Restore Mtown

Prodigal: What’s Your Why?

May 22, 2019

10 years ago Simon Sinek shared a 15-minute talk in a regional TED talk, that would go on to be viewed on Youtube 20 million times. Earned him a multi-book deal and created millions of dollars in income for himself.

The talk “How Great Leaders Inspire Action”…

What’s your why?

  • Why > What
  • Purpose > Practice

Jonah 4 1 This change of plans greatly upset Jonah, and he became very angry. 2 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. 3 Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
4 The Lord replied, “Is it right for you to be angry about this?”
5 Then Jonah went out to the east side of the city and made a shelter to sit under as he waited to see what would happen to the city. 6 And the Lord God arranged for a leafy plant to grow there, and soon it spread its broad leaves over Jonah’s head, shading him from the sun. This eased his discomfort, and Jonah was very grateful for the plant.
7 But God also arranged for a worm! The next morning at dawn the worm ate through the stem of the plant so that it withered away. 8 And as the sun grew hot, God arranged for a scorching east wind to blow on Jonah. The sun beat down on his head until he grew faint and wished to die. “Death is certainly better than living like this!” he exclaimed.
9 Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry because the plant died?”
“Yes,” Jonah retorted, “even angry enough to die!”
10 Then the Lord said, “You feel sorry about the plant, though you did nothing to put it there. It came quickly and died quickly. 11 But Nineveh has more than 120,000 people living in spiritual darkness, not to mention all the animals. Shouldn’t I feel sorry for such a great city?”

Jonah’s “why” is revenge - God’s “why” is restoration

We see the immaturity of Jonah on full display:

  • Change of plans greatly upset Jonah, - Spiritual Temper Tantrum
  • Jonah said mean things using nice words (Systematic Theology 101 Class)
  • Jonah shrinks when God questions or challenges him.
  • Jonah’s disobedience (initially it was with his feet, later it was his heart) opened the door for Satan to move (Satan is like a lion crouching at the door)
  • God finishes Jonah putting up a mirror to Jonah and his motives. Selfish Motives of Jonah (Plant - brought shade) vs Selfless motive of God (120k people of Ninevah)

“The last act is the greatest treason. To do the right deed for the wrong reason.” - TS Eliot “Murder in the Cathedral”

The sinful heart’s “why” is revenge (God is your Hitman) The prodigal heart’s “why” is restoration (God is the Healer)

Am I Jonah? “God has my head & hands, but not my heart”

Jonah reveals 4 heart motives that drive towards revenge and away from restoration:

  1. Salary - “Grace is my paycheck for my good works.”
  2. Selfish - “Grace is for Me and Not We.”
  3. Segregated “If you won’t destroy them, destroy me”
  4. Shifty “Hey Jonah, I’m talking to YOU!”

Ultimately it’s a story about a Prodigal God…
Prodigal: Extravagant Reckless

“Victory begins with the name of Jesus on your lips; but it will not be consummated until the nature of Jesus is in your heart.” Francis Frangipane - “3 Battlegrounds”