Running From the City

When God called Jonah to go to Nineveh, he responded by running in the opposite direction. God’s call always leads to a crisis of belief that requires faith and obedience. We cannot stay where we are and go with God. Join us for part two of For the City where we explore the challenge of answering God’s call and our temptation to run in the opposite direction to a place of comfort and security. 

Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.

Jonah 1-4

Principles (KNOW THEM):

The ABCs of Moving toward the city:

  • Align your heart with the heart of God
  • Believe that God has gone before you and will empower you to do what He is calling you to do
  • Choose Nineveh (God-centered) over Tarshish (self-centered)

Practices (DO THEM):

Consider your answers to the following questions:

  1. Are you more concerned for “plants” than you are for people?
  2. Are there comforts and conveniences, sources of personal enjoyment you simply refuse to do without while all around our world there are people struggling to survive?
  3. Do you overstate struggles in your own life in order to overshadow the desperate cry of others who are suffering immeasurably more than you?
  4. Are you more excited about a sporting event or the season finally of your favorite show than you are about making God’s grace known to a world full of desperate people?
  5. Do you put your personal comforts above the spiritual destiny of others?

Daily Readings:

Sunday: Jonah 1
Monday: Jonah 2
Tuesday: Jonah 3
Wednesday: Jonah 4
Thursday: Matthew 10
Friday: Matthew 28
Saturday: Acts 1

Suggested Resources:


Life Interrupted, Pricilla Shirer
Surprised by Grace, Tullian Tchividjian

Sermon series on

Jonah: Welcome to Nineveh (2012)
Built to Last (2015)