Jonah 1:2-4 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went on board, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord. But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up.
God will not be ignored! Jonah’s example reminds us that God can create very uncomfortable and unforgettable circumstances around us if we ignore his call. One of the key things that brought me to a place of submission to God’s call on my life was a healthy fear of avoiding uncomfortable circumstances if I tried to run away from his call.
Never misjudge God’s capacity to get your attention. Jonah had to endure three miserable days and nights in the belly of a fish before he came to his senses and accepted his assignment. Never think that God will ignore tiny acts of defiance and disobedience. Don’t forget your call is bigger than you. Your act of rebellion today could impact thousands of other people’s lives tomorrow. When one person is out of the will of God, everyone around that person has to pay the price for it. Take for example Achan who ignored the command of God and stole some of the treasures of Jericho for himself. As a result Israel lost their next battle at Ai and incurred the judgement of God.
Don’t ignore God’s call on your life and don’t invite people on the journey that God hasn’t invited. When you get the wrong people out of your life, the wrong things stop happening. Mike Murdock once said, “The waves of yesterdays disobedience will splash on the shores of today.” Walking in contradiction to God’s call will bring about painful experiences.
If you are experiencing pain due to disobedience, remember, pain is corrective. Pain forces you to look to God’s Word for answers. Pain forces you to lean on God’s arm instead of man’s. Pain forces you to learn where you went astray. Pain forces you to long for his presence and healing. Pain forces you to listen for changes in God’s instructions to you. Don’t rebel against your call and you can avoid ‘some’ unnecessary pain altogether.