With Great Joy, I Proclaimed the Message: Until it Came Full-Circle, and Then I Became a Jonah

It was a beautiful Sunday morning as I pulled in to First Baptist Dallas. I was elated over the lesson God had placed upon my heart for my Sunday School class. The verse? “Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God.” The application? Well, let’s just say I enjoyed teaching the ladies how to apply this verse to their own lives. Yet when it came to my own, I wasn’t too thrilled about obeying.

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time. 1 Peter 5:6 

In preparation for the class, I had spent time studying the Bible as well as several different commentaries on the lesson. Through this special time, God taught me so many things about 1 Peter 5:6. I used the most interesting illustration as I taught on the importance of remaining under God’s mighty hand. I stood with confidence and great boldness as I looked into the faces of the ladies in the class while teaching the session. They were hungry for God’s Word and listened intently as He worked in their hearts. Yet little did I know that just over the horizon would be a test awaiting, not for the ladies within the class, but for the teacher herself. It was a lesson that would require being humbled under God’s mighty hand.

The very lesson I had taught others would come full circle. And I didn’t like it.

I was in a situation that was getting pretty tough. During a moment of anguish, I found myself caving quickly to fear’s grip. As each day passed, escaping the trial became more enticing. Finally, I devised a blueprint design for the exit. I felt it was for the best and proceeded to move forward with what I wanted to do. Yet there was only one problem. My strategy was devised without God’s input. I had created my plan, my path, and my escape.

Through the course of several days, the one message that came over and over was, “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God.” Yet, to be honest, I didn’t want to. And for a time, I refused.

During this period of rebellion, I was seeking God on another matter. Yet, due to my disobedience in this particular area, my prayers were being affected. I had shut down inside.

One day I was traveling down the road listening to Christian music when one particular song grabbed my heart. The title? “Holy Spirit, You Are Welcome Here.” As I listened to the message, I knew I had not welcomed the Holy Spirit to have His way within my heart. I had taught passionately about the importance of staying under the mighty hand of God and of letting Him take control. Yet when faced with a moment that called for such obedience, I had failed. However, thank God, my failure was not final. Through God’s amazing grace and mercy, I repented and He brought me to a place of surrender. The result? A closeness with Him that I had not experienced in a long time. It was as though I had a new heart. Also, God empowered me to do what He had called me to do.

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” (Matthew 7:24-27 ESV)

Wherever you find yourself today remember, let God have control of your life. Humble yourself under His mighty hand and stay there. For under His mighty hand we are safe. We are instructed. We are provided for and cared for. We are protected. Look once more at 1 Peter 5:6.

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time.

What are we promised will happen when we humble ourselves under His mighty hand?Obedience to God’s Word will always bring blessings. Turn around, Jonah, and let God call the shots. He longs to bless your life.

About the Writer:
O’Shea is the mother of two and nana of five and enjoys both roles tremendously. She is the Executive Director of Entrusted Hope Ministries where she loves serving through speaking and blogging. A member of First Baptist Church, Dallas, O’Shea serves with the church’s First Impressions ministry and teaches the Strong & Courageous Sunday School class for single moms. Shea received her bachelor’s degree in Christian Ministry from Blue Mountain College in Blue Mountain, Mississippi; her master’s degree in Biblical Counseling from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas; and is currently working on her D.Ed.Min at Southwestern in Family Ministries.

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