Tonight I want to talk to you about the importance of making right turns.
In 1938, a pilot by the name of Douglas Corrigan left Floyd Bennet Field in New York City to fly to Los Angeles, CA. A dense fog had settled in at the runway, but he decided to take off anyway. As he lifted off, he ended up taking a left turn instead of a right, veering east instead of west. He flew for 28 hours before he landed not in California, but in Dublin, Ireland. Forever afterward he was known in aeronautical history as Wrong Way Corrigan.
I can sympathize with Mr. Corrigan, canít you? Iíve made a few wrong turns in my time. I made one just the other day, missing the turn-off to my own home. One of these days when the price comes down, Iíll probably get me one of those GPS devices to keep on the right road.
But sometimes a wrong turn can be a little more serious, especially if itís not on a highway, but at a crossroads in your life. Many a person comes to a fork of decision, and makes a wrong turn instead of a right turn. They take the wrong road out of ignorance, or they turn the wrong way deliberately. But either way, one thing is for certain: the consequences of one wrong turn can change your life forever.
The Bible is Godís roadmap for how to make right turns. In His Word, God gives us directions so we can travel the straight and narrow road leading to life, instead of the broad way leading to death. He promises us not only a map, but a Guide.
Is 30:21 Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ďThis is the way, walk in it,Ē Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.
Jn 16:13 Öwhen He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truthÖ
At all of lifeís intersections, we have Godís Word and Godís spirit to help us make the right turns. I want us to travel down to an intersection tonight found in Jonah 3, where the Bible explains 3 right turns you and I canít afford to miss. Letís begin with the first turn in vs. 1-4.
Letís call this the right turn of obedience (v. 1-3a)
In the first 2 chapters of this book, Jonah takes some wrong turns and ends up in some serious trouble. When God calls him to preach revival in Nineveh, he runs in the opposite direction. When God sends a storm to chase him, he makes another wrong turn of stubbornness. Finally, in the belly of the great fish, Jonah has a change of heart and decides to go Godís way. But a change of heart is no good unless there is a change of behavior that goes with it.
As Jonah picks himself up off the sandy shore he reaches another fork in the road. Öthe word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying, ďArise, go to Nineveh, that great city and preach to it the message that I tell youÖ
God gives Jonah a 2nd chance to make a right turn. Can Jonah say no to God again? Iíve known peopleóyou probably have to-- who promise God all kinds of things when theyíre in a pinch, but when the storm passes, they go their own merry way.