Summary: Running From God
Intro: years ago I felt the call of God on my life at 17, but for a number of years I ran from the call of God. Tonight, there could be those here that are running from God’s call or you may be dealing with someone on the run. I would like to give you some sure signs from the book of Jonah to identity someone on the run.
Running From The Call of God
We all know this story: Jonah is called to preach to Ninevah the message of repentance, but instead he takes a ship to Tarshish. In this story we see all the classic signs of someone running from God. Tonight, we will look at these to help those who are on the run or those who are dealing with someone on the run.
1. The Word of the Lord came to Jonah—v.1 one of the first signs that someone is on the run is when they talk about what God use to do in their lives.
a. God is a right now God, and if He is only a historical figure in someone’s life, they may be running from God.
b. When talents are buried, when gifts are left unused, these are signs of running from God.
c. when someone has an unsettled spirit—never satisfied, always on the move, looking here and there, these are signs of running from the call of God.
2. From the presence of the Lord—v. 3 the next sign that someone is living life on the run is an inconsistency to church, or prayer or any other spiritual event.
a. avoidance- the thought is: if I avoid spiritual encounter, it will ease the guilt of disobedience to the call of God on my life.
b. Tarshish—I have met people who live in Tarshish, it is a place where they will not be confronted with their lack of spiritual zeal. There are a lot of people who have been used mightily in the gifts of God, that now go to churches where the manifestations of the Spirit aren’t allowed to flow.
c. Tarshish isn’t necessarily a bad place, it is just the wrong place
3. Mighty tempest—v.4—the next sign of running from the call of God is that supernaturally things start going wrong. Surely these seaman wouldn’t have headed out that day if they knew there was a great storm coming, God brings unusual things into your life, storms out of nowhere when you are running from the call.
4. Your Run affects others—6—here is another sign of running from the call of God, your sin begins to affect others around you. Others begin to suffer the consequences of your run from God.
These men on the ship with Jonah were about to go down with him.
5. Others sense that you are on the run—v.10 b
another amazing thing that happens when you run from God, God speaks to you through other people. Other people will discern your life on the run, it is something you cannot hide.
They knew he was running from the call of God.
Many times God speaks through the unsaved or lost—sometimes people say things like, aren’t you suppose to be a preacher or something, or what are you doing here.
6. In time you get cast overboard v.15—if you don’t respond to the call of God, it won’t be long before you get cast overboard. Many times people find themselves hitting bottom when they live in disobedience.
Whom God loves he chastens, many times God has to bring someone down before he can lift someone up.
7. You get swallowed up—17---God allows supernatural things to happen in your life to get you back on track. It is amazing how many people that are away from God, still get supernatural revelation, or provisions, because God’s mercy and hand is still on their lives.
8. God keeps on calling—3:1- you can run but you can never hide. The gifts and callings of God are without repentance. God will never uncall you, God will never go back on His Word over you, and on the day you come back to God, the call will be as sure and as fresh as ever.
Close: years ago in a revival service at Evangel Temple a man stood up and told how at a young age he felt the call to ministry. But his family own a successful business and his dad wanted him to take over that business, which he did. He said, even though I am a successful businessman in Montgomery, I am one of the most miserable men alive, because God won’t uncall me. Tonight, obey God’s call, obey God’s voice, and go dig up that buried talent and use it for God.