Summary: How the lack of answering God’s call can effect more than yourself, and it challenges to answer the call.
The Spirit of Jonah
The spirit of Jonah is vexing today’s church. There are occurrences in this short event in the life of Jonah that portrays a very pro-longed problem in the church, problems that undermine the very reason for the existence of the church. The spirit of Jonah will cause you to turn away from the orders sent down from God. The spirit of Jonah will cause you to lose sight of who you used to be. Blinded to your past, blinded of where you came from, and blinded to the wonderful grace of God that was freely given to you.
In the story of Jonah, as we recall this event, begins will a commission from the Lord. The Lord tells Jonah to “Go”. The Lord tells Jonah to “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me”. Yet Jonah flees from the call of God. Churches today, due to this spirit of Jonah, can’t find anyone to teach Sunday school, they can’t find anyone to take time with the youth, and the church can’t find anyone to fulfill the needs of the church. The call has gone out from God, yet no one is answering. The spirit of Jonah is gripping our hearts and dulling ears to desensitize us to the call from the very throne of God. I believe with all that is within me that when there is a need in the church God has a solution. When there is a position to be filled, God has a man, woman, boy, or girl for the job. I stand before you today a man that will not beg and plead for anyone to fulfill duties in the church. There are to many in churches today that are in position because they have been forced into duty. I am not going to come knocking on your door, and come begging on my knees for you to perform a task. I am looking for the one that God has laid His mighty hand upon and said “I am placing you here to do this for me.” I pray to God that people that are called of God would once more stand and say, “God has ordained me for a purpose, and I will perform the task to the best of my ability with the help of God.” There are way too many good people in the wrong positions in churches today. Due to the fact that they are in a position that God did not place them in, they do less than a mediocre job. They do not fail because they did not try; they fail because they were not anointed for the job. What happened to the day when the church prayed for direction in decisions to be made? What happened to the day when the church cried out to God for divine intervention in choosing the leaders of the church? God help us that we have gotten to the point we do not need God until we want Him to bless us, heal us, save us, or deliver us. Have we lost sight of just exactly who the church belongs to? The church belongs to God “upon this rock I build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”.
The church today is in a distressful condition. The spirit of Jonah has subtly crept in unnoticed and is causing a storm. Everyone is looking for the problem, but it is not a problem that you can see. It is not a problem that you can put your finger on. It is a problem that lies in the hearts of individuals. Jonah slipped onto the boat and the storms that were being caused due to his lack of obedience was threatening the lives of everyone on the boat. The boat was almost to the point of being broken all because Jonah was ignoring the call of God to “Go”. Has God given you direction, has He called you for a purpose, is your failure to fulfill your ordained purpose causing storms within the church.
When we fail to answer God’s call we are not only jeopardizing our own well being, but we are threatening the lives of others. We hinder all that God could and would do in the church. Jonah by ignoring the call on his life first threatened the ones on the boat, but don’t forget the ones that he was commissioned to carry God’s message to. Who would God reach through you, how many lives could He change if you would only heed the call?