If you read the biographies of great Christian leaders of yesterday and today, you get the sense that the majority of these guys and girls heard clearly from God, obeyed readily and started immediately reaping Taco Bell Grande-size rewards.
The Bible paints a little less rosy picture of its characters.
Yeah ? a lot of God?s heroes went through hell and were hammered with snafus and faux pas. In the Bible, there are huge chunks of copy where the saints? lives and walks with God reeked worse than old spilled bong water in the back seat of a taxi in Miami during the heat of the summer. Some of the saints? setbacks and failures were the by-products of satanic interference, and some simply came about because stuff happens and life is not a movie. Then there is the trouble, that special hell, which came to the believer because he was being a donkey with respect to his destiny.
Take Jonah?s story for example.
The book of Jonah shows that the chaos in Jonah?s life resulted directly from his refusal to do what he was called to do. This man is not in a miasma regarding his reason for being. He is not on a vision quest trying to figure out what his destiny is. He knows what he is called to and he is currently hauling butt in the opposite direction.
So ? what happened when Jonah fled from his purpose? Well ? things began to go horribly wrong for him. In this biblical storyline, God attacks the slacker who is not about his predestined business. When Jonah ran from his call, God ran after him and used extreme measures, i.e., a violent storm, to get his attention. So much for everyone wanting to have a purpose driven life.
I know this is not PC, but God will rock our world if we are avoiding our call. God has His ways of waking us up. Disaster comes to Jonah?s life not because of happenstance or demonic attack but because God is on the prowl. God is allowing all hell to break lose on Jonah?s world because Jonah is not taking care of business. God/life/circumstances will fight us if we?re blowing off what we were hardwired to do.
Check it out. God is hammering this guy, and he still isn?t going to listen. So ? what does a loving God do? He cranks things up several notches and appoints a great fish to swallow Jonah?s rebellious backside. Being eaten alive and stewing in the fish?s stomach acids worked God?s intended purpose of softening up this runaway prophet. Jonah enters what he calls ? the belly of hell.
Have you ever been there?