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.