Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Costly Decision to Run From God


Scripture: Jonah 1:1-17

 There are 2 kinds of people who 
run away from God!
a.    Unbelievers
b.    Believers

There are usually 2 basic reasons why people run away from God!
a. they think God will control them
b.or its going to cost them too much.

People who run from God, love His blessings and provisions
 but obedience and bearing a cross are too much to ask!

Introduction: Anytime that we choose to disobey the Lord's specific instructions to us, we are running from Him. The story of Jonah illustrates this example perfectly.
  What can we learn from the story of Jonah? 
  The Lord does not withdraw His command simply because we are unwilling to obey it.
When the Lord speaks directly to our hearts to do something, we should quickly obey for the simple reason....
It is impossible to run from God successfully. 
Jonah took a ship "to flee to Tarshish and from the presence of the LORD" (Jonah 1:3). 
When God sent a fierce storm that threatened to capsize the boat, the prophet told the sailors to cast him overboard if they wanted to survive. Apparently, he was willing to die rather  than obey God (v. 12). Only after Jonah found himself in the belly of "a great fish" was he willing to obey the Lord (Jonah 2:1-9).
Running from God will never make your life easier ... it will only add additional heartache to it ... God is merciful but the trip back might be rougher than you hoped for!

 How do people today attempt to run from God? 
They busy themselves till they have NO time for God.
 And, they ignore wise counsel. (The best people/friends you could ever have in your life are ones who push you to God!  You cannot disobey God without
 it costing you in some way.
God will always speak to people…
even if they choose to not listen!

 Running from the Lord results in painful circumstances. 
The greater the call on your life, the more guilt you will feel when you choose to rebel. Jonah felt so uncomfortable that he was willing to die. He told the sailors, "Throw me into the sea" (Jonah 1:12).
Jonah may have thought that if he could run from the very place that God called him, that he would not hear the command to go anymore. That’s why some people will not come to church. It was at that very altar that God called them to some type of service and they will not return to that place!

When you run from God, your disobedience 
will bring pain and loss to others as well. 
Jonah's rebellion cost the sailors their cargo and, 
therefore, their profit from the voyage. He also endangered their lives. We like to think that sin is a private matter 
and no one will be hurt by our disobedience. 
But when we rebel against the Lord, there is always a price.

You should be eternally thankful, IF the Lord offers you another opportunity to obey Him! After the sea creature deposited Jonah on land, the prophet traveled to Nineveh and preached to the people. They responded to the divine warning and turned from their evil ways (Jonah 3:1-5).
The Lord isn't looking for perfect men and women. Stop telling yourself and others that God doesn’t want you!

Oddly enough, Jonah falls asleep in the bottom of the boat! How in the world could he sleep at a time like that? Because he does what people do when they run from God….they turn off their consciences.

Sometimes we are running away because 
we are afraid God just might do 
something wonderful for our lives but WE AREN’T READY TO GIVE UP OUR SELFISH LIFESTYLES!

In reality it is hard to run away from a God because HE is everywhere ... even when you're running away from Him you are sure to run into Him!  

While you might get some satisfaction out of running away, at least temporarily, just remember the return trip might be more uncomfortable than you would like to have!

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