Big Fish… Big Attitude – On Hearing the Call of God

The Lord’s word came to Jonah, Amittai’s son: “Get up and go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it, for their evil has come to my attention” (Jonah 1:1-2, Common English Bible).

Well, we finally finished Matthew and now we turn our sights back to the Old Testament and we will now spend time with that character of childhood Sunday school fame, Jonah, one reluctant prophet.

Wow!!! Wouldn’t it be great if we could hear “The Lord’s word” as clearly as Jonah did in today’s lesson? I would love to be able to sit down on Monday, or Tuesday or Wednesday for that matter. Thursday is starting to push things a little close for my taste. I would love to sit down and pray, “God, what text do you want me to preach this week? Oh, and while you let me in on that if you would tell me what to say that would be really great. Thanks God. Amen”

Though I have heard what I truly believe (both then and now) was the voice of God speaking to me, it is far from an everyday occurrence. One day I was driving home. I was considering a major change in my life. The what doesn’t really matter. As I was driving I received a couple of phone calls regarding the change. During the second call, I quickly made an appointment that while not committing me fully in that direction was a huge step in the process. As soon as I hung up the phone, I heard a loud, audible voice saying, “Enough. Stop now!” I did. I pulled the car off the road and made a call, this time to cancel that appointment. I haven’t considered that change since (some of you do know of which I write, the majority do not and if you tried to guess you would probably be wrong).

I know there will be readers who think I lost my mind. There will be those who believe it was all in my imagination. Some others will probably think I didn’t really want to follow that path to start with. I can’t really say. All may be true.

What I do know, well believe is, God does speak to us. The Word of the Lord is not rare these days. People who will listen and discern the Word of the Lord, well that could be a different story altogether.

I have come to understand that sometimes God speaks to us through circumstances. I once had a well-timed letter in the mail. I am convinced it was God. God speaks to us through the words of others. I would submit even the words of children.

God speaks to us through the words of others. I would submit even the words of children. Whenever someone speaks profound words that address our given situation, there is a good chance God’s hand, and voice is involved.

God speaks to us through the words of Scripture. God spoke at least once through these words and I know it has been far more often than once. If God has done it before, many times, God can and will do so again.

God speaks to us through nature. For me, at least, there is nothing quite like a hike in the woods or a walk along the beach to clear my head and better enable me to hear what God is saying. In my experience of these events, I often find that something will happen that for me, is a clear message from God.

I have also come to understand that God often speaks to us through a still small voice. Many may call it our conscience but if we pay attention, I believe we will hear a difference. This voice is the voice where I heard my call to ministry.

God also, at least this is what I believe, speaks to us like God spoke to me that day in the car, in a loud, clear, audible voice. When I read today’s lesson, it is how I think God spoke to Jonah. There should be no doubt, Jonah heard and he knew God was speaking to him. It may not happen as often in this way, but it does happen.

I have only scratched the surface of the ways God might speak to us. But make no mistake, God does speak, even to people like us. It may be in the written word, in a soft voice or a loud voice. It may come in the song of a bird or the words of a child. God speaks. What is left for us is, to listen.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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