But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. 2And he prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster. Jonah 4:1-2 ESV
In this chapter of the book of Jonah, he was upset because God forgave the Ninevites, who were enemies of Israel. In his anger, he told God, he’d rather die.
In reality, we often refused to forgive others there since, especially those who committed against us, we were often reluctant to show kindness to someone who hurt us, we felt what Jonah felt but Jonah knew how merciful God is.
Forgiveness and mercy are the hardest things for us human to give even to those we love, what more to our enemies but this is God’s way, He has always had a heart for the world,
This passage of Jonah taught us God’s children do not have the right to be angry about His plans. We do not need to agree but to obey even if his plans do not in line with our plans or our beliefs, even he plans to love your enemy.
Do not question God’s method or His plan, they are good even if we do not agree or understand. God has always extended love, love, and mercy to all people. We must see the bigger picture of what God is doing, humble ourselves, and submit our lives to Him.
Jonah 3: 1-3 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah, a second time. Go to the great City of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you. Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Niniveh was a large City; it took three days to go through it.
We all know that Nineveh, one of the great cities of the Assyrians, has fallen under the judgement of God because of their wickedness. Jonah the first time ran away from God but came back after being in the belly of the fish God appointed to swallow him up for 3 days.
God is a God of second chance. Here we see the graciousness and patience of God with us sinners. God knows what is best for us. When we struggle with having His heart for all people, his heart helps us find our way back.
But the Lord sent a great fish to swallow Jonah, and he remained in the belly of the first three days and three nights. Jonah prayed to the Lord, his God, from the belly of the fish. Jonah 2:1-2
Jonah cried out to the Lord from the belly of the great fish. He acknowledged his condition and his needy state, and his desire to return with the Lord. He knew deep inside that the Lord, alone, can save him and he did when the great fish vomited him alive.
We cannot escape from the Lord, he sees us, everything that we do. He hears the cries of his children. Yes, He sometimes put us in a difficult situations but those situations were created to change us and to make us good.
Yes, we are sinful, we make mistakes along the way but we can always return to Him, our Lord is merciful and He will hear us. We are nothing without Him.
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.
Jonah was a prophet who came from Galilee and lived in town near Nazareth, he was called by God and commissioned to rise up and go to the great City of Nineveh, for the wickedness of the city and come up before the Lord. He did not like his assignment, and so fled away from the presence of the Lord. But even from hiding, God found him.
We should obey God no matter what, no matter how unprepared you are, God will never ask you to do something if he knows you cannot do it. God has created us and he knows how to convey his message to us.
When God gives us instructions it is because when he chooses because he's already seeing as doing the thing that he chooses as to do .
If we follow God’s directions then we’ll be happy, live longer and lack nothing that is good and be successful even if we feel we are not equipped to do something he asks.
2nd Samuel 13-18 David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.
1 Sam 13:14; Acts 13:22 14 But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”
David was a man after God’s own heart in that he was committed to God’s ways and demonstrated fidelity to God’s Law. However, David was far from morally pure. He was a murderous adulterer (2 Sam 11). He killed Uriah the Hittite, and committed adultery with Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife.
What defines us is the way we come out of that mistake, what we learn from it and how we change ourselves from the lessons learned.
Never feel disqualified from getting in the presence of God when you make a mistake. Never forget, we’re human, and as human beings we make mistakes. Repent, and move on and never forget that your mistake doesn’t disqualify you from receiving love from God.
And the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles. And he ground at the mill in the prison. Jdg 16:21 ESV
Samson's story is an incredible story of how the enemy can use people in your life to try to take you out. God warned Samson multiple times that he would be deceived, but he didn't heed to the warnings because he was so jaded by Delilah.
Beware of your Delilah. A “Delilah” comes in many forms…
The purpose of a “Delilah” is to strip away the anointing God has on your life, and plunder your blessings!
We are to pray and as God to expose the plans of that individual in our lives, remove anything that would hinder you from heeding the warning signs, and stop sharing everything with everybody.
Stand firm and know that God is merciful, and loving.
Oftentimes we lose focus when we focus on things others are doing or what others are saying concerning us or others. If we just mind our business everything else will fall into place.
There was a lady named Brenda who had this incredible business. This business was built on her knees. She worked hard to get it off the ground. She worked tirelessly to ensure that her customers were taken care of as well as her employees. She gave to the needy, and employed many people from the community. This business quickly became a household name. There were a ton of people who couldn’t believe how successful she had gotten so quickly.
There was a moment when she had an employee come to her in tears because of a terminally ill family member. This lady selflessly allowed this employee paid time off for almost two months. She just had that type of heart. It was amazing.
On the 6th year anniversary of her business opening, she decided to post a video of celebrating being in business for 6 years. After all, that was a major accomplishment for her. She received tons of accolades and praise, but in the midst of all of that there was an individual who simply said one word that bothered her…”LIAR”! That’s it, the person simply said “LIAR!”, now the person didn’t say SHE was a liar, or anyone else on the live broadcast was a liar. Instead of Brenda brushing it off, she decided to find out what or who this individual was speaking to.
She went down the rabbit hole of going to the persons social media page, then she went through all of the posts and noticed some of her best customers were friends with this individual. What she also noticed were posts that could have been about her but there was no real way to tell, well that’s from the outside looking in…Brenda internalized every word as if it were spoken directly to her. She began to get upset, then angry…”Why didn’t anyone tell me she felt this way? I see these people in my business almost daily. What did I do wrong?”
Brenda was so upset, she could barely sleep that night. But one night turned into two, then before she knew it it had been a week and she still wasn’t back to normal. Instead of taking the time to pray and nurture her employees and customers, she was totally consumed by this individuals’ comment.
Other things began to happen, Brenda over time became bitter. 8 months had passed and there was still no resolve. Her business was beginning to suffer because she was COMPLETELY consumed with finding out who, what, and why. This continued until one day a long term customer Lisa walked in her store with a friend.
Brenda was very good a hiding her emotions so she greeted the customer as normal, and they began to have a conversation. The live broadcast she’d did a few months back came back up into the conversation when Lisa’s friend mentioned that she watched that video live and called out the individual who said Brenda was a horrible person.
In that moment Brenda wanted to break down. She realized this was the person who said “LIAR!” on the live broadcast that day. She realized all of the time she had spent so consumed with trying to find out the who, what, when, where, and why was a waste of time. She kept her mask on and finished her conversation with the two women. When they left, Brenda let her staff know that she was going home for the rest of the day.
When Brenda got home she fell down on her knees in repentance. She was wrong. She allowed the enemy to take her away from the focus of the people, the business, and God. As she was sitting there she realized that she didn’t just lose focus, she lost her peace. If Brenda had just stayed focused and not allowed the comments of others to affect her, she wouldn’t be here right now, she would have her peace.
The last thing the enemy wants us to do is have our peace. John 10:10 Jesus said “The thief comes only to steak and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” The enemy wants to abort your destiny, and he will try anything he can to make you do that.
Have there been moments in life that you felt you were soooo hyper focus then all of a sudden one thing someone says to you, about you, or subliminally and you lose focus and go down a rabbit hole like Brenda?
That’s why we have to mind our business. It’s biblical 1 Thessalonians 4:11 Paul says “and make it your business to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders so that you will not have to be dependent on anybody!”
I heard TD Jakes say in a sermon a few years back that your opinion of me is none of my business. Instead we try to make it our business by trying to defend ourselves. Too much time is wasted on something so trivial.
Somebody is talking about me….MIND YOUR BUSINESS
Is that post about me….MIND YOUR BUSINESS
Why are they whispering…MIND YOUR BUSINESS
Someone is telling you what so and so said about you…MIND YOUR BUSINESS
Why is she starting a business?…MIND YOUR BUSINESS
Did she just steal my idea?…MIND YOUR BUSINESS
Oh now she wants to call me…MIND YOUR BUSINESS
Why are they going into business together when she….MIND YOUR BUSINESS
Let God fight those battles for you…
Mind your own business, study to lead a quiet life, and everything will work out for you in the end. Don’t focus on things around you that don’t concern you unless you are led by God, and even then allow Him to open the door for you to do what you’ve been assigned to do.
Focus on the task at hand. There are people who are connected to your destiny! If the enemy takes you out, or throws something in your path to shift your focus, that has not only shifted you in that moment, but it has also derailed the trajectory of those connected to you.
Focus as a verb by definition means “to cause to be concentrated”. Brenda repented, and regained her focus and turned her attention back to the thing she had been anointed, and appointed to do.
Now it's time for you to release and let go! Sometimes we hold on to situations, people and things that happened in our lives for years. Those things can hinder you from moving forward in business, ministry and life.
You're already ready! If you're at a point in life where you feel like you've run into a brick wall, and you know you need to push through, but you don't feel like you have the energy, or the determination, know that you are already ready. This week I talked about how God equips us when we don't even realize it.