Summary: This is the 1st sermon in the series "When God Says..."
Sunday Morning October 25, 2009
Bel Aire Baptist Church
Series: When God Says… [#1]
Ever dealt with a child that when you tell them to do something they can come up with a million reasons why they shouldn’t have to? I can’t tell you how many times I have told a child to do something and immediately they just start pointing out why they won’t and my response usually is a loud, “Do it”.
There are times in our lives that God is telling us, “Do it”.
Jonah was told to go warn Nineveh that if they didn’t turn from their evil ways that God was going to destroy them. Obviously Jonah wasn’t real excited about going to Nineveh, but why? Nineveh was the capital of Assyria and the Assyrian nation was the greatest enemy of Israel at that time. The Assyrians were known for doing things like beheading their enemy and putting their heads on sticks and parading them around. They were known for running poles through their enemy’s body and burning them for all to see.
We are going to quickly see that sometimes God doesn’t really care what we think. God is in charge and His plan is going to happen either way. We can either be obedient and happy or disobedient and miserable. Even if you decide not to do what God is calling you to do; He will still get it done.
We need to see some facts about when God calls us to do something.
When God calls…
1. He may ask you to do things you don’t want to do.
Obviously, Jonah didn’t want to go preach to his enemy. So what is it that God is asking you to do that seems unreasonable? Do you believe that God knows best? If you say yes, then why is it that sometimes it seems that He is out to get you?
When God calls…
2. You can choose to go the wrong direction.
For Jonah, his escape was via boat. God always lets us choose, but don’t forget that there are consequences to our decisions. If you don’t want to do it God’s way, then fine; but there is a price to pay for your decision. Please notice that anytime you do it differently than God says that you are getting further and further away.
When God calls…
3. If you run, He may send a storm to get your attention.
Jonah’s disobedience brought storm to the entire ship. In fact, if you continue to read you will find that the pagan sailors were terrified and began to cry out to their personal gods. That didn’t work so they began to lighten the ship by throwing cargo overboard. That didn’t work so they went and woke up Jonah so that he could pray to his God. Obviously, Jonah didn’t just start praying, so the sailors cast lots to find out who was responsible for the storm and guess who won- Jonah.
Please get this fact: Jonah knew why he was going through this storm. Jonah knew that it was his fault. Not all storms that we go through are because of sin; but some of them are. Often times we want to sleep through the storm so that we can just not deal with it; but it won’t stop the storm. Avoidance of the storm will not remove it.
We also need to remember that other people have to do deal with our storms too. This didn’t just affect Jonah and your storms won’t just affect you.