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August 2, 2019 1:00 am
Have you ever been in a situation where you prayed for something so hard you wanted it so much. Although you have this in a feeling that says you not praying in accordance with the will of God. But you tried to ignore the divorce within you and your work hard toward that goal and you pray anyway, no matter how you feel in your spirit and and you basically hoping against hope that God is going to see it your way and he's going to answer your prayer at that might even you can convince God that will direction is the real direction that he should lead you to not what he wants you to do.
The psalmist said. Where can I go from your spirit, where can I flee from your presence. If I go up to the heavens that you are. If I make my bed in the death that you are the sad part is this Jonah knew this song but he didn't take it to heart many believers in the Lord Jesus Christ know this song and they know the word of God but they don't take it the heart, the truth about running away from the will of God in your life and the plan of God in your life. It's often organized so that by accident. It is often calculated is planned and organized and calculated, and that is why two of the saddest words in the book of Jonah. I found in chapter 1 verse three. What are these two sad words well verse three of chapter 1, but Jonah instead of being filled with gratitude and thanksgiving for God calling him to do something great for God, something mighty for God. The Bible said.
But Jonah, he went to Joppa which is in the wrong direction. To begin with and then he bought a ticket on a ship that was heading for Tarshish in the opposite direction from where none of the laws. Tarshish was in Spain Nineveh is a modern-day Iraq Jonah was going as far away from God as he could in the opposite direction.
He was going away from the will of God for him as far as he could.
And Jonah probably thought that he could get away with it for a while. He did, but listen to me Jonah's problem was not geographical.
The problems that never geographical. There are spiritual 11 some time ago. Somebody give Ms. I want to go across the world to speak the word of God in us that they mustn't have you ever gone across the street was start by going across the street to the problem is not just its virtual Tarshish for you and for me is that plays when you think that you can minister and you can serve what you want to be a headset place of your own choosing not just choosing. It's a place where you feel when you say the God God one place as good as another. God this place is where the action is. That's where I want to be God. Tarshish is that place in your life when you settle for what you want. It is a place in your life where you're comfortable and cozy and warm. It is a place where you have not been shaken out of your apathetic it's a place you've not been challenged.
It's a place where you're not risking anything for God. That's a Tarshish in your life. It is a place in your life and in my life where you would rather be popular than being obedient ambassador of the King of Kings. It is a place that you want to be, not what God wants you to be. If this is where you are today. The new bought the ticket anew on the ship.
Tarshish bought a Mediterranean cruise, and I want to help you get off. Listen carefully. Many people today are on the run.
They don't want to face a difficult situation. They don't want to face a difficult problem so they run.
They face a problem in marriage and who doesn't. They run they face a problem on the job and who doesn't.
They run they face a problem in ministry or in serving as graduates who do they run they run they run they run. Why because Tarshish looks easy. Tarshish looks attractive.
Tarshish looks inviting Tarshish looks appealing, and always does. I mean you got the brochure in the mail and you open the brochure and a beautiful picture of the blue waters of the Mediterranean and the sand just like sugar and said, man. I can't wait to go there. He can't wait to get on that ship, Jonah's fleeting from God's call in his life was calculated. It wasn't back there was calculated. He found a ship.
The Bible said he found the ship. Isn't that wonderful Jesus found the ship even have to look very hard in your site isn't that sweet of the Lord to provide me with a ship that's really wonderful isn't that just coincidence that going around want to go isn't that providential isn't that fortuitous, like the guy was trying to make the baskets shot.
They convince themselves that God surely must have Plan B and I want to be on the Plan B because I can't keep up with plan a listen and read my lips.
God does not have Plan B known as plan a and you either get on board will get off that your choice. Why else would there ship just waiting for him and his calling rights on the dock there and drop a note was heading in the direction exactly what you want to go.
Why would that ship the going exactly in the direction God is good as me all yes I've been there, you can understand that right when you rationalize everything in your head and say wow this must be of God, you know you're running away from the golf but things are working out must be all right.
Surely God doesn't want me to go where I don't want to go higher. People many times through the years.
God wants me to be a half-day beloved, listen to me.
God wants you to be holy.
Surely God does not want me to witness for him in a potentially hostile situation and the environment surely does not want me to take a stand for him and jeopardize that lucrative business deal that I've been working on. Surely he does not want me to stand out like a soft phone in the workplace.
Surely God does not want me to be a killjoy with my friends at school shortly. I can settle for Plan B. God is going accommodate to me surely not. And definitely not them. Now the problem is running away from the will of God and being obedient to the word of God feels good in the beginning it really does. The Bible said, sin is pleasurable for a moment what people think is your sexual sins. All sins. Disobedience feels good in the beginning but then you have not been able to see that storm that's on the horizon. Only God could see that storm because the Bible said he sent it to several weeks away. Beloved, make no mistake about it, there is a whole lot off costs to you and to me for running away from the word of God and the will of God and obedient to God than just the price of the ticket to Tarshish, there's a whole lot of costs that you have not seen yet but you know the darndest things that I just will never understand until I get to have and the question is why God does not just whack us in the head as soon as we start going wrong.action and I don't understand why doesn't God do that just as everybody was just me like you know those movies you have that invisible thing that comes up when you try to get threaten can get through it. God doesn't do that. What why God was patient with me. I could tell you why. After 45 years walking with the Lord. I can tell you that the Lord is an extremely patient God. He is very gracious God.
He is a persevering God.
He is a kind God. He is a compassionate God. He is a long-suffering God, so much so that the apostle Paul warns us do not misunderstand the patience of God do not misconstrue the patience of God.
Do not tempt the patience of God and just a Jonah finished rationalizing all the things that are happening in his life must be in God's Plan B because I didn't like plan a and just as he finished, thinking that he got away with it and just as he began to feel the beautiful Seabreeze of the Mediterranean air and he began to relax and in the cruise ship trouble began to converse for verse four the Bible said then the Lord sent the great wind on the sea.
Oh my, what happened what happened. He trudged the 60 mile he probably walked most likely would walk 60 mile how long it took him nothing happened.
He didn't fall and stumble break his leg or God must be in this then there he found the ship and happen to be at fortuitously just the state. How lucky is that how unusual that is the ship that is going as far away from them. However, as you can get back then. One opportunity that God has provided for me to go to Tarshish once place as good as the other and so he pays for his ticket by his American Express credit card he learned never to leave home without it. So you paid for and he boarded the ship and the ship took off.
All I must be in God's Plan B.
We don't know how long before the storm was brewing.
Rita really don't know bedroom that took them weeks sometimes even months to get from one end of the Mediterranean to the other.
We don't know how long and just a Jonah began to get used to breathing that beautiful fresh air of the Mediterranean that helped him sleep so soundly.
And just as he was sleeping so soundly thinking to himself, all man. It can than this. I want to share something with you that I learned the hard way.
God is going to accomplish his purpose with you without you going to accomplish his purpose.
Ephesians chapter 1 verse 11 Paul said God accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will. The question is are you willing to be a willing participant in the purpose of God, or we try to run away when you say all surely not me, and definitely not them. Please listen carefully when the storm begins to brew in your life, whether it's in the beginning of it or you in the middle of it.
Regardless of where you are not storm or even there's a storm that in the horizon.
You can even see but window storm start happening. I want to tell you something, don't panic, don't panic. Be thankful; crazy I had storms I had storm Stuart you getting a better flesh and blood. I am not superhuman. I don't like storms either but I reason I'm telling you to rejoice in. The reason I'm telling you to think hard is because it means that God has not given up on you yet that's what it means that God has not given up on you. According to Romans 128 God only gives up on those who are not his.
He gives them upset fall to the deprived mines will think about it. Those of you parents will understand what I'm going to tell you I am always interested have been always will be in disciplined training, challenging encouraging my children that my neighbor's children. God is not going to discipline just train encourage call and challenge the devil's kids who seek this to merciful his two-car is to loving to let his children draft on the sea of life.
Why did God send the storm effect next message I'm gonna be talking in the varieties of the storms of we face in life and some are of our own doing some are not. The number talking about how to deal with the storms of the that will wait to the next message but here why did God send the storm to weigh Jonah wake him up to what to the call of God upon his life to God's plan for his life to God's call upon his life and make no mistake about it, God has a call on everyone's life if you belong to Jesus was trying to wake him up to God's plan. God's work to witnessing for God wake him up to his calling as an ambassador of the King of Kings wake him up to bring glory to the name of Christ wake him up to obedience listen is one thing you can be sure of when you running away from God. It's very difficult.
I would say even impossible for you to hear God ask me. I know it is impossible to hear the voice of God because you have numbed your ability to hear the voice of God you kept saying children at me and definitely not them. Surely not me, and definitely not them. Surely not me, and definitely not them.
And that's all that's going through your head and therefore your blunted the voice of God.
I want to plead with you, do not do not stay asleep. Do not stay asleep until God has to use a storm to wake you up a plead with you, don't stay on the run until God has to use a storm to bring it back.
I think most of us identify who know the Lord Jesus Christ would testify to the fact that when you became a believer first time you come to Christ, you are on fire for God you want to talk about Christ with everybody who would listen, you want to testify to Christ through anything that moves you wanted to talk about Jesus all the time and then you go to sleep, spiritually speaking. As you sleep on life's cruise liner heading for Tarshish, God speaking to you. He speaking to you gently speaking to you softly. He speaking to you lovingly, he speaking to you thoughtfully. He speaking to you definitively, and God forbid that you may refuse to hear the voice of God. God forbid, even the pagan sailor's were praying to their God. Look at verse six the pagan sailor still praying to the is not the captain said to Jonah. He said the powers of the truth sleeping call upon your God.
You have a God my if you don't have a problem soliciting on the ship. We got a lot of God's it's in the hull of the ship Willow stretches down one for bail one for restaurants and we carry them will be bringing back and forth across learned that there is a God that they come God down there in the bottom going to God and pray to him find a God and pray to him. Choose one listen to me. Those were veteran seamen.
They been up and down the Mediterranean. They know they experience every storm known to man but they recognize that this is not the usual strong this is a divine store that denies that the pagan people. They recognize that this kind of storm is been sent by the powerful God plural Jonah and I acted imagining me know what I can of rubbing his eyes.
This is what pray to what what what got what you mean you don't understand why God is not like these make-believe gods I got is not like these powerless guards. My God is the God of power and might, my God is the God who dried up the sea my God is the God who brought the water of the Red Sea and let it out. The mighty Egyptian army my God is the God who parted the Jordan River. My God is the God who destroyed the walls of Jericho with a shout. My God is the God who tells the sun to rise every morning and it obeys my God is the God who puts all the stars in the heavens my God is the God who named all the stars in the galaxy. My God is the God who made all of the oceans and all of the season.
All of the land and furthermore I'm running away from the God who can receive. Can you see that emergencies pagan captain must be incredulous looking at Jonah and hearing him and assist. Best of luck to you buddy you running away from this kind of God. How can you do that, how can you run away from that kind of God beloved limiters on the it's a sad moment. Is it not when an unbeliever rebukes a believer for his disobedience and never said when an unbeliever says to you, why haven't you told me about salvation, why haven't you told me about heaven.
Why haven't you told me about Jesus, why haven't you told me about eternal life.
Why haven't you told me that I'm sinking internally without Christ and I desperately need.
Look at verses eight and nine and 10 so they asked him tell us who is responsible for making all this trouble for us. What did you do when you come from, what is your country from what people are you and John answered the Hebrew worship the Lord, the God of heaven. That's how all the pagans knew Jehovah to be the God of heaven who made the CML and this terrified them and they asked what have you done and this goes to say, this is Jonah writing here… And they knew that he was running away from the Lord because he had already told himself the beloved. Listen to me, a powerless Christian is a pitiful Christian.
I want to repeat that a powerless Christian is a pitiful Christian. Jesus said if the salt loses its hold to next is no longer good for anything Christian. Please listen to me you will are created to be a powerhouse for God, you are being created unredeemed to speak for God. You have been created and redeemed to testify to God you are not created unredeemed so that you might just serve a couple of boards give couple of dollars at the end couple of meetings.
No million and the captain question to Jonah ought to be. The question to every single person who is listening where you come from, what is your country from what people are you answer. I am redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, the son of the living God, I am called by God to reconcile others to hear all but I told God surely not me, and definitely not why. Well, I found me a ship I found me a ship and it felt easier to just cruise along Christian Highway. The question is really not necessarily why that's important. But the question is what some people were probably listening to me today and I got to get in the mind thinking about why they ended up in Tarshish rather ended up on the shipping and they get maybe feeling guilty and and never really come to grips of the lot. You see, regardless of what the why is why you got there. Surely God is interested in that, but that's not really what you should be focusing on right now you should be focusing on the what what do I do now. That's what God wants you to focus on the devil wanted to focus on your past given you figure out all I should've done this and I shouldn't of done that for God wants you to focus on what what should I do now.
Thank God that he's God and that he is the God of second chances. Thank God we don't have to get thrown into the water be swallowed by a great finish everyone a revival in the land.
If you want to revive a new school if you want a revival in the neighborhood your environment you work then get out of the ship is heading out the Tarshish sound the alarm of God's displeasure of his cruising children sound the alarm that the people might begin to fear God once again wake up before it becomes too late. Don't wait for storm with me. Please don't wait for storm in your life. Get back to first love today get back your first call today. Back to God's original intent for you today. Robinson was a troubled youth and drunkenness in getting the streets of London and then he was powerfully converted to Christ through the ministry of George Whitfield and then he actually went to the ministry and at the age of 23 he wrote the song that many of you know it they ordered on Pentecost Sunday comes fount of every blessing. The third verse of the third stanza contains a phrase that was prophetic in many ways prone to wander Florida feel it trying to leave the God I love. Sure enough, after great ministry. He wanted away from the Lord one day he was sitting on a stagecoach and across from him. There was a lady, a woman who was coming his him and then she began to engage him in conversation.
At that moment Robinson was so overcome with emotions that he wept and wept and wept and finally said to her, said Mme. I am the poor wretched man who wrote that him many years ago I would give a thousand worlds. If I had just for the joy and the peace that I had been my beloved unclear how far you've gone. You could never go far away from the Lord, you can never go far enough from his hand and he wants you to come and you can do that today God is a God of the second and third and fourth chances is calling you you get back to him when you get back to him today.
Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael. You sat recently featured on leading the way.
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