Y’all know I cannot just do a lesson in one post so here is the second part to “Accountability in Prayer”
He wants us to go the source of wisdom (James 1:5, 1 Corinthians 2:5), the Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 19:11, John 14:16) instead of trying to do it on our own…because we will fail epically every time (Romans 3:23).
Jonah figures this out in v.7. Take note that Jonah says “I remembered you, Lord…” it was not the Lord who forgot about Jonah.
It was NOT as if God was handling all these different tasks and Jonah was his last on the To-Do list in heaven and God goes “OH MAN! Jonah!!! Quick tell the fish to throw him up!” NO!
God was right there with Jonah and it was Jonah who forgot with whom he was dealing with. Jonah was dealing with the Almighty God, who causes men to tremble (Exodus 20:18, 1 Chronicles 16:30, Psalms 4:4, Psalms 96:9, Proverbs 28:14) and melt with fear (Joshua 2:11, Joshua 7:5, 2 Samuel 17:10, Psalms 68:2, Isaiah 19:1).
However Jonah finally does come around and gives praise to God. He is a bit dramatic here but I imagine if I were in a fish for three days, I would start to get even more dramatic than I already am, but he says “my life is ebbing away”
Jonah is so caught up in his own problems that his life ebbs away little by little until all that is left is problems.
Is your life like that? Are the problems real ones such as financial issues/physical issues or are they the ones we have created by our own selves, such as emotional offense at someone or being too busy? Either way it doesn’t matter, the source of your salvation is the Lord but the ways you handle those are completely different.
I am not discrediting emotional issues – I have plenty in my own self, but I am also working through them instead of letting them fester. Nor am I discrediting doing the Lord’s work, but I am saying that if you are doing more of the Lord’s work than you are spending time with the Lord…how do you know you’re still doing the Lord’s work if you’re too busy to hear from God?
This past week I told my parents “Tomorrow I have to study. No hot dates, no going out, just studying.” The next night I’m preparing to study and Rachel is texting me and I said “I have to study. I won’t talk to you after I’m done because I’m going straight to bed.”
You have to make time – waiting on the Lord (Isaiah 40:31, Psalms 27:14, Psalms 37:9), abiding in Him (John 15:6-10, Psalms 91:1, Exodus 33:11) at all times – in order for you to live effectively and abundantly.
Jonah had plenty of time to wait upon the Lord and begin to abide in Him for three solid days and nights. Due to this time he was able to come to the place where even though he had been banished from the Lord’s sight, even though he had tried to run from the Lord and caused havoc in others’ lives…he can praise God.
Now if Jonah was able to praise God through his circumstances – which I would say are significantly worse than our own currently, we should as well. Pastor Bob is always encourages us to find a reason to praise and it isn’t very hard, but do you know why he is always doing that? It isn’t so that we can look good for the visitors, it isn’t so that the worship team can feel good about leading people in, and it isn’t about impressing your neighbor who can hear every note/word. It is about praising God because He alone is God! Praise is a weapon that we can effectively use to disarm any and all attacks from the enemy!
God is deserving of the praises from His people! He is enthroned on our praises and if we don’t praise Him, the very rocks will cry out because that is how worthy our God is of praise.
I encourage you to get to this same point that Jonah did, shout with grateful praise, sacrifice to the Lord, and say unto the Lord “Salvation comes from the Lord!”
Your shout could be a whisper but if it is a sacrifice to do just that, then praise Him!
Your sacrifice could be time, could be a certain activity – it doesn’t matter!
God is worthy of it and He isn’t going to squander your praise or say it isn’t good enough!