Jonah in the Whale and Being in Christ

Being in Christ and Jonah Being in the Whale

Jonah was dead to his own will inside the whale. This resistant prophet came to obedience through death. In the whale, Jonah was in the will of Another. And in the same way, when we are in Christ, we’re swallowed up into Him so that His resurrected Life will flow. Our life is no more, we have been subsumed into Another’s Life and Will.

Jesus replied, “Only evil people who are unfaithful to God would demand a sign. There will be no sign given to you except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” 
Matthew 12:39 TPT

Jonah Being in the Whale

Being in the Whale
This is the only way to get clear of self-will. Not effort or intention but death. The old nature is not redeemable; it is 100% corrupt and always will be. It’s only our life that is able to be saved as we are crucified with Christ.

My only boast is in the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus, our Messiah. In Him I have been crucified to this natural realm; and the natural realm is dead to me and no longer dominates my life.
Galatians 6:14 TPT

Death is inevitable. We will all die. Nature displays this before us seasonally and circumstantially. It is not whether we die; it is when, how, and to what end. So if we are all going to die, don’t we want to appropriate that death wisely? My choice is whether I die a living death for Christ or die to my destiny in self-will. Again, I am going to die regardless, so I might as well make it count and reap the maximum benefits. If I die on my personal cross, I am rewarded with Christ’s Life; if I die through avoidance of God’s Will, I lose everything. One is saving my life and losing it, the other is losing my life to save it.

Being in Christ

Being in Christ
Why would Christ align Himself in Matthew with a willful prophet named Jonah? Because of the amazing miracle and nature of the human will. First, Jesus was speaking to a willful bunch of people when He referenced Jonah. Will was the issue: God’s Will versus our will. Christ addressed their issue with an example of the same thing. The will must DIE.

In Gethsemane, Jesus had to bow His will to the Will of the Father. He didn’t want to drink the cup. “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will… My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done” (Matthew 12:39, 42). And when Jesus submitted His will to the Will of the Father, He was swallowed up into death. This was the Will of the Father.

God’s Control of Jonah

Jonah, too, had a dealing with God’s will. He refused to go where the Father sent him. But God arranged his surrender to be enacted inside a fish. Jonah was also swallowed up into death. Both Jonah and Jesus had to face down their wills over the Will of the Father.

Now the connection made with each of us is that we all have to choose to be swallowed up into death. We have to lose our lives and live for Another’s Will. The amazing miracle of Jonah is not only a sign for Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection but also ours. We each have to plunge beneath the surface of the waters and be subsumed into death—the death of our will.

The sign of Jonah is the sign of losing one’s life for the Will of the Father. It is being swallowed up into Another’s being to experience that other One’s Life. The whale is our passage from our own willful existence into Christ’s glorious Life.

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    • Alex

      This is so timely. Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
      Staying in HIS will is staying with the Shepherd. And when I stray or get discouraged and wander, His staff pulls me back, oh so gently.
      Today, your message is the staff. Thank you ?.

      • So glad it spoke to you Alex! I love this revelation. BIG Love to you!

    • Sandy

      So God will have His way (our death) with us, even when we are disobedient (not just obedient) – if we are faithful…
      I always get so bothered by my own (and others) mistakes, thinking that that is the problem… But it actually isn’t.
      Understanding God’s math, that death is life and life is death, is impossible to comprehend…and scary… But He takes care of that too.
      No matter what – God is in charge! And that really gets me back in place!
      Love you too John! You are a rich blessing!

      • I’ve struggled intensely about my mistakes (and the mistakes of others). I can be a bit of a perfectionist sometimes. But what I have learned and wrote in the Sovereign Touch, is God is able to not only use my fumblings but also bring His perfect will out of them to get me in just the right place.
        Thank you for you!

    • LeAnn

      Just when I need a word, just when I can’t seem to put into words what is happening, God explains it to me. This time, through you and this blog, John. Giving up my own life so that Christ can live in me is momentous! Thank you for being obedient to Christ and leading us in this.

      • I am currently working with Jennifer to produce my new book The Great Exchange. while reading it this morning your statement comes forth loud and clear. I am working on the section about effort and work.

        I really can’t wait until it is done. I feel it is going to be really liberating to the readers. Thank you for coming back and expressing your thanks. Love you LeAnn!

    • Helen

      When i first read this, i wept in worship. He is All. You can’t live in the belly of a whale…life and death are in the balance. It is stark. “This is the only way to get clear of self-will.” “on my personal cross.” Oh what He has done, to swallow is into Another’s Will and Life. His Sovereignty is the most amazing Love. Where mercy is received, it can flow. Thank you John for the beautifully clear insights in all of the Jonah posts. They’ve made ‘God-Sense’ of the turmoil within and without. We are lost into Another. And can i say, we are amazed at how He Lives!

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