Sunday, March 22, 2009

Who Does God Choose

Who Does God Choose?
Jan 19, 2009
Jonah 3:1 "The Word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time..."

Lessons From Jonah, II of II

The story of Jonah casts a unique light on the choices God makes in individuals. In the book of Jonah we see that God clearly picked Jonah to carry out God's tasks. After learning of Jonah's failures, why would God have chosen him? Certainly God foresaw the mistakes and failures Jonah would make, why chose him in the first place? No one, today, would pick Jonah as a leader or choose Him to represent God before mankind. Just look at all Jonah's winning personality traits...

We find that Jonah is downright defiant, openly stubborn, arrogant in voicing his opinions to God, a whiner and a complainer, and then wallows in self pity. None of these qualities jumps off the page suggesting Jonah's candidacy for leadership. And it is doubtful Jonah only displayed these characteristics in this particular story. For Jonah to display all these fantastic qualities means he was like that from the beginning. After all, men of God usually get better with age, not worse.

So why in the world would God choose Jonah? Surely there was a more model candidate. Not so. God was deliberate in selecting Jonah. God chose Jonah because Jonah displayed three amazing characteristics that you and might not possess.

First, we find that Jonah was a listener. He listened to the voice of God. Somewhere along Jonah's lifetime, he developed the acuity to hear God's voice over every other noise in the world. Jonah could distinguish God's voice because he had developed his listening abilities and knew, undeniably, what the voice of the Lord sounded like. God chose Jonah because he could hear God's voice.

Secondly, we find that Jonah was available. Jonah was available to do God's work. Jonah had been available in the past and God new Jonah would clear his schedule and carry out the work of the Lord. God knew Jonah would be available this time and probably more times in the future. God chose Jonah because he was available.

Thirdly, we find that Jonah was not perfect, but very, very fallible. This is actually a very good quality to have, in the Lord's eyes. God does not pick the mighty or the proud, or the skilled, or the learned, or the leaders of this world. He picks people that are willing to let God work in and through them despite their inabilities. God purposely chooses the foolish things of this world because, for some strange reason, He delights in bringing shame to the world's wisdom. God chose Jonah because he was not the "perfect" candidate.

If you and I were to display these characteristics before the Lord (an imperfect but available listener), then it is likely God would choose you and I for some amazing tasks. If God hasn't called on you to perform some amazing tasks, it is likely you are lacking in one of these three characteristics. I'd start with learning to hear His voice. He's probably trying to call on you right now.

1. What does the voice of the Lord sound like?
2. Would you be available if you actually heard His voice speak to you?
3. Are you too focused on being the "perfect" candidate?

Additional Scriptures for Study: 2 Kings 14:25, Jonah 1:1, Luke 11:32, 1 Cor 1:27

1 comment:

Ben said...

I read this and I could not agree more. This is the way God thinks and you hit it just right on what God is going to do and what he is going to accomplish in this world.