Jonah 1:1-3 Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. But Jonah rose up TO FLEE unto Tarshish FROM the presence of the Lord, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so HE PAID THE FARE thereof, and went DOWN into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.
To surrender to the will of God is to surrender to the expectations of God.
I want to take the time to relay a message that blessed me, because I believe there are many today who desire the will of God, but when faced with what could seem undesirable in order to meet God’s expectations, we like Jonah are fleeing.
Jonah was no fool to knowing the nature of God. As a matter of fact he was commissioned by God to go to Nineveh as a Prophet and bring a word of correction, a word of repentance to that pagan nation. Knowing that God would forgive the very people who persecuted the Jews, IF they indeed repented, Jonah wanted no part in bringing about their deliverance from the wrath of God. So Jonah leaves in the opposite direction, if anything to go much further away from where he was in Tarshish rather than going to the much closer destination God had told him to go to.
Jonah is a prophet, he was well aware that he could not run from God, without God knowing and being where Jonah was at. So Jonah was not running from God, but rather running from the EXPECTATION of God, henceforth he fled from THE PRESENCE of the Lord!
Where the will of God is, THAT is where His presence is at!
Too many people have no problem going to church, but when they hear the word of The Lord spoken over them and they find themselves not desiring it, they leave church all together! They will leave anything and everything that is a reminder or indication of the WILL of God for their life!
Not only does Jonah go 2,000 plus miles opposite from what would have been 500 plus miles in the other direction, but Jonah finds a ship and JONAH PAYS THE FARE! In other words, Jonah’s rebellion to the expectation of God COST HIM!
When you are obedient to the will of God for your life, and move on with what God has spoken over you, God will take care of the fare, He takes care of the expenses, He provides a way where it seemed like there is no way, it’s on His tab, not yours!
Folks, the prices is too costly to flee from the will of God over your life! It will cost you money, it will cost you peace, it will cost you joy, it will cause you a marriage, it will cost you harmony, it will cost you relationships, it will cost you EVERYTHING, because when you try to go about things YOUR WAY, then you will have to come up with YOUR WAY TO PAY for it on your own!
Actually when hearing some this word over the radio, I was driving in my company’s car coming from a job related errand. I didn’t have to pay for gas, I didn’t have to worry about the miles I am putting on the vehicle for my short trip, as a matter of fact the car was BRAND NEW compared to my vehicle and EVERYTHING was taken care of because I was going about the company’s business!
Jonah had to pick up the tab, not God, because Jonah was not about His Father’s business! Today in America there is a false notion of how God wants to bless you financially, but the fact is He will not bestow favor if you are deliberately running from Him! God wants to bless above and beyond, but He wants you to come into His expectations!
The Bible says that AFTER Jonah paid the fare, he went DOWN into the ship. This is to say that when you are not obeying the calling of God on your life, there is no other place you go but DOWN! You think you are A-OKAY in the sight of God, but you don’t realize that you are absent from His favor and everything in life is sinking DOWN, DOWN, DOWN!
But when you set your face to hear and obey God, as John did when writing the book of Revelation, you will always hear the invitation from God saying, “Come Up Higher!” (Rev. 4:1, 11:12)
Jonah 1:4-5 But the Lord sent out (hurled out) a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.
Jonah says “I’m Running!” and God says, “I’m Hurling!” Jonah says, “I’m hiding”, God says, “I’ll Find you!”
The Bible says in Proverbs 3:12 For whom the LORD LOVES he corrects; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
Hebrews 12:6 says For whom the Lord LOVES he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. As the minister Tony Evans put it, He skins alive those he loves! God will spank you, break you, discipline you, NOT out of His wrath, but out of love because He doesn’t want to see you go down and out, but HIGHER and INTO the greater joys that only obedience affords, FREE of Charge! He will spank out the darkness, break off the strongholds and discipline righteousness into you. The only thing it will cost in order to come into the fulfillment of His plans for your life that bring about that expected and good result, is both the complete surrender of your will and attitude! If you believe to be on the run from God and are not experiencing the chastening of The Lord, then apparently you are someone elses’ child. God CHASTENS, He CORRECTS every son or daughter!
Because of Jonah’s rebellious spirit being aboard that ship, he brought about the spirit of fear to all the other people and got them crying out to their false gods like chickens with their heads cut off!
I believe we deal with a nation who is stuck in being the influential factor of enabling all religions to cry out to their false gods, all because majority of The Church in America is fleeing in the opposite direction, afraid to mentioned the words “sin” or “repentance”, thus dismantling themselves away from the Prophetic role the Church has within the nation! Hencefoth God allows storms to come to the nation in every which way and the spirit of fear to come upon our shores, making people to doubt everything. BUT IF THE CHURCH BE THE CHURCH, then we would see God paving the way of blessing and deliverance again upon America!
The American Church has hid in the ship of entertainment and big business, while the economy takes on such great debt that was unimaginable! I’m not saying it is wrong to be involved in the market place, by no means is that what’s being said…but when we try to CONFORM into the likeness of worldliness, thinking we must be of the world in order to win it, tisk, tisk, then we are no different than Jonah, going DOWN in the ship and everything else around it.
In order to get a nation to revert back to the place of deliverance and favor, it all begins with you Christian solider, to not flee from the expectations of God over your life! Don’t buck up from the chastening of The Lord, for He is only as a Potter to the clay, looking to bring new shape and conformity into your life, so that you as a chosen vessel can be fit for honorable use to meet the need you would called and created to meet!
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
Don’t sacrifice your life, your cross, your spouse, your family, your finances, and your time when God is looking to open up the way of provision as you submit to His vision and expectation for you and a people through you!