartoons, comics, movies, and television shows, etc.  Satan is not a “comical joke” and he’s probably LOL at those who think that he’s a big joke!  Satan has tremendous and terroristic power! And he uses this power throughout the world, among all nations, cities, communities, in homes, and just everywhere.  Wherever there’s strife, turmoil, division, etc. you can bet Satan or one of his posse demons is right there in the midst of everything!  Just like Satan was in the midst of the Garden of Eden.  Satan is an invisible spirit being who can manifest himself in the most dangerous attacks on humanity, to a point that will “boggle” the wildest imagination of anyone, or anything with the slightest possible chance of it ever happening.  And Satan will still go beyond that!

“So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Revelation 12:9.

Satan is not alone in his devious works!  He persuaded a third of the angels to follow after his ways.  Holy Scriptures tells us that these angels were his angels!  I have not read anywhere in the scriptures where a third of these angels were actually numbered. But, when reading other scriptures…

“Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?” Matthew 26:53.

When An Unclean Spirit Returns:

“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him, seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.” Matthew 12:43-45.

The demon-possessed man healed:

Jesus asked him saying, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion”, because many demons had entered him. Luke 8:30. Jesus commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. The demonic spirit caused the man to have seizures. And this unclean spirit carefully kept the man under its protection.

The unclean spirits (something that is unseen) kept this man under guard!  The man was bound with spiritual invisible chains and shackles!  Satan and his demon angels are unseen spirits, lurking around us throughout the entire world.  And some of these invisible spirits have actually tried to prevent me from writing this information about them!  But, the Lord has already prepared me for this moment in my life.  I’m pressing forward to share my testimony with the world, because I don’t want to experience any more Jonah-like trials.  Now, my mindset is, “Lord, just show me what You want me to do, and I’ll do it.”  “Lord, You want me to go there, really?…”  O.K., I’ll go without hesitation.  Well, maybe a little hesitation (you would not believe some of the places that the Lord has directed me to, and have shown me through dreams what goes on in those places).  But, I’m doing my very best to be obedient to the Word of God.  And He has truly blessed me tremendously.  Oh, the stories I have yet to share with all of you….

But, getting back to Jonah’s example of learning how to allow God to work with us, and through us.  When we reject the truth of God’s Word, and His gospel message, it gives Satan and his angel demons (do you have any clues as to how many of them it is yet?) power and authority over our lives.  Our human spirits will never remain void (empty)! We will either have knowledge of God’s Holy Spirit, or the knowledge of Satan’s spirit (the knowledge of both good and evil).  We will be living our lives according to the Tree of Life (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, faith, unity, etc. (Galatians 5:16-26); or we will be living the ways of that other tree.  Remember how this tree was in the midst (central, core, nucleus, intervention, intrusion, a go-between) of the garden? Genesis 3:3.  Jonah’s previous attitude about pagan people, should serve as a good example of why mankind do not totally control the life of other people.

Jesus Christ is now the Center Core, the Nucleus, and our Intervention.  Jesus is also the go-between Satan and humanity!  Jesus is our All and All, and He is more than enough of what we’ll ever need.  He is our EVERYTHING!!!

Jesus is my Everything in the morning, noon, evening, and during the nighttime.  And everywhere in between!  Jesus is my Peace, Love, Forgiveness, Righteousness, Friend, Guardian, Security, Companion, Savior, Deliverer, and Heavenly Father!  Praise the Lord!  He is worthy to be praised!  Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

“Oopsy doo, I got a little happy and needed to shout and praise His name!”

Still Watching and Praying!

~ Jonahs Sister ~

My eyes have seen
My ears have heard
My mouth shall speak
about the goodness of Almighty God

No comments:

Post a Comment