Nineveh Was Waiting for Jonah to Obey God. America Is (Still) Waiting for the Church

An engraved illustration image of the prophet Jonah being thrown overboard before being swallowed by the whale, from a vintage Victorian bible dated 1852 that is no longer in copyright.

By Wanda Alger Published on May 2, 2024

But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep. So the captain came and said to him, “What do you mean, you sleeper? Arise, call out to your god! Perhaps the god will give a thought to us, that we may not perish.” Jonah 1:6 ESV

Do you hear the nation calling out to the Church in this story? Is the cry of this captain calling out to Jonah similar to our own nation wondering where the Church is in this critical hour of shaking? Though a remnant has woken up, the Church at large is still deeply asleep concerning the principalities and powers seeking to shipwreck this nation and annihilate our existence. Just like Jonah, the modern Church has fallen asleep to her assignment. Just like Jonah, we have dismissed our call and determined to play possum. Where Nineveh needed to hear Jonah’s call for repentance to avoid destruction, so does this nation need to hear the truth from God’s people.

“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church (Ekklesia), and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:18-19)

Just like Jonah, many in the Church have avoided this call and hidden away from the frontlines of the battle. Making excuses and avoiding responsibility concerning “political issues,” the Church has fallen asleep while occultic agendas and corrupted leaders are destroying us from the inside out.

Absent Without Leave

Perhaps it is a man-made version of the Church that has fallen asleep — a version that doesn’t even possess the needed authority to still a storm. A version that forgets who she is. For it is the Ekklesia, God’s governing Body on the earth, that has been given the authority to confront and overthrow the giants in the land. It is the Ekklesia that needs to rise up and address the cries of the perishing.

The captain and crew of the ship knew that Jonah, the man of God, should have the answer. After their own gods failed to respond, these “nonbelievers” looked to the one they believed had legitimate authority to change things. But, what’s even worse than Jonah’s apathy was his own confession about the storm.

He said to them, “Pick me up and hurl me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you, for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you.” (Jonah 1:12)

Jonah knew it was because of his disobedience to God’s assignment that the storm had come upon them. Is this the reality check we need to hear? Will we acknowledge the global storms we are dealing with have been caused – and even worsened – because of a sleeping Church? Will we accept our responsibility in this crisis and do what we’ve been called to do?

By getting outside of God’s presence, Jonah’s heart became hardened. What used to fuel his purpose now fueled a storm. And God’s storm would not cease until Jonah responded.

We, as the Ekklesia of God, have been given the sole jurisdiction to render decisions in the heavens that affect the earth. Political leaders can’t do that. Governments can’t do that. Only the Church of the living God can do that. What will it take for us to repent of our own lethargy and answer the call to confront the wickedness in the high places of our nation? What will it take for us to take ownership of our nation and trumpet a clear sound that separates truth from lies, light from dark?

How Bad Does It Have to Get Before We Rise Up?

Is there an appointed whale-sized crisis that’s about to swallow us into the deep until we realize the urgency of the hour? Will it take days in darkness to confront our own spiritual blindness to God’s purposes? Will we recognize, just as the captain and crew did, that we can’t just row harder to outrun the storm? Can we recognize that some of these storms are God-appointed to get our attention? What has gotten us off track, and how have we missed our call?

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 1:3)

Jonah was running from the presence of the Lord – the very thing that fueled his life and purpose. He didn’t like God’s directive. He wanted to see Nineveh burn for its sin and corruption. He knew that God’s presence would force him to lay aside his offenses and compel him to act according to God’s mercy. But instead of dealing with his own biases, he decided to turn his back and go to sleep. By getting outside of God’s presence, Jonah’s heart became hardened. What used to fuel his purpose now fueled a storm. And God’s storm would not cease until Jonah responded.

It’s Up to Us

It was the crew’s insistence for intervention that finally broke Jonah, and he let them throw him overboard. So they threw him in and gave him up to the sea. The Lord of the sea did the rest. Only when Jonah was without recourse and helpless to save himself did he relent and obey. It was only when he surrendered his stubbornness and pride that he came up out of the deep and answered the call.

“Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.” (Jonah 3:1-2)

If this is a picture of the Church in this hour, what is our response? How long will we refuse to speak to spiritual wickedness in high places and challenge those who oppose God? How long will we continue to turn our backs on controversial issues facing our nation and wash our hands of responsibility? Just as in Nineveh, there are countless victims and an entire generation that is innocent and unaware of the giants in the land (Jonah 4:11). It is because of them that the Lord calls for mercy.

God is telling us to speak. The nation is waiting for our voice. Even if it means being thrown into deep waters to get our attention, I pray we heed the call before it’s too late.

 

Wanda has been in ministry for over 35 years as a worship leader, teacher, author, deliverance counselor, and speaker. She is an ordained and commissioned fivefold leader, and passionate about interpreting life from Heaven’s perspective. Wanda is answering a call to speak to the body of Christ about the mountain of government, godly leadership, and Kingdom authority. Since an unexpected angelic encounter in 2002, Wanda ministers through a spirit of wisdom and revelation that empowers believers to know their authority, embrace their calling, and demonstrate heavenly realities on the earth (Ephesians 1:17). A former writer with Intercessors for America, Wanda has also contributed to numerous national publications such as The Elijah List, Charisma Magazine, Spirit Fuel, and The Christian Post. In addition to her blogs and website, Wanda hosts a YouTube and Rumble channel, where she posts weekly prophetic insights and teachings. You can also find her on numerous social media platforms including Telegram, Facebook, and Truth Social; her books and other resources are available at wandaalger.me.

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