In the fourth chapter of Jonah we see the real, raw Jonah. A man who has finally been obedient to what God has asked him to do, but now reveals his true nature. Angry, bitter and resentful he chides God for showing compassion and mercy. Highly critical of God, and the course of action ahead, he complains rather than asking the important question – why?
Maturity is to understand the why, not just the what. Jonah never understood why God was asking him to do what he was. He knew what he had to do, and frankly he didn’t like it. He never thought to ask why, to seek to know the heart of God, which he knew to be compassionate and full of love for people. Sometimes we know what to do, but not why. We can be obedient to God but miss his heart.
Our question should never be “what can I do for God?”. The real answer is not much/nothing, for what does God actually need from us? He is completely full, complete and lacking nothing. The better question would be “what can God do through me?” When it’s all focused around what you can do then it quickly becomes tiring as we have a finite amount of patience, love and joy (though some of us may have more than others!). Instead, we are given the opportunity to ask God what he wants to do with us and through us in situations each day. Through the holy spirit we have access to an infinite amount of patience, love and joy – that not only fills us but overflows into the lives around us.
We continue with the I Am Jonah series next week – join us for prayer at 10:15am before the service.