Unmanageable God (Jonah Week 6)

By September 13, 2010Jonah

In the sixth and final week of Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer we are hit with possibly the hardest idea for a Christian to absorb, and that is our behavior when things do not go as we had hoped or planned. As Priscilla noted, we plan things out and just ask God for His blessing on it. We feel that what we want to do for God should be good enough. One of the main reasons for this is personal comfort. We do not like to do things that make us uncomfortable, so we seek out things that are within that realm, even though they may not be what God has called us to do. When things do not go our way, we get angry and throw a fit.   God often likes to get us out of our box because then, His glory can really be seen. When we do things that are beyond us, it is not us; it’s God. We need to stop throwing fits and be happy that He has chosen lowly, sinful to use in this world for His plan and His glory.

Things are going to happen in life that we do not like. We may hurt, or we may feel like we are missing out. We may never know this side of Heaven as to why God allows some of these things to occur. We can only cry out to Him and trust that He has our best interests at heart, because He really does. God loves you, and wants you to be happy. The thing is, He is the one that knows what will truly be best for us in the end. We just need to trust His divine plan. No matter what happens, God is still on the throne. He always has been, and always will be. I loved this quote from Priscilla concerning the ending of her prayers, “Do what I’ve asked you to do, or do something better.” I pray that becomes your heart and prayer as well. Trust God in all things, not just the things you want. He will work all things for His good (Romans 8:28). He will do grand things with a woman yielded to God.

Prayer Requests

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Priscilla Shirer Quotes

  • You can’t play games with God and expect to win.
  • The only way we can be slow to anger is if God’s Spirit is compelling us in that direction.
  • Be willing to agree with God about what you find hiding in your heart.
  • Like the eye of a storm, peace prevails in God’s presence, even when chaos ensues all around.

This Week’s Scripture Verses-NASB

If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Galatians 5:25

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! Romans 11:33

Final Lesson

  • Listen to the Session Seven Audio (optional)
  • Listen to the Session Seven Video (optional)

Group Discussion- Answer one question or as many as you like

  1. What marks the difference between having head knowledge of God and heart knowledge of God? (page 136)
  2. If you were sharing your own Jonah story of your life, what represents the plant God placed in your life? (page 139) Has God ever taken away something you enjoyed in your life? (page 143)
  3. Why is it important to see our own needs in the lives of those we are helping? (page 141)
  4. Why do you think the enemy tries to disguise hardship as a punishment from God? (page 144)
  5. Share your favorite lesson learned from this study.

Laying Down My Life,


Author WBC

Find online bible studies for women at the Womens Bible Cafe. It's also a place where you can meet other Christian women from around the world and fellowship together. If you're unable to a attend a church small group bible study then the Bible Study Cafe is just right for you! Look under "Current Studies" to see what we're reading. Bring your book and let's study the Word together.

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Join the discussion 11 Comments

  • Joeanna says:

    Heart Knowledge og God to I have learned is stopping and making sure what I am doing is what God wants for my life.

    2- The Plant in my life at times are friendships that may enjoy but God knew they were not good for me. Accomplishments are also Plants I enjoyed

    3-We can comfort others, when we have been thru what they are going thru.

    4- Satan loves too keep us in the pit of guilt, and loves if we run from God because we don’t want to face him because we feel punished.

    5- my favorite lesson:: He loves us unconditionally even when we act like Jonah.

  • Jennifer Deffendall says:

    5. I totality enjoyed all of the lessons. I am thinking all the lessons from this bible study because it reminds us that no matter what he is here for us. In addition, I purchased all the audios and enjoyed listening to them. In addition, second chances are good, he knows are needs, and listen to us.

  • Carin says:

    1. I have recently experience the “head to heart”. I notice the way I respond and ask myself if it is from my heart or my head? Like slow to anger that is from my heart as most of the time it come from head to my mouth.

    2. The plant provide physical comfort. The days the construction industry was booming & we had no financial issues (where as today we do). My plant recently is when God shows up at the last final minute and in some manner provides.

    3. Empathy- Knowing what it feels like. I feel like God has laid on my heart to be more giving financially to people in need. When the money days were good I told my husband “we don’t have the extra money”. I look back and I think what a lie! If we made that money now I believe things would be different.

    4. The enemy sees an opportunity and knows we are vulnerable.

    5. I loved Week 5. Jonah was given a second chance. It also hit me with Priscilla’s quote of “Evangelism is not something to do; it is a way to live”.

    The “head to heart” was an amazing experience for me-
    John 5:39-40 -You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

  • Judee Baysinger says:

    1. You can something in your head and never do a thing about it. Kind of like people who smoke (please, nothing personal is intended here), they know it’s bad for them, they just don’t do anything about it. If you know something in your heart, you are a lot more likely to act on it. Smoking is a very hard thing to quite, but once you convince yourself it is wrong, you find the strength to throw them anyway. Knowing God is good but loving God and having Him in your heart is much more productive.
    Thank all of you for taking part in this study. It was an eye-opener for sure.

  • Sharon says:

    My favorite lesson learned from this study has been said but it is true for me as well. God is a God of second chances and I most assuredly am one who in my life has needed a second chance. God graciously bestowed that gift to me and it changed my life. I have come to know His plan for me and this study really in the end verified that that is indeed what I am here for at this stage in life. Notice I mentioned stage for I do not know what the next chapter will bring but I won’t forget the things I have learned and will remember to be open to God’s heeding in the future.

    Thank you Shannon for leading this study!

  • Sue Schwendemann says:


    This is for you and all your hard work these past six weeks. Was good to have you around. Good luck in school this year. Many blessing to you. Thanks again.

  • Sue Schwendemann says:

    1. Heart knowledge is knowing that God lives inside of us, and showing us right from wrong…so we do not become too judgmental of the wrong other people do and we can help them find their way to the Lord. Head knowledge is people who do not know Christ and mock us and are way of living for the Lord.

    2. Has God ever taken something away you enjoyed in your life? Yes, my job at a nursing home….for unknown reasons…then my license to pass medications. I think back now He was paving the way for me to stay home with my ill husband. Every thing in His time and He has a reason.

    3. So we can help them if we had similar situations as them in our lives. Show them the love God has for them.

    4. So we feel sorry for ourselves and blame others for our troubles. Maybe God has not really forgiven us for our sins and He is just waiting on us to keep messing up…..so He can forgive us again?

    5. I loved week 3….misplaced priorities. Finding things I put first before Yahweh…..walking the dogs, helping Alec before I start my day with Him. I try to pray as I walk the dogs, focus on Him and a new day.

    Thanks again for doing this. I really enjoyed it. Can not wait to start Living Beyond!!!!!!

  • Lauren says:

    1. Attitude, obedience, submission,and actions… A Christian using head knowledge only can be very judgmental… as in “Well, they shouldn’t do that… that’s completely wrong”. A Christian with heart knowledge, with God living in their heart, will strive to help the person instead of judging.
    2. This one was a hard question. I think the plant represents Jonah’s comfort zone… even after he had obeyed God and was sulking, he resorted to caring about what he thought was important… his own comfort. The plant was covering him and making it easier to sit there and pout at God. So my plant is just my own self-absorption… my own attitude about myself. There have been times when my self-reliance has been cut down as quick as the worm cut down Jonah’s plant.
    3. it gives us empathy and helps us to better understand where they are coming from. in addition, it helps us to trust in God, because we realize that He is where our true strenght comes from.
    4. So we can roll around in self-pity and guilt. By viewing it as punishment, we accept that maybe God is wrong in loving us and forgiving us over and over again only to have us mess up.
    5. I loved week 5… looking at God’s purpose on pg. 145, and knowing that He knows what He has in store for us. Even though it is a hard lesson, God wants us out of our comfort zone so He can have the glory!

    Thanks again for this online forum. I have really enjoyed Jonah and I have seen a new perspective over the past few weeks. Looking forward to starting LIving Beyond!

  • Christine says:

    1. I’m starting the bible study at church called “How to Be More Than a Good Bible Study Girl” so the question is applicable. Heart knowledge of God is knowing inside myself that God is the center of my life, from the mundane to the exciting…He is always present and always involved.

    2. The plant was a luxury home we owned, a dream home. God took it away when the neighbor across the street sued me on a real estate transaction (he was a lawyer and lost the suit) and I no longer wanted to live there. We downsized and I quit my real estate job. One year later, the entire real estate market crashed. If we stayed in that home and I stayed with my job it would have been financial ruin for our family. God moved us.

    3. We need to see our own Nineveh in those we help, because it humbles us and removes and possibility or pride of domination.

    4. Why do you think the enemy tries to disguise hardship as a punishment from God? Because its to easy for the enemy to do. We frighten easily.

    5. My favorite lesson is God giving Jonah a second chance. We assume God is a yes/no man and a one chance God. When we blow it on the first chance (sin) we run away like prodigal daughters. Then it takes God years and years to woo us back. I’m thankful He never gives up on us.

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