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Devotionals : Living in the Belly of a Great Fish
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Living in the Belly of a Great Fish

By Ryan, Member of Delve into Jesus since 12/30/2007
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Does your world stink? Are you sickened by the sensation of an ominous darkness enveloping humanity? Have you read the morning newspaper or browsed your preferred news services yet? Perhaps you are too traumatized to peek into the latest news, knowing of the ever-present horrors agitating the globe. Do you feel the churning of decaying matter being tossed at you from all sides? Have you been stewing in corrosive, caustic fluids which are digesting your resolve?

Maybe your world stinks because you are living in the belly of a great fish.

Being swallowed by a large fish happens. We have the Biblical story of Jonah, a man who did time on the inside of a fish because he was running from a mission given to him by God. Jonah wasn't willing to deliver a message God told him to take to a lost and degenerate people. We have all been sent on the same mission Jonah was given; as stated by Jesus, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation." (Mark 16:15)

One, having been swallowed by a large fish, is compelled to consider their disgusting surroundings and the despair of the predicament. Some may wait with patience, believing they will remain in the belly until the Kingdom of God liberates them from these vile circumstances. Optimistic others may make the most of a deplorable situation by cleansing a corner of their stomach environs to attempt a pure life in the midst of the repugnance. Regrettably, some may slip into the murk on occasion, due to carelessness or unawareness of the slippery properties of the belly of a fish. Sadly, there are those who don't care to get out because they have been reduced to enjoying swimming in the filth.

What to do when you realize your existence is being digested by a fishy entity you cannot control? Jonah cried out to God and was vomited from the fish's mouth. He was delivered when he connected with the concept of people on land, captive within their own decadence, were missing God's grace. He acknowledged that it is God's prerogative to give salvation to whom He chooses. Jonah gave thanks to God and vowed to follow God's instructions to deliver the message to the city of Nineveh (Jonah 2:8-9).

Happily for the inhabitants of Nineveh, they heard the message and all repented. Not so happily for Jonah, he was distraught because a wicked city, which he loved to despise for its evilness, was afforded forgiveness. Poor Jonah; he failed to appreciate the success he had in doing God's work. The entire population of a major city had repented - impressive stats for any prophet.

The competitive among us may desire a crack at beating that record. Those who have added compassion to zealousness, will be overjoyed with the opportunity to be part of delivering a message of comfort and salvation to suffering people. However, some Christians may run away from God's instruction to deliver the Gospel message to a world they are indifferent to, or have learned to hate.

If life around you stinks; if you've been rotting inside the belly of a fish, you can pray like Jonah did and recommit to delivering the Gospel message. Consider the extent to which our unresponsiveness may be responsible for the fact we are lingering in a deplorable world. As Jonah was vomited from the depths of the fish when he became willing to do God's work, so may we be delivered from this evil era. Conversely, failure to be actively involved in the Great Commission may result in hearing Jesus say, "Because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I am about to spit you out of my mouth." Revelation 3:16)

Has our fish gut world become a comfortable tomb, or are we ready to be expelled from its claustrophobic grasp, to do the work of God? We can strive to deliver the message with the effectiveness of Jonah but, augmented by the compassion of the Holy Spirit. We can thank God for allowing us to be part of His plan, as we contemplate this awe-inspiring privilege. Feeling the impact of what God's word does in our lives, being relieved to be redeemed; we can become excited about sharing the Gospel. Great cities of our day are in dire need of hearing the good news of salvation through Jesus. Better to abide forever in God's Kingdom than to languish in the belly of a fish.

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Yes! So simple, so true, so applicable to my current state of being... the things going on around me make me "sick"... I can feel the acidity of the digestive juices burning me, breaking me down, bringing an unease in my sould!!! We must cry out.... I need God's revelation of his calling on my life to sink in, so I don't sink further into the belly... but rather be vomitted up and out, onto the dry land we have been called to carry his Kingdom message to!!
Jonah... thanks for your example, buddy!
5/5/2009 3:00:32 AM - Brad, Member of Delve into Jesus since 2/11/2009

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