The sailors said to him, "Tell us, whose fault is it that this disaster has overtaken us? What's your occupation? Where do you come from? What's your country? And who are your people?" He said to them, "I am Hebrew! And I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and dry land." Hearing this, the men became even more afraid and said to him, "What have you done?" (The men said this because they knew that he was trying to escape from the Lord, because he had previously told them.) Jonah 1:8-10
In the New International Bible translation, verse 9 in the above passage reads as, "He said to them, 'I am a Hebrew, and I fear the LORD God of heaven who made the sea and the dry land.'"
Notice how Jonah states that he "fears the Lord"? But yet, isn't the Lord exactly the one from whom Jonah is running?
How often in our own lives do we state one thing and do the complete opposite? I'm afraid that I do this more than I probably care to admit.
- Yes, I fully trust in God! -- Do I really always FULLY trust in God? If so, then why do I doubt, why do I try to take matters into my own hands, why do I worry?
- Yes, I want to share God's love with others! -- But, do I? Do my actions show that? Do I take time out of my day to be kind to my neighbors and SHOW them God's love in all my actions?
Can you imagine being one of the sailors on the ship with Jonah? They are scared and fearing for their very lives. They ask Jonah who he is and what is his profession. He responds that he is a prophet and that he worships and fears God. But yet, he has already told them that is running from the very thing that God asked him to do. I believe if I was one of those sailors that I would be questioning how much Jonah really worshipped and feared God.
The same is true in the words we say and how we follow thru in our actions. The world is watching. God has called us to be a witness to the world. What we say and how we live those words is so important to that witness.
How many times do you hear people say they don't attend church because they know how the church members act when they are outside the church doors? I am saddened when I hear those words for I know that, unfortunately, there is truth spoken. Sometimes, we barely make it to the church parking lot after services before we act in unkind and ungodly ways.
Take some time today to really focus on what you believe and how you live out those beliefs. If you say you fear God, do you? Are you, like Jonah, instead running away from God?