Jonah 1:17 – 2:2
And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, saying, “I called out to the Lord, out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice.”
Jonah found that the finish line for running from God was in the belly of a great fish! Jonah finally stopped running and started crying out to God. Amazing how our circumstance changes our attitude. Amazing, isn’t it, how people, who are running from God, get “religion” when they find themselves in a difficult situation. I have met with men who wanted nothing to do with God until they lost their job, or their marriage blew up, or their child rebelled. Then they got serious about God until they found another job, or their wife came back, or the situation with their teenager settled down.
How about you? Are you a “circumstantial Christian?” When things are going well you pretty much leave Jesus out of the picture. But when things go south, when you get swallowed by the big fish, you’re all about wanting Jesus to bail you out. Jonah had been ignoring God, flat-out turning his back on God, but now, “from the belly of the fish” Jonah prayed.
Following Jesus should not be dependent on our circumstances. We are to trust him just as much in our success as in our failure. Why is it we get really serious about prayer in our “distress?” Why do we keep so busy running and only stop to pray “from the belly of the fish”?
- Ask God to show where you exhibit signs of being a “circumstantial Christian.”
- Ask God to help you teach (show and tell) your children what a consistent follower of Jesus looks like.
Father, I don’t want to be a circumstantial Christian. I don’t want to get “religion” when things are challenging. I want to serve you full-out every day in good times and bad times. Help me move from circumstantial to consistent. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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