Summary: Have you discovered the calling that God has for your life? Do you know what it is that He wants you to do for Him? If you do know what He has called you to do are you doing it or avoiding it?
Don't be like Jonah, don't run away, follow your calling.
We are continuing in our series Discovering Your Destiny and this week we are considering how ‘God Prepares and Positions us’
God has a plan for each of our lives, we often quote Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
God has plans for you and I. God also has a calling for each and every one of us to fulfil in our lives so that we can bring honour and glory to Him.
Have you discovered the calling that God has for your life?
Do you know what it is that He wants you to do for Him?
If you do know what He has called you to do are you doing it or avoiding it?
In the Bible there are examples of people who had a calling placed on their lives and chose to accept that call.
There are also examples of those who chose to ignore what God had called them to do. Perhaps one of the best examples of this is the prophet Jonah.
Jonah is often described as a wayward prophet, he wanted nothing to do with God’s mercy for the people of Nineveh.
The life of Jonah illustrates for us how important it is to respond to God’s call on our lives.
In The Old Testament, the book of Jonah tells us how the “word of the LORD” came to Jonah.
Jonah was a Hebrew prophet who lived during the reign of King Jeroboam II around 793 to 753 BC. God told Jonah to go to the foreign city of Nineveh and proclaim to the people their need to repent from their sins and turn to God.
Nineveh stood on the eastern bank of the Tigris River in what is modern-day Mosul, Iraq. Nineveh was the capital city of the Assyrian empire, and the Assyrians threatened the existence of Jonah’s nation.
Jonah was more inclined to see the people of Nineveh destroyed because of their sin and wickedness than tell them how they could be saved.
Rather than do what God had called Jonah to do, he heads to Joppa to find a boat to take him in the opposite direction, away from Nineveh. He boards a boat to Tarshish, somewhere in modern day Spain. Jonah tried hard to avoid what God wanted him to do, so hard that he is willing to head to the end of the known world.
The truth is we can’t run away or hide from God.
God sent a storm to intercept Jonah. A storm so violent it threatened to break the boat apart.
Fearing for their lives, the sailors panicked and began throwing their cargo into the sea.
Jonah knew exactly what had caused the storm to come into his life.
Jonah knew it was his actions which were causing a major problem for the other people around him.
He was forced to admit to everyone on the boat, “It is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.”
There is a lesson for us here: If we choose our own way instead of God’s way, then we need to understand that our actions or inactions can have consequences for us and those around us.
Jonah had chosen disobedience instead of willingly following the path and the plan God had called him to follow.
Jonah had been unwilling to give God first place in his life, Jonah had been unwilling to surrender to God’s will for his life.
Instead of following God’s calling on his life, Jonah had tried to turn his back on God and run in the opposite direction.
Are you running from God’s call on your own life?
All of us have probably chosen to run from something in our own lives. It could have been a good choice or a bad choice at the time, we could have turned away from something that would have been good for us or we could have chosen to turn away from something that would have been harmful to us.
Have you turned your back on God and said “I am going to do this my way not yours.”?
Even though you know what it is God wants you to do, are you doing what Jonah tried to do?
Have you chosen to run in the opposite direction of where God actually wants you to be?
Somewhere deep in his heart, Jonah knew that others should not suffer because of his choice to disobey God’s call on his life. So Jonah told the sailors to throw him into the sea, reluctantly they do as Jonah requests and the storm stops. The Bible tells us that when the sailors saw this miracle, they worshiped the true God. Good for the sailors, not so good for Jonah.