Jonah 3:1, 6-8 – And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time 6 For the word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid is robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man not beast, herd nor flock, taste anything: let them not feed, nor drink water: 8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.
This is no doubt one of the greatest revivals in all of scripture. It’s a tale of God not giving up on His ministry and a wicked city. I wrote about it here.
Jonah, however reluctantly, finally submitted to the purpose of God. His spirit is off but his message is on. The word is preached, heeded, and God turns around.
Perhaps one of the underlying messages in this story is that God is willing to work with the frailty of our humanity. Jonah never had a good attitude. He preached without burden or compassion. The wicked city was hardly godly, yet through their repentance God found a city He could work with. I’m thankful that our humanity doesn’t prevent His power from being prominent.
The first verse brings hope to any church and city. The word of God will come a second time. God is the God of second chances. It’s not to late to be the church that God called you to be. Cities aren’t so far gone that they can’t experience a turn around. If the church get’s it, the city will get it.
Three Turnaround Truths
1. Vacate the throne. The king of Nineveh heard the word of God and responded by vacating his throne. There is only room for one Ruler in revival. Revival starts when a church and city clear a spot for the King of Kings. The Kingdom of God is by definition the King’s domain. Who is in charge of your church? It can’t be the pastor. It must be the Great Shepherd.
Who is CEO of your personal life? Give the throne of your life over to the Lord and live your best life now. Is He given this place in your life?
2. Alignment and agreement. The king and his nobles all spoke the same thing. This communication reached the uttermost parts of their vast city. The leadership of a church must be on the same page. The message must be clearly defined and communicated without pollution or dilution.
Their message was proclaimed and published. Spoken and written. If the message is vital it must become viral. Every avenue available to the church for delivering their message must be utilized. Preach it and write it down.
Your marriage needs alignment and agreement as well. Husband and wife must have a clear parenting plan, debt reduction strategy, etc. How will you discipline your children?
3. Change to see change. The entire city repented and turned from their wicked ways. They had faith that God would see this and change His mind about their destiny. How many times have we desired a new work from God without the willingness to change our old habits and hang ups? Old wineskins don’t get filled with new wine. Is your church willing to change their paradigms, processes, etc?
Are you asking God to bless you with a new job but refuse to give your money to His church? Perhaps you are asking God to bless your marriage but aren’t willing to change yourself? I have been guilty of trying to pray my way out of debt without altering any of my spending habits. Change you.
These three things may not guarantee revival: without them, you are guaranteeing you won’t have one.