A “Heart-Burn” Word on A Lack of Compassion
This Morning's “Heart-Burn Word” centers around the story of Jonah, and the City of Ninevah (From the Book of Jonah, in The Bible). If you've never read that book in its entirety, then this a great opportunity to avail yourself. It has been made into everything from high drama plays and movies to silly children's stories on “Veggie Tales”, but the lessons are riveting, and life-changing, if taken seriously.
The point The Holy Spirit wanted to make to me, this morning, is that Jonah's story is one of MERCY, both to Jonah AND the wicked Ninevites, NOT JUDGEMENT!!!! Judgment was used, as it invariably is, to get their attention, so that repentance could provoke mercy instead!
We tend to get it all wrong, we tend to act like Jonah. First we run from giving the Prophetic Word – usually because we prefer to be people pleasers and therefore hate confrontation. Then, when we finally, begrudgingly agree to deliver the word, which are, of necessity, sometimes less pleasant than what folks prefer, we tend to assume all the wrong things about GOD's motives, due to our own filters, hardness of heart, etc.! As Jonah did in his story of an unlikely deliverance which followed his own “series of unfortunate events”, caused by a series of stubbornly stupid choices. Sound familiar? Keep reading!
God went to all the trouble to round up the main prophetic voice of that time, who regularly took the warnings to his own people, to assure that their repentance stayed current! However, this prophet was not keen on going to the enemy nation nearby to offer them the same service! He was, in fact, offended at the very suggestion! “They”, after all, were not God followers! Why should “they” have The Word of The LORD?! Plus, there was the little detail that if he whizzed them off they might murder him in cold blood and feed him to the fishes! So he did what many of us do when confronted by God and asked to perform a difficult task. He ditched and ran in the exact opposite direction!
So, being the determined Deity that He Is, God chased him down, and sent a storm to threaten the boat he had escaped on! Realizing that his disobedience was about to cause the probable deaths of a lot of innocent sailors, he had them throw himself overboard to save their lives and their boat. And when they did the storm ceased immediately and a huge fish swallowed him alive!!! But, faithfully, God kept him alive in the belly of that large fish (which everyone assumes was a whale), and then had the fish barf him up right on the shore of where he was supposed to go! Coincidence? I think not!
Then, when Jonah finally had the idea that God really, REALLY wanted HIM to deliver THIS MESSAGE to this very evil nation, he submitted himself to that task. He arrived in Ninevah on foot, smelling fishy, with seaweed all tangled in his hair! What a mess! But it made people hesitant to lay hand on him at least! So with a great energy and anointing he thundered out the message of certain judgment – if repentance was not immediate and thorough! Though he was fairly certain they had no intentions of repenting! And – then – having done his bit – he scurried to the top of a hill to camp out, “eat popcorn” (just a visual describing what I perceive to be his attitude, not scripturally sound) and watch the grand, also probably horrifying, destruction on his nation's sworn enemies!
Because, you see, HE had NO compassion for the trouble these people had put themselves in, nor ANY desire to see them actually REPENT. And it was the LAST thing he expected to happen!
God, however, seeing his eagerness to observe the destruction, then sent him some more object lessons, and he had to watch as the whole nation repented and came under God's Blessing instead of God's wrath!
Needless to say that he had a bit of repenting to do on his own! God was NOT pleased with his performance, his attitude of judgmentalism, or his extreme lack of compassion! That is NOT the kind of person God really wants representing Himself! But sometimes He is just limited to who is listening. At all. He works with what He has.
So, fast forward to today. We've received so many prophetic words about the destruction coming to those in authority in our nation – IF they do NOT repent and turn from their current methods and rebellion!
And, we all agree, those of us who know our Holy, Loving, Patient God, that God has every right to smash the tarnations out of these sickening, abortion pushing, power abusing, tyrrannical leftists, and cowardly, hypocritical, often spineless right-wingers!
But here is the lesson from Jonah, what are WE praying for in our intercession? Do we have our chairs drawn up, our beverages cooling, and our televisions tuned to the “news” channels, which will bring us the news of their down fall? So we can toast to our good luck, and get back to apathetic – or was it just pathetic – half-hearted “CHRINO” (Christians in Name ONLY) Life-styles we had BEFORE WE let them have the power that GOD entrusted to US!!!!
Are we who heard the Word, in January 2020, from II Chronicles 20, about “suiting up, showing up at the line of battle and worshiping” - so that GOD would then rout the enemy and bring us victory …. First of all – have we DONE ANY OF THAT?! Do we even know what, or where our armor is? Have we shown up with hearts full of trust and anticipation to worship our all delivering GOD?!
And, if we have – what is the outcome we are desiring? Are we hoping for the destruction of the people who have acted like enemies to us – or are we at war with the spiritual forces driving them, while hoping for THEIR deliverance?! Have we gotten so disgusted with their immorality that we have lost our compassion for their doomed souls?!
It is very easy to get up on our high horses of morality and look down upon those who've bought the enemy's lies. It is easy to burn with indignation at those involved in child trafficking! For example. And we should burn with indignation at the utter evil involved in using children that way. But we dare not forget that the people doing these evil acts were once children just like that. What happened to steal their virtue? Yeshua said that ALL have fallen short of the Grace of God! That is why He came. And while He was here he reached to the lowest of the low. Even while dying for sins that HE had not committed he redeemed a murderer, and cleansed him of that evil!
HE came, not to make yet another stale worthless religion, with His Name loosely attached! HE Came to be about HIS FATHER's business of REDEEMING FALLEN MANKIND!!! And THAT is what the story of Jonah is showing us – The Father's compassion toward even the most fallen, most evil, most impossible candidates on the planet! So. The burning question today is – do we burn with any of the compassion? Are we using His gifts for our own purposes instead of what He entrusted them to us for? Are we using them to build our own religious empires, or to deliver the lost from their inherited insanity? Are WE, especially those of us who make the extraordinary claim of “Being FILLED with HIS SPIRIT”, operating in His Anointing yet? Or are we so busy judging the impurities in others that we've gotten distracted from becoming pure enough for Him to operate through? Are we working as hard to renew our minds in His Word, as we are using it to magnify the sins of others?
Humility and Compassion are rare qualities. They usually come together. I think that the body of The Anointed One needs to seek HIS HEART for this world, and stop trying to be little judges. I think that we need to really “Humble ourselves under His mighty hand”, so that in due season HE can exalt us to the place of ministry that He needs us in! I think it is time that we stop prophesying what WE want, and actually hear HIS heart! Until we can get our own white-washed, sub par righteousness out of His Way, we can't really walk IN The Way. Until we can find the compassion which drove Our Lord to the cross, on our behalf, we will never join Him in being about His Father's business.
Selah …. #GotCompassion?!