Day 35: The Way Of The Warrior - The Warrior's Journey®

Day 35: The Way Of The Warrior

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The Way Of The Warrior

Jonah was a spiritually mature believer, a prophet in the mid 700’s B.C. The Lord called him to a special ministry to the city of Nineveh, a particularly evil city.  Well, Jonah the prophet decided he did not want to go to Nineveh, so he took off in the opposite direction across the Mediterranean Sea, toward Tarshish.  God however, is not easily ignored, and went after Jonah, since he wanted to bless the Ninevites.  There were innocent children that the Lord had in mind to be spiritually rescued: And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left (Jon. 4:11).  The Lord is merciful, and he wants that to be known by the Ninevites, but his spokesman, Jonah, is acting like a pill.

Jonah buys a boat ticket and heads off on vacation.  The Lord takes the challenge, going after Jonah: But the LORD hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up. (Jon. 1:4).  The words: ‘great’ and ‘mighty’ are the same Hebrew word, so you have a double emphasis indicating this was not an average storm, rather this was a big deal!  The Lord was not going to be snubbed – remember that for your own life.  He is patient, but when needed, he’ll get your attention.

In spite of the storm and the terror of the professional sailors, Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep. (1:5). This is almost humorous.  Jonah is obtuse about his and other’s circumstances, unaware that the Lord is making a big deal about his disobedience. Spiritual choices have an impact in the natural world – believe it!  Now Jonah’s problem will go public.

His companions are offended by his behavior. So the captain came and said to him, “What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call out to your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we may not perish.” (1:6).  The religious professional was insensitive to the needs of others!  The captain wants everybody’s god to be involved in this disaster.  The captain’s theology was not close to the truth: Perhaps the god will give a thought to us. But the Lord is thoughtful and caring, and wants the same from his followers, like Jonah.  “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, (Exod. 34:6).

Well the sailors cast lots to find out who is the source of the problem, ironically it indicates that Jonah’s the guy (Jon. 1:7).  They ask Jonah a series of questions: 1) “Tell us on whose account this evil has come upon us. Okay, this makes sense. 2) What is your occupation?  Huh?  Who cares! 3) And where do you come from? Your about to die, who cares where he lives! 4) What is your country?  Didn’t you just kinda ask this?! 5) And of what people are you?” What’s my ethnic origin have to do with anything? We’re gonna drown! (Jon. 1:8).

Now Jonah gets to do the prophet thing, and he answers the last question – I’m Hebrew. And he said to them, “I am a Hebrew, and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” (1:9).  This gets crazier and crazier.  They did not ask a theological question, but he does the religious stuff.  However, what he says makes their hair stand on end!  He worships the Creator!! The very one who is doing the mega storm!

Then the men were exceedingly afraid and said to him, “What is this that you have done!” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them. (1:10).  Their goose is cooked!  They’re thinking, God is puckered at you Jonah, and now we are in danger because you’re a rebel!

Okay, okay what should we do?  Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you, that the sea may quiet down for us?” (1:11). They don’t say, why is the Creator angry? Or how can we get spiritually right with this monstrous powerful god? Or is there some moral precept that we have overlooked?  Rather, we just want this danger to go away – for us!

Of course, we as observers are thinking the obvious.  Just repent and follow the Lord’s command, right?  Well, Jonah has another idea, rather than obey he suggests: “Pick me up and hurl me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you… (Jon. 1:12).  Jonah’s kidding right?  Really? He would be more content, dying than obeying!?  Does any of this make sense?  Everyone is acting like a bunch of squirrels!

This is what sinful rebellion looks like, immature, illogical ideas make faith look absurd.  The sailors need Jonah to be honest, with them and the Lord. Jonah needs to confess to them that he should obey the call of the Lord on his life.  The sailors are only seeing the power of the Creator, and he is very scary.  They don’t know about his tender affections and care for the lost (Jon. 4:11). Jonah is still being a selfish man, not giving them the full story, while being willing to die rather than being obedient.  This is very twisted spiritual thinking, and the truth isn’t getting to the sailors, or the citizens of Nineveh.

Guess what, you can be a follower of the living Lord, and still be a spiritual weakling. Knowing spiritual data, does not make you a godly saint.  The sailors are at risk, and their questions indicate they are religious neophytes. The do not know the ABC’s about Jehovah God.  They only know he is powerful and terrible.  Don’t make him mad! Behave otherwise he will drown you! And Jonah wants to be tossed overboard!  You can’t make this up!

Therefore they called out to the LORD, “O LORD, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not on us innocent blood, for you, O LORD, have done as it pleased you.” (1:14).  The sailors get a glimmer of spiritual truth.  They recognize that the Creator is a moral god.  They do not want to suffer if they heave Jonah overboard, but after-all, Jonah’s the problem. They understand that killing an innocent man is immoral, and they are now trying to be noble creatures.  They don’t want to suffer consequences for killing him, though they are willing to kill him. Good night!  They want to chuck him overboard!

Enough said: So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea… (1:15a).  Problem’s solved. And the sea ceased from its raging. (1:15b).  Finally – peace.

Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows. (1:16).  Looks like some spiritual principles stuck. There might be saving faith. There’s a lesson here. There are observers to our life.  Family, friends, acquaintances are watching us to get a glimpse of the Creator.  Make sure you represent him accurately to a curious world, by living a Spirit-filled, redemptive, and obedient life.

By Nathan Werner

The Warrior’s Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Grant me the courage, when you call, to respond like Isaiah: And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” (Isa. 6:8).  Give me an urgent spirit to help those who need your pity.  Let compassion rule my soul, rather than a desire for judgment. Don’t let apathy conquer my attitude, and do not let me neglect those who are lost.  Rather give me a delight to represent you to a lost world, who know little about your thoughtfulness for them.  Let your compassion be the fuel that launches me to talk about you, to those who need to know.

Then, Lord help me to guard my heart from soulless attitudes that slowly degrade my mission.  Help me to not put off the quest that needs me.  Let that be my focus, so I can channel all my energy partnering with you to have an impact on those you are targeting.  Give me abundant assurances of my mission, give me a desire to do what you want accomplished.  Do not let challenges or circumstances hinder me, rather give me courage to charge through them to complete your purpose.  I pray this in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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