by Elder Lady Brandy J. Lee, Guest minister
“Then God asked Jonah, ‘Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?’ ‘Yes, it’s right!’ he replied. ‘I’m angry enough to die!’ So the LORD said, ‘You cared about the plant, which you did not labor over and did not grow. It appeared in a night and perished in a night. But may I not care about the great city of Nineveh, which has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot distinguish between their right and their left, as well as many animals?’” Jonah 4:9-11 (CSB).
The word ‘marvel’ can be in the form of a noun or verb. Marvel means to wonder, be astonished, or be a wonderful or astonishing person or thing. ‘Potential’ means having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future. Throughout society today we are faced with many challenges that cause us to fall away from God. Stress, anxiety, uncertainty, and anger are common in society. We are now in need of constant guidance and affirmation within the Spirit to war against these negative spirits. This all begins with understanding that God marvels at your potential.
Our key scriptures involve the story of Jonah the prophet. Jonah is a Hebrew [Jew] that is famous for being swallowed by a great fish in the sea after attempting to flee from God. After three days and nights of wading in water up to his neck inside the fish, Jonah humbled himself, repented to God, and promised to do as He instructed. God spoke to the fish and had Jonah vomited onto land. Jonah then was instructed again to go to the city of Nineveh to proclaim its destruction in 40 days. Jonah did as he was instructed and word got to the King of Nineveh. The king ordered everyone and their livestock to fast from food and water and pray to God for forgiveness. Due to their actions and Jonah’s final obedience, God relented [abandoned His judgement] on Nineveh. But Jonah is now upset! So, he secludes himself from everyone to the desert. God proves a point to Jonah by making a tree bloom, provide shade from the heat, create strong winds, and then perish the tree within one day.
Jonah is upset because his zeal for God was due to his original culture of being a Jew and the title of being a prophet. Jonah felt that if God favored the city of Nineveh (composed of gentiles), it was like an omen for him. Jonah felt entitled and prideful because he was a Jew from Israel. Jonah also felt that God messed up his reputation, because what he just prophesied wouldn’t then come true. He would be portrayed (in Jonah’s eyes) as a false teacher.
We must not be like Jonah and get caught up with where and from whom we come. God has not a respect for color, culture, or person. We are all one in His eyes. We must be able to know our worth in the Spirit and not in nature. We also must not create negativity when it hasn’t even been brought up. The people of Nineveh tried to invite Jonah in for a celebration because Jonah warned them of their wicked ways. Like Jonah, many times we get in our own way of truly seeing the evidence of God that we ask for.
God sees beyond nature, and looks to the divine within. God marvels at our potential. He guides and helps us understand (with revelation through experience) just how amazing he created us to be. God is examines Jonah to help him realize that he has no right to be angry, because every one of those 120,000 people deserves a chance to be led by God into a harvest of blessed life. God even cares enough to save the spirit of the animals as well. God saw the potential of Jonah and how many people he was able to save. God also sees the great potential in you, and it’s time you begin marveling at His creation. Be humble, obedient, encouraged, and connected to our source of love, and guidance. Who are we to be angry with current situations and allow negative spirits to creep into our lives? We must overcome this society and its human nature-taught degradation. It is time for us to search deep within our spirit and marvel at our own potential. You were created to be a wonder and be astonished.