Most of us have experienced a time in our lives when we knew God was telling us to go one way, and we decided to go in the opposite direction.
Jonah had a moment like that, and God pursued him until he relented and became a street preacher in Ninevah.
Sometimes God uses a storm to get our attention, overwhelm our reluctance, and reset the course of our lives.
God’s a pursuer at heart, and there’s no eluding him.
David may have said it best when he wrote: “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,’ even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.”
Inescapable and tireless in his pursuit, God will not relent until our will and his are aligned.
Jonah learned that the hard way. (Some of us have too.)
Ninevah needed a preacher, someone to call them to repentance. Jonah did not want to be recruited for that assignment. In the end, God won.
Minus the big fish, that’s Venkanna’s story.
A devout Hindu prior to becoming a follower of Jesus, Venkanna (pictured above) spent almost a decade on the run.
Venkanna recounts, “During this time, God called me many times to do ministry in other places on my own, but I kept ignoring God’s call.”
Despite his evasiveness, God continued to pursue Venkanna. He miraculously opened his wife’s womb, and she eventually gave birth to two sons — years of infertility erased in what seemed like the blink of an eye.
Yet not even a miracle was enough to convince Venkanna to yield to what God was calling him to do.
Undeterred by Venkanna’s reluctance, God continued the pursuit. Finally, in 2007, the chase ended, nine years after it had begun. While reading the book of Jeremiah, Venkanna was brought to his knees and said, “Yes, I’ll go.” And without reservation, he went.
Today there’s a church in the town of Sarapaka. Every Sunday, this fledgling congregation, full of first generation Christians, gathers together in Venkanna’s home to worship, pray, and learn more about the One who relentlessly pursues us.
Keep Venkanna, his wife Krupa, and their two sons in your prayers, and remember to pray for the church that meets in their house. The needs on the ground are great, and our God is able to supply each one.
Since 1992, Vision Nationals has been planting churches, training nationals, and caring for orphans and widows in India. Through your prayers and financial gifts God has graciously sustained our work.
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