Sunday, 27 November 2011

Conflict of identities - Jonah

Listened to a really good talk today at church.

Jonah had a conflict of identity. He as a Jew didn't want to preach to the Gentiles.

Jonah 1:2-3 (NIV)
"Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me." [3] But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish . He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.

We do something similar when we have a conflict of identity.

The desert place can be a time where God can speak to us. When Jonah was inside the fish he was in a desert place.

It doesn't taken a lot to do mission but to take a step.

Jonah proclaims his identity

Jonah 1:9 (NIV)
He answered, "I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land. "

But his action didn't reflect it.

Why did Jonah want someone else to throw him off?

Jonah 1:11-12 (NIV)
The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, "What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?" [12] "Pick me up and throw me into the sea," he replied, "and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you."

It is very easy to leave it (missionary) to someone else.

Jonah also had a conflict with what God wanted him to do.

Jonah 1:10 (NIV)
This terrified them and they asked, "What have you done?" (They knew he was running away from the Lord, because he had already told them so.)

Mission starts with taking a step.

Eg. Peter walking on water.

Matthew 14:28-29 (NIV)
"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." [29] "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.

God calls to challenge our identity. Do we live as a Christian when we say we are.

Do people know who we are from our identity. Does our behaviour reflect who we really are?

God is amazing but we still need to do mission. We are all called to be missionaries.

God is working in our lives.

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