Summary: 1 Turning away from God’s will is always a step down. 2 turn your back on God’s will & everyone around all around you is negatively impacted 3 God can still use you to accomplish His purposes because 4 He is the God of 2nd chances 5 We Are Called 2 go
5 Lessons from Jonah
What happens when you run away from your calling?
More than ½ of UK now claims to have no religion.
An entire nation that only a generation past claimed to be more than 90% Christian now largely has left the Faith.
In the US, ½ of all catholics have left the church at some point.
Of those some have joined another Christian church, and a small portion return to the Church, but most of those who have left claim to have no religion.
In the West, people of the Faith are running away from God.
This is nothing new.
Jonah, a prophet of God, ran away.
Jonah 1 “Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.”
Jonah ran away from the calling God placed on His life.
Jonah ran away from the LORD, and where did he go? He went down. Down to Joppa,
He went down into the ship.
On the ship he went down to the lowest part of the ship and then lay down to sleep.
During his prayer in chapter 2, he says we went down to the lowest parts of the earth. Down, down, down, down.
Any time you walk away from God’s will you are taking a step down.
Everyone around him was negatively impacted by his disobedience.
Jonah was the one who was disobedient to God’s calling on his life, but everyone around him was negatively impacted.
Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili Was born 18 December 1878 to a Georgian family. His father was a pastor and wanted his son to follow in his footsteps. Ioseb also wanted to serve in the ministry, and when he made a choice of college, he went to Bible college to prepare. But something happened in college. He turned away from God. He dropped out of college, and changed the direction of his life. He even changed his name. The old Georgian name Joseb he decided was too parochial, so he changed it to Joseph. And his family name wasn’t strong enough. He wanted a name that meant hard-something strong. So he changed his name to rock-in Slavic that’s Stalin. Joseph Stalin started out to obey the call God had placed on his life, but he turned his back on God and His calling on his life, and we all know the terrible consequences. More than 15 million of his own people Stalin had massacred.
When we turn our back on God & try to run away from His calling, we have a negative impact on everyone around us.
Jonah turned his back on God and His will,
That was clearly a step down.
& everyone around him was negatively impacted by his disobedience;
But that’s not the end of the story.
In his disobedience, God still used him.
Jonah 1:14 Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech thee, O LORD, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased thee.
15 So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging.
16 Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows . . . .
Jonah 4:5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:
8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.
9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.