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What Is Your Nineveh?

April 16, 2015

What Is Your Nineveh?

The prodding, leading, and ultimate calling of the Holy Spirit can be a very challenging time in the life of a Christian. While as new creatures in Christ we should have a predisposition to spiritual and heavenly matters, it is not quite as simple as it sounds to follow our Master’s leading. We are asked to step out by faith and enter into an environment where we are willing instruments for His service and good pleasure. Seems like an easy thing to accomplish, right?

Just pick up and leave your friends, family (children, grandchildren), employer, and the routine of the familiar. Perhaps the Holy Spirit is directing you to another country, state, city, ministry, or an entirely new “comfort” zone. Please don’t ask me to do that!

The story we see in the book of Jonah is played out time and again in the Old and New Testaments. God calls, and man runs for the hills. Sometimes we question and debate with God about His calling in our life. We think that the Lord must somehow be mistaken in His choice of vessels……“Impossible, he can’t mean me!”

In Jonah 1:2 God called Jonah to the city of Nineveh. A magnificent city, but one that was full of wickedness and the allure of self-gratification. Certainly it was a city worthy of destruction. Jonah had no desire to preach the gospel message in a city where they did not know right from wrong. The undeniable stench of sin wafting to the nostrils of an Almighty God………… prompted Him to act!

Jonah 1:2 – Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.

So Jonah in the perfect form of human weakness and frailty, decided to run! Not only did he run, but he almost ran in the opposite direction from where the Lord wanted him to serve and minister. 

Jonah 1:3 – But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.

Well, you know the rest of the story. God called a second time and Jonah heeded the calling after a little debacle with a fish (whale).

Jonah 3:3 – So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days journey.

We see a similar example played out in the leadership calling of Moses. God called Moses to lead the nation of Israel out of Egypt. Moses had a totally different perspective on the issue. 

Exodus 3:11 – And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?

Exodus 3:13 – And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?

Exodus 4:1 – And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee.

Exodus 4:10 – And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither therefore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

Exodus 5:22 – And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? Why is it that thou hast sent me? 

Exodus 6:12 – And Moses spake before the Lord, saying, Behold, the children of Israel have not hearkened unto me; how then shall Pharaoh hear me, who am of uncircumcised lips? 

Exodus 6:30 – And Moses said before the Lord, Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh hearken unto me?

Exodus 17:4 – And Moses cried unto the Lord, saying, What shall I do unto this people? They be almost ready to stone me.

So that leads me back to a question of self-examination. What is your Nineveh? Are you running or questioning some things that God has asked you to do? Are you purposefully and knowingly running in the opposite direction from where God wants you? Are you avoiding the issue of full time service? How about making a decision to serve our Risen Savior?

For me the word Nineveh represents a choice…... A choice of life-long service to the Creator God or to self. Ultimately, both Moses and Jonah accepted the gift and the calling from above. Will you? What is your Nineveh?  


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