Fear, Doubt, and Insecurity Cause Me to Run From God Instead of Walk on His Path
When you think about all the people in the Bible, all the people God used in big ways, who comes to mind? David fighting the giant with his slingshot? Maybe it’s Joseph who went from being abandoned to leading a nation? Or how about Mary who gave her heart and womb to be used by the Lord? Oh, don’t forget Noah who built an ark simply because God told him to, ignoring the doubt of those around him. And then there’s Abraham who believed God’s promise of a son and then climbed a mountain trusting God’s plan as he faced losing that son.
So many people. Such amazing faith. God’s glory and power on display through them. Of all these people, do you want to know who I relate with the most lately? Jonah.
Yeah. The guy who got swallowed by the giant fish. The man who God called to preach to the corrupt city of Ninevah, but who, instead, ran in the opposite direction, boarded a ship to Tarshish, and hid below deck while a storm raged above.
I desperately want to connect more with those people of great faith who took risks for the Lord, who trusted Him and believed in the impossible. But instead, I’m over here running away like Jonah.
God is asking me to do something, it feels kind of big and a little scary. If He asked the same thing of you, you might say, “Sure, no problem.” But for some reason, I’m fighting it. I’m avoiding it. I know I’m supposed to be walking toward Nineveh, but instead, I’m running to Tarshish.
Have you been there before? You’ve felt it in your gut, the nudge to do something. More importantly, you’ve felt it in your soul. Every time you think about it, your heart races a little and your stomach turns. In the moment, you feel energy and excitement. You know God is behind it and somewhere deep down you believe it is possible with Him. But the moment fades.
And then, like Jonah, you turn away. You say, “Nope, God. Not doing it.” You purchase the tickets and you board the ship, you stow away below the deck and ignore the storm.
We’re hiding together, friend. And I think if we look at what’s pushing us to run, we’ll discover fear, doubt, and insecurity.
Those feelings? I don’t think they come from God. God is love. And love casts out fear. It’s His love that will give us the strength to do what He’s called us to do.
If you’re feeling a little (or a lot) like Jonah, consider yourself warned. God doesn’t mess around. He has a plan to get your attention. For Jonah, it came in the form of a giant fish. “Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights” (Jonah 1:17, NIV). The Lord “provided” or other translations read “appointed” or “had prepared” the creature that would swallow Jonah.
The giant fish wasn’t a threat or a punishment; it was a tool designed by God for His glory and purpose . . . and to get Jonah’s attention.
Jonah ran from God instead of walking on His path. So God made a new path. And finally, Jonah understood. From inside the belly of the fish, he surrendered to God and committed to obedience. And when the fish spit him onto dry land, Jonah walked the path to Ninevah.
So it looks like we have a choice, friends—Ninevah or the fish.
We can choose to listen and obey now. We can stop in our tracks. We can turn from disobedience and head toward Ninevah.
We can do that hard, scary thing God has asked of us—with His help.
Or we can continue to avoid it. We can purchase the tickets and board the ship to Tarshish. We can run until God provides a giant fish. Because if God wants us in Ninevah, I think He’ll find a way to get us there.
God’s path isn’t equivalent to easy street. The path of immediate obedience will be hard.
Running from God until He sends a giant fish and leads us on a new path will be hard.
Either way, we can be confident that if this is what God is asking of us, He will walk beside us on that path. He will make a way. He will bless our obedience. He will work all things for our good and His glory.
I’m sorry for running. I’m sorry for letting my feelings of fear, doubt, and insecurity get in the way of Your plan for me. I’m sorry for my lack of trust. Please, Father, forgive me. Help me clearly see the path You’re asking me to walk. Give me the courage and strength to do what You’re asking. Thank you for Your promise to never leave or forsake me. Lord, help me do Your will.
In Jesus’ Name,