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Summary: Obedience to God is a challenge to our faith when God asks us to do ANYTHING. Obedience to God is a challenge to our faith especially when God asks us to do what we think to be impossible... Finally Obedience is a challenge to our faith when God asks us

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Sermon Date: February 4, 2007

Sermon Text: Jonah 1:1-3 (NASB)

1 The word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, 2 "Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me." 3 But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

Jonah 1:1-3 (NASB)

INTRODUCTION:

She stood there frozen in time and terrified to move. The beautiful countryside around may have brought her peace at any other time, but now she was just terrified!

He had said that she could trust him and that he loved her more than anything else, and now she believed he had gone WAY too far… this was asking WAY too much!

Becky was standing on top of a pole and terrified to move and her dad was standing behind her at the foot of the pole. He was urging her to relax, lean back and fall and that she could trust him.

Becky had always known she could trust her dad, but there was something about this situation that was NOT allowing her to believe in him. What if he dropped her? Would she get hurt?

What if he was just kidding and let her fall so he could laugh at her? Was he really standing right behind her or had he left her… and even though she could hear his voice was he in a position to save her if she fell?

Becky believed her dad loved her, but she had all of these thoughts going thru her head when he urged her to trust him and just lean back and let go…

Have you ever been there in your walk with God? So often, as believers, God leads us to a point in our walk with Him when He speaks to our heart and He says to us… TRUST ME, lean back and let go! And so many times we find ourselves acting just like Jonah did here in our passage this morning…

Would you stand with me as we read the Holy, Infallible, Immutable, Inerrant, Word of God! I will be reading from Jonah 1:1-3 (NASB)

1 The word of the LORD came to Jonah the son of Amittai saying, 2 "Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me." 3 But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

Jonah 1:1-3 (NASB)

You may be seated…

Now when we look at this morning’s passage we can see that there was definitely something that challenged Jonah’s faith in God.

Jonah did not articulate WHY he ran but there are some implications in Scripture that can lead us to some pretty good reasons as to WHY Jonah did run… and why Jonah was not obedient to God’s call on his life.

This morning I want us to see 3 challenges to our faith when obedience is on the line! The first challenge we have is that our obedience is a challenge to our faith when…

1. WHEN GOD ASKS US TO DO ANYTHING!

Our flesh is weak and selfish and we want what WE want and rarely do we settle for doing it some other way. When I was in the Air Force I can remember this one young airman that came into our office. She was arrogant and pushy and she did not believe she had to listen the other airmen in the office.

Each month we had a workday where all the airmen were expected to get out and cut grass, weed around our building and other menial tasks.

She did not believe it was her duty to do these things and whenever you would approach her and ask her to do ANYTHING she would get upset and defensive and there were times when she would simply disappear when there was work to be done.

When we look at our passage this morning we can see that Jonah treated God like this… it really didn’t matter what God was asking Jonah to do, it seems as if Jonah did not want to do anything… and he wanted to disappear when God called him to go…

Jonah does not even question God, he simply gets up and runs away! How many people like that do you know?

Spiritually speaking I know many people who act just like that when God comes to them and asks them to do ANYTHING! They simply do NOT want to do anything… salvation is free and they want to live ‘in Christ’ with NO responsibilities or duties…so they choose to run away from any request made by God or by God’s people.

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