6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: God reveals His mission through His Word, His Spirit, wise counsel, and His work in circumstances around you. (Principle 5 from MADE TO COUNT)

THEME: God reveals His mission through His Word, His Spirit, wise counsel, and His work in circumstances around you. (Principle 5 from MADE TO COUNT)

Introduction: Have you ever made a lousy decision?

As you’re laughing, you’re probably really thinking, “What do you mean?” A bad decision. “I’ve made more than I can recount!”

But just to make you feel better. Try these on for size.

· In 1955, Sam Phillips of Memphis, Tennessee sold to RCA Victor Records his exclusive contract for a relatively unknown singer and whose future he wasn’t quite sure. The name…ELVIS PRESLEY!

· 17 publishers turned down the book M*A*S*H that later went on to be a box-office hit movie as well as a very successful syndicated television show.

· In June of 1938, action comics introduced Superman. He was the creation of Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel who believed that some money in the pocket was more valuable than a comic character in a book and sold their rights to their publishers for $130.00. In the mid-1960’s General Motors launched its new compact Chevrolet Nova in Mexico. They could not understand why in the world such a well-designed and economical car didn’t sell…that was until they discovered that no va means “it doesn’t go” in Spanish.

We’ve all been there. And some bad decisions can be recovered from without a lot of difficulty or embarrassment. Others carry great costs.

But there’s one area we can’t afford to make a bad decision on and that’s what God wants to do in and through our lives – if we miss that one – we miss it all!

God has a mission for every one of our lives and He never wants to play hide-and-go-seek with us concerning His plan. He clearly wants to lay it out before us and then allow us the absolute sheer joy of joining in the ride of adventure with Him that will change our life forever. And He’s constantly working in multiple ways to show us His mission and direction so that we can join Him in what He’s doing to change the world around us. The choice of whether we jump on a ride of adventure, or run the other way at full speed comes down to the choices we make. No place better is this evidenced than the book of Jonah.

God used many of the same ways to reveal His mission to Jonah that He does to us today. Let’s take a look at how Jonah missed.

I. God Guides by His Word.

The Book of Jonah launches right into God’s direction for Jonah’s life mission, “The Word of the Lord came to Jonah, son of Amittai: ‘Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it because its wickedness has come up before me.’”

God has historically spoke His Word to those whom He calls to recall His will. And its intent is to give direction and guidance in life.

Have you ever wondered what the most unread book in America is? It’s not the Bible as you might guess but the car owner’s manual! Now the question comes, who in the world reads a car owner’s manual? Can you imagine a more boring read!?

But think about it. What’s the purpose of an owner’s manual? It is to (1) Help the vehicle operate at maximum effectiveness and (2) Avoid major breakdown. That’s exactly the purpose of God’s owner’s manual (His Word) for our life.

But when do you most often read the car owner’s manual? You got it, when you’re not operating effectively or you’ve experienced a breakdown. It’s all too often the same with God’s Word.

Yet the scripture is very clear that He gave His Word for our guidance in our mission. The 119th Psalm gives a prayer and a promise that the impact of God’s Word in our guidance…

“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.” (Psalm 119:18)

“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)

In addition, God in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 guarantees us that every single word of scripture comes from the very breath of God and is useful for four things in our life…

1. Teaching us how to walk in the calling and mission of God.

2. Rebuking us when we’re not walking there.

3. Correcting us and showing us how to get back to walking there.

4. Training us to obediently stay there once we’re on course.

And the result is that the person of God who does so will be ready for everything God brings their way.

Unfortunately, Jonah was convinced He knew better than God the mission for his life and how to fulfill it so rather than following God’s Word, he abandoned it and went the opposite direction.

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