The Jonah Commission – Day Four
Day 4. THE NECESSITY OF A DIVINE CALL
Read Jonah 1:1-2. Jonah’s commission is very simple, as is ours also, if we have ears to hear it. It is ‘From the LORD’, and ‘To the City’.
His call is ‘From the LORD’ – This personal call from God and the specific actions God commanded for Jonah, highlights its similar necessity today. There is no higher calling than the summons to be a messenger for God. God wants to make us all in our measure, gifts, and location, prophetic men and women of God. A call invites us into God’s presence in order to be conscripted, trained, and sent forth from that presence. Oswald Chambers wrote, “To be brought within the zone of the call of God is to be profoundly altered.” We will never be the same again.
His call is to the City – Prophetic men and women have extraordinary supernatural access to God and to men. Doors open for them in heaven and on earth that remain shut to others. This is both their privilege and their great burden. They are able to see what others can’t see, hear what others can’t hear, then speak what others daren’t speak. God’s call imparts freedom and courage.
Such is the presence of God in upon his servants that unusual things happen through them, even when they are ‘out of sorts’ with God and other people. Storms break out, people are alarmed, the fear of God arrests their attention. Evangelists are carriers of a highly infectious contagion, and they provoke some kind of reaction – positive or negative – regardless of the mood or even moral condition of the messenger. American preacher Jerry Savelle notes that, “As followers of Jesus, you and I are supposed to be carriers of hope, carriers of faith. Every time we walk into a hopeless situation, our very presence ought to change the atmosphere around us. I have been in a room when Oral Roberts walked in, and everyone there would sense his presence. When he enters, something comes in with him. There is an air about him that is sensed by everyone present. Although I have never met Billy Graham personally, I have been told that the same is true of him. When he enters a room a hush falls on the place, because everyone in attendance recognises a holy presence in their midst.” More of us should seek this anointing.
This explains why prophets are stand-out agents of God, with prejudices, strong convictions, and frequent violent mood swings, making them difficult people to live with! God made them that way for the heavy responsibility of carrying weighty burdens, and then delivering them to their intended recipients. At times this can prove unbearable, something they’d rather delay or shake off. But the story of Jonah shows us that they can’t do this, even if they try. In Jonah 1:8, the frightened sailors asked, ‘Tell us who is responsible?’. The answer is of course,‘Jonah’! He is a messenger who is answerable to both God, and to men! He carries the fate of men, cities, and sometimes nations, under God. Jonah affected a ship’s crew, a whole city, and even a nation.
Speak to the Lord about trusting you with a greater degree of responsibility for people’s spiritual, material, and social welfare.