Are You Running Away Like Jonah?

There are so many life lessons we can learn from the Biblical Jonah. As you recall, Jonah was commanded by God to go and preach to Nineveh but he ran away rather than face his responsibilities.

Have you ever thought, well how foolish! I wouldn’t ever run away from God when He commands me to do something!  He’s everywhere!

But we do actually act like Jonah at times! We are commanded by God to go on a journey. It is a life journey.

And as a Father, when His children rebel, God will get our attention in any way He can. Even by allowing storms (illness) to invade our body naturally when we consume too many unhealthy, chemically-laden foods.  Remember that was our choice, not His.

We live under Grace but are responsible for everything we do. Moderation is fine, but who forced us daily consume an entire bag of chips, overeat at the buffet or super-size that fast-food meal?

Like Jonah, God asks us to follow specific orders.  One of those is to keep our bodies holy and take care of this earthly temple He gave us.

1 Peter 1:16 states,  because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”

But we run away from this responsiblity, don’t we?  Sometimes it seems like a monumental task trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle. Momentary pleasure overrides common sense.

Think of it this way: If we entered the Holy Temple of Jerusalem, we wouldn’t throw trash on that sacred floor, would we? No, but it’s exactly what we’re doing when we continually throw unhealthy food into our bodily temple.

God does not ignore disobedience, as Jonah discovered, no matter how much we feel we “got away with it.”

Look at Jonah again. When God asked him to go to Nineveh, he foolishly ran from God, trying to sail away from his obligations. But the Lord sent a storm which affected not only Jonah, but the entire crew of the ship.  That got his attention.

Truth #2: there are no victimless crimes! What we do affects others.  You might think, leave me alone! It’s my body! I’ll do what I please!

Okay, Grace again.  But when we eat unhealthily, we will eventually become ill. Heart disease, diabetes, digestive problems, strokes, cancer all trace back to what we eat.

When  we suffer, those around us suffer too! Just ask those who sit by our bedside while we’re in pain!

As parents, God asks us to exemplify higher standards to our families and yet we continue to provide an abundance of fast food, causing our family members to become ill too. Don’t you think God notices?

To correct our resistant, foolish direction, He might allow the consequences of that behavior to catch up with us. (As Jonah found out.) In our case, we might develop a simple belly ache or something worse like diabetes.

Now the question is, since He now has our attention, do we turn from our naiveté and start living and eating right, or do we shake our fist at God, defiantly demanding, Why did You allow this to happen; growing even more defiant, turning away and running away from God?

When faced with seemingly insurmountable goals, we get scared! It’s not easy but stop running! Immediately take baby steps to begin rectifying the situation. Start by consuming whole, nutritious foods. Stop trashing our earthly temple!

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”  (1 Corinthians 6: 19-20)    

 

 

 

 

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22 thoughts on “Are You Running Away Like Jonah?

  1. And we add these names in our prayer lists… for heart disease and cancer and yes, God does answer sometimes. He is never limited, but we wonder why?

    Exo 15:26
    And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh Wendy, you’re so wonderful!!! My first reaction when troubling times come is to seek out a wise woman of God to come alongside me, so thank you for that. I’ve learned as I become a more mature Christian, that God has it all in His Hand – let Him take control because He wants my best. He brought us here to this fantastic, caring church and He is the one who will tell us when it is time to leave. Until then we wait and do as He bids.

      You see, as we were traveling on our first night on vacation, 365 miles away, another 300 to go, in the mountains of West Virginia, without a cell phone connection, a beloved 99 year old member of the church died. We didn’t know until the following day when we were even further away. Two members insinuated the worse about us, gossiping, that we didn’t care enough to call the family. (of course we had no idea it even occurred.) No worries, every church has a Haman and an Athaliah in their congregation, so troublemakers aren’t unusual. We know what happened in that case, 🙂 God is greater and so are your prayers my dear friend, ❤

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      • I have been through similar trials and have not always responded in the right way. The support and encouragement of fellow believers is powerful. I will be a prayer warrior for you, it is our best weapon.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post. I act like Jonah many times when it comes to eating healthy. I’ve gotten much better over the years, but I still struggle. It was health problems (consequences) that made me pay attention and realize how much our food intake affects our health. I accept that health problems were a much needed wake up call from God.

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  3. Ellie,
    How do I get started on changing my diet and my mindset after decades of struggling and food addictions? I need a plan and some accountability. I welcome your input!!

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    • Hi Wendy, thanks for the question. Happy to encourage. Perhaps my post from this morning, (May 29th) will give you some suggestions. It lays out some steps to keep one going.

      But first, you must want to be healthier than I want it for you! Change comes from within. Remember James 2:19 – even the demons know who God is, but they have no desire to follow him. Unless one desires to change, one will simply be spinning their wheels. Begin with small goals and reward yourself as you become disciplined. Don’t watch that TV show until you’ve exercised – or exercise during the show EVERY SINGLE TIME. They’re your goals make them realistic for you!

      1. Keep a food diary for 2 weeks with not just WHAT you eat but why, what time of day and your emotions (like why did you eat that: hungry, frustrated, lonely, bored, angry, curious, peer-pressured, simply for pleasure? That’s the key. Knowing yourself as God knows you. I eat for nutrients. I eat because I want to have an energetic, happy demeanor and not a sickly one. I eat because I (humbly) like having people tell me I don’t look my age . . . 🙂 so track WHY!
      2. For every action there’s a reaction and alternative. If you’re really hungry: EAT. If it’s emotionally eating, choose an alternative like paint your nails – it’s hard to eat chips with wet nails or go out to your deck and read. Fresh air works wonders.
      3. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength! Visualize him hanging on a cross for our out of control eating habits! If he were sitting there next to you, how would you explain yourself? Did he have to die for our Twinkie craving??? Stop and think before you react as I did at a BBQ on Sunday. I noticed all these huge people overeating and felt sorry for them because they were headed for a health crisis. I’m determined to never make food my god.
      4. But I’m addicted to hot spicy foods and find it difficult to stop. So I consume the hottest salsa I can and thus eat less of it. Or I choose a limited amount of dark chocolate and tell myself this is all I’m going to eat and stick to it because it tastes so much better if not gobbled down. Anything is better in moderation – all else is a waste of a future taste.

      Okay my dear friend, hope this helps a bit. Talk yourself into success! memorize encouraging Scripture. Blessings back,

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  4. Well said Ellie! The Lord spoke to my wife and I about 15 years ago to get our house in order. That was kind of a funny statement because our family had followed Him for years. But His exact words to me were, “your family, your finances, your future.” As I began to seek Him on what this meant, our diet was the first thing He wanted us to change. We cut out all processed foods, soda, and sugar. I always tell people diets are a law you set for yourself, and your natural man loves to break laws. So instead of a diet, create a lifestyle for yourself and your family. I eat what I want, when I want. I simply choose not to eat garbage. But…if I feel like a donut, I eat one, and I don’t feel bad about it.

    On another note I brought this idea to a pastors round table several years ago to about 30-40 pastors. The conversation stared because they wanted to talk about people and the sins they committed, ex: drinking, smoking. I asked the group how it is they can condemn people for things they viewed as sin, and yet still take their whole family to McD’s knowing the food is one step from poison. For obvious reasons this did not go well. People hate to look at themselves! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a powerful comment Cloakman, and thank you for taking the time to write me with that testimony. It is so true that the finger that points to another’s sin isn’t recognizing worse in their own. Sin is sin and to Him, theft, murder, gossip, gluttony, pride, lack of self-control, idolatry of food is all the same in God’s Eyes!

      And it is equally true that the congregation can kill their pastor with the “kindness” of food. I try to practice what I preach and follow 1 Corinthians 12:23, giving God the control of my mind. Which as crazy as mine is, isn’t easy, 🙂

      Our body is our earthly temple and we should strive to honor the Lord in all we do! Thanks again and sure hope you’ll return soon,

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