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Monday, June 30, 2014

A Lesson in Bending from Llamas & Jonah 06/30/14

1 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: 2  “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.”  3 Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh.  ~ Jonah 3:1-3

Llamas & Jonah
According to the Google machine, humble is described as:  having or showing a modest or low estimate of one's own importance.  Pride is defined as:  a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one's own achievements or from qualities or possessions which are widely admired.  Opposites.

In Africa, llamas are used as a symbol of pride.  It is said Llamas can be kept in a pen using a single rope for a fence. This is because Llamas are unwilling to bend their stiff necks in order to get under the rope.  They could but they won't.  Audrey Assad described Jesus, in the first line of her song, "Humble" like this:  Humble and human, willing to bend you are.

Sometimes an experience or circumstance will lead us to a point of being "willing to bend" in humility where previously we were not because of pride.  In Jonah 3, we see the word of the Lord coming to Jonah for a second time with the same request.  Jonah had a new found humility, based on his experience, which allowed him to bend.  Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh.

In his humility, Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord, where he was previously unwilling to lay down his own pride and his own idea of a better plan for Nineveh.  And what was the result? The entire city of Nineveh repented and turned from their wicked ways!  We might call it the Jonah Principal.  It was Jonah's realization of his own weakness and inability to rescue himself which ultimately lead to a very fruitful evangelism ministry.

What can we learn from llamas and Jonah?  We learn that an experience of humility can lead to a letting go of pride.  As we experience weakness and are brought low, Christ's power will be more evident in us.  As we face difficulties in our lives and share with those around us how Christ helps us face those difficulties, God's Spirit will work in and through us to accomplish His will in His timing.  And finally, if we're of the prideful mind set that our own evangelism efforts are pretty amazing without giving full credit to God's power within us, we shouldn't be expecting fruit from our effort.

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