Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Inescapable Grace - Part Two
This week, Jonah finds himself in the belly of a great fish. Now I agree that the story of Jonah is not the story of a fish - the fish is a supporting character. But I do want to look at the two verses where the word "fish" is found in Jonah's story, because I believe in his supporting role, this great fish rightly so gives us insight into the main character.
"And the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights." Jonah 1:17
"Then the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah up onto the dry land." Jonah 2:10.
Do you see it? Our supporting character completely and submissively obeys the lead Character. He doesn't try to upstage Him. He doesn't catapult himself from the water, do a flip or two before obeying to draw attention to himself. He simply does whatever the Lead tells him to do and then quietly slips back into the darkness of backstage.
So if the fish isn't a big deal, what about the Lead? God is a big deal. He appointed and commanded and the fish responded.
These verbs brought my mind back to our John 15 memory work from this last year's study:
"You did not choose Me but I chose you and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit..." John 15:16
"This I command you, that you love one another." John 15:17
Do you realize that if you are in the LORD, you have been appointed and commanded, just like the great fish?
Herein lies the problem. As supporting characters in a great story, we have decided not to submit to the Lead and bring Him glory, but rather we try to steal the scene. We don't obey and then step back and let the story flow about Him, but rather we rob the center stage and do our own thing.
Why do we do that? The fish didn't and don't you think if anyone could rob the story, it would be the fish? I believe the only characters in this world who refuse to play second fiddle are humans and we're the ones created in His image.
Sad, isn't it?
Well, today I want you to remember your appointment - just as God chose the fish to do His work, He has chosen you to be a light in this world, to love others with His love, to bear much fruit. This is a divine appointment, so friends, don't drop the ball. Play your role and bring glory to the Lead.
There is nothing worse than a supporting character who veers from the script and ruins the plot...don't be that person!
Have a great day!