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Surely Not Me...and Definitely Not Them (Part 4)

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef
The Truth Network Radio
August 6, 2019 1:00 am

Surely Not Me...and Definitely Not Them (Part 4)

Leading the Way / Michael Youssef

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In reality, nothing brings you closer to the Lord than when you are in the belly of the whale.

Nothing that bring you to the point of obedience like being in the belly of the whale you see for Jonah, the belly of the well experience was the ability to just come up for air every now and again the belly of the whale is where you feel that you are drowning that you're sinking the belly of the whale where the temperature is between hundreds and 482° which is hotter than any hot tub you've ever been into their in the belly of the whale for Jonah where he was smothered with gastric juices and when this will is not very good for your skin tone but if you are looking for a blink. She will help you out there in the belly of the whale your food menu is nothing but sushi and seaweed, and there your aerobic exercises goes on for 24 hours and this on the water. Most of the time and you come up for air every now and then being in the belly of the whale brought Jonah to the Lord to his senses in a herd but look, you don't have to be there to sympathize with Jonah to understand what he was going through any of us who have been through a storm in life and ended up in the belly of our whale, whatever that might be any of us who have experienced inexplicable suffering any of us who have been and experience the consequences of our own disobedience can relate. Jonah's prayer, and indeed learn from it and that is why I really don't want to focus too much time on what was happening in the belly of the whale or inside the well. I want to focus on what was happening inside. Jonah, because that's really what matters. That's really what's important because Jonah's prayer in Jonah chapter 2 is a model prayer for anyone who's going through a storm in life whether it's of your own making or not Jonah's prayer is a powerful reminder that even Jonah forsook God. God did not forsake Jonah.

It is a powerful reminder that even when Jonah was not willing to obey the living God. God was not willing to let Jonah away from his loving hand. It's a powerful reminder that even Jonah was on the run from the Lord. The Lord was on the run after Jonah.

This is a prayer of a man who set the God surely not me, and definitely not them. I will not go where you want me to go. That was about now in the well of them and in the belly of the fish he comes a full circle in his relationship with his encounter with the loving God, you know, I've often said, it's amazing to me and I'm sure it's amazing to most of you who how forgetful human nature is amazing when everything is going well. When health is good. When blessings are an abundance prayer life becomes a nodding acquaintance with the Lord.

But when we get into trouble, and when trouble hits us. We become spiritual giants. One of the things I discovered about Jonah's prayer is that he was praying the Scripture. If you think Jonah chapter 2 and you projected on a screen, and then are you going to find that it was some 96 versus wanted to and also going to find some fancy verse three payment out in this one.

Whatever situation you find yourself in today. Whatever your situation may be, you can stop and you can start praying the word of God back to him.

Are you down and discouraged, and pray the words of the promise when you cast all your cares upon him. He cares for you say to the Lord, Lord, you promise that you have carried my grief in my sorrow. Lord you promise to give me the garment of praise instead of the garment of sorrow.

Lord you promise to give me joy instead of ashes, do you find yourself desperately lonely tech time to claim the promise of God that he promised never to leave you nor forsake you claim the promise of Isaiah 4110 do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed from your God that I will strengthen you and help you I will uphold you with my right hand are your fearful person pray the promise of God that says he is not given us a spirit of fear but he has given us a spirit of courage and self-control. Are you like Jonah running away from the call of God on your life. Claim the promise that he gave us in the book of John. The epistle of John that if we confess our sins, that he is faithful to forgive us all our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now wanted to look at that forever closely.

I have four things I want to tell you about Jonah's prayer first going to discover that it is a probing prayer secondly going to find that is a penitent prayer and thirdly going to discover that it is a phrase full prayer and falsely got a notice that it is a promise, claiming prayer all you need to remember is for words. Okay for words probing penitent brazing and promise first Jonah begin with an honest probing of the situation.

He realizes that he ended up there because of his disobedience. I wanted to look at versus two all the way to six that as you look at the verses I want to tell you something of outermost importance because in our modern day.

We have failed to understand the language of the Scripture we really have. We don't understand the language of the word of God and you need to understand that because when Jonah said you trusted me you did it. It does not mean that he was pointing an accusing finger at God, like we do today. He was not blaming God as we do today. He was not accusing God of injustice. He was not accusing God of vindictiveness. He was not accusing God of being arbitrary, no, this saint of God, like all the saints in the Bible. They believed in the top of the sovereignty of God. They believed in the total control of God over all things. Something that 21st century Christians have rejected and refused to believe. They believe that God is in total control that he is sovereign over all. So much so that even the consequences of their disobedience was under the control of God.

You remember in the book of first Samuel chapter 16 verse 14 it says there that the Lord send an evil spirit upon soul and there were when were recommended does God send an evil spirit.

Now what is happening in the swamp really need to understand the language of the Bible when Saul rebelled against the word of God. When Saul refused to obey God. He basically disinvited the Holy Spirit from working in him was with which Samuel had anointed him, and whenever the Holy Spirit departs evil spirit will come and take us to his place.

Listen to me this is very important. We must understand the language of the Bible because blood but I want to tell you our nation in the past 40 to 50 years have rejected God from the schoolhouse to the courthouse. They rejected God from Wall Street to Main Street we have rejected God from the public life on the private life and the inevitable thing for this rejection.

The inevitable consequence of this rejection is that evil spirits will come in and that will occupy the places where the Lord spirit was listen to me this is of vital importance. That's why you and I command whatever we are when we take our calls seriously as intercessors as we plan to stand in the gap and pray for our nation for our world and for neighborhoods across schools and from work places God Holy Spirit begins to work again. It is a viable or that's what I'll call a disk. Of time is of outermost importance, and I pray that every one of you would respond to that call. What is it mean that evil spirits were sent from God. No, what Saul did whatever he rejected the Holy Spirit of God whether he would advise an evil spirit, even himself, will not, that's the inevitable consequence when the Holy Spirit does not dwell in evil spirit comes in Jesus said that when a person kicks out of evil spirit from his life and is not filled with the Holy Spirit. What happens that evil spirit goes out any bring seven more in the coming on stronger than ever. And that is why you must understand the language of the Bible when Jonah said you thrust me he was saying.

I know that I got myself here, but I know you also permitted your trying to get my attention. Listen carefully. Jonah was not accusing God of unfairness in this passage, not at all. Jonah was not maligning God like we do in this culture. He was honestly saying Lord I got what's coming to me Lord, I know my sin brought me to this place.

Lord I know that it is my disobedience that landed me where I am, Lord, I know that you are dealing with me so lovingly that the something else I don't want you to miss. In this prayer is very important. Jonah was not trying to explain his misery. Jonah was not trying to parade his horrible condition in which he found himself Jonah was not trying to hold a pity party and said you feel sorry for me. Jonah was not trying to show us how rough is God it Jonah was not trying to give us all the gory details of the slime environment in which he found himself now you know why because Jonah was John was rationalizing Jonah was done with technicalities. Jonah was done with explanations. Jonah was done with excuses. Jonah was done with blaming others. Jonah was done of being in love with his own opinion. Jonah is done away with trying to be an advisor and a consultant to Lord, have Eva try to be a consultant to God on my goodness. I've tried many times a promise you.

And every time I try to advise God in their consultant to God hear the sweet voice of God saying Michael, I'm not interested in your opinion, I'm interested in obedience Jonah was saying how shall I again look up to your holy temple. How shall I again worship you with all of my being. How shall I again swerve you with all that iron. How do I again obey you with all of my heart shall I again testify from my heart from my life.

It was a probing prayer.

But secondly it was a penitent prayer and penitence is an old English word which we don't use very much in common day-to-day language with the magnificent word.

The only thing I come close to it is repentance but really repentance doesn't even do justice to the magnificence of that word and what Jonah was saying.

I know that my disobedience brought me here. I know that my disobedience got me where I am and I know that is only mild regions are going to get me out.

Why is it so important.

Beloved, listen to me this is very important because there are some people who feel remorse over their district.

There feel sorry over their disobedience. But then they don't do anything about this and I have seen people live set with people who literally cried buckets over their sin, and over their disobedience. But then it wouldn't do anything about it and I was thinking about this nothing of my own experience. Many of you know I have no sense of direction and and I remember many a time ago on the freeway and I'll miss my exit could sit the cars are all I missed the exit of the Suriname state exit so bad that I missed the exit and I sit there in sorrow and remorse never get off the freeway. The other side and come back to my there are so many people who are doing this in their spiritual life they going in their happy minute, what they are sorry for them Smith but this day where they are then then I get and turn around and come back and that's what Jonah is doing here penitent means that you get off the freeway and get on the next exit and get out and come back. Look at verse eight she said I will not hold onto worthless idle because then I will make me forfeit the grace of God.

Listen, this is so powerful this whole verse is so incredible. Those who cling to worthless idle forfeit the grace that could be theirs. When you allow idols whatever they may be missing your idols are different from mine and mine are different from yours. But whenever we allow idols to dominate our thoughts and dominate our actions whenever we allow idols to derail us from serving the Lord with all of who we are. Weatherby in your workplace in the neighborhood and school in Jerusalem and seminar and outermost parts of the earth. You could forfeit so much of the blessing that God has only been stored for you and for me in the place of obedience, until Jonah says it's me, Lord, and I go will you send me you that he was not gonna experience the peace of God, not only to Jonah's prayer was a probing prayer. Not only that it was a penitent prayer but also it was appraising prayer, beloved. It's one thing to be able to praise and thank God when he answers your prayer and is a whole different ballgame when you are able to praise God and thank God before you have any evidence of answered prayer is one thing to praise and thank the Lord. When the sun is shining and the sky is blue and it's on different thing altogether to be able to praise and thank God, in the middle of the storm.

It is one thing to be able to praise and thank God when you have experienced success and it's another thing altogether to be able to praise and thank God when you have no evidence of having success is one thing to praise and thank God when you are on top of the mountain and everything is fine and it's a different thing altogether to praise and thank God when you're in the Valley. Look at verse nine but with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you not just with his lips, but with his pocketbook with his life with his time with all that he is. You see, Jonah was not sure that he was going to be delivered or not Jonah was not sure if he is ever going to get out of this sushi food all the time.

I keep repeating sushi because I can't stand the stuffing of the younger generation on another like this thing out. They is not well cooked on regulated does not feel bad for more than anything else for the stuff. Look at verse seven when my soul fainted within me. In other words, when I came to the place of utter helplessness. When I came to the place where I lost all hope. I was praising. Nonetheless, something else I don't want you to miss right here Jonah never asked God to deliver him. I got news for you I would have hi made out of cried my eyes out to God and God get mad get mad God, but is not a single evidence here that he was pleading with God to be released will be delivered. He simply started praising God stuff is trouble in the midst of his miserable condition in the midst of his tough situation. If you have never read my book, empowered by praise and encourage you there.

Don't get it, not here to sell books, but I can tell you it will encourage you because God taught me how to praise him in the midst of the tough stuff and something else God taught me. That's what the book comes out of God taught me that the victory in the secretive victory in being able to praise him in the midst of the storm. In the book of acts.

Paul and Silas were singing. Where was I in a big stadium with 50,000 people praising God and hands up in the air, singing songs, Nihal was in the midst of the congregation. Everybody, having nice music and and and sing along. Hello, there were in the cell of the present after their being beaten and bleeding that were praising God, and that praise in the middle of the prison because the earth to shake and cause the prison to be open and I've heard people say to me as well. I just don't have much to be thankful for and I don't have much to praise God for give me a break.

I'm not going to go there but when you begin to praise God for who he is. You will unlock the doors to blessings to joy to peace to contentment. The faith effectiveness in ministry and yes even to deliverance Jonah's prayer was an honest probing prayer. It was a genuine penitent prayer. It was a true praising prayer and fourthly it was a prayer of claiming the promises of God but of the second half of verse nine he said I will sacrifice unto the Lord. Deliverance belongs to the Lord do know Jonah saying here is saying, Lord, I will not come to you again telling you about how much I've done for you. I'm never going to come back to you and tell you how much I sacrifice for you, Lord. I'm never going to come back to you and tell you all the things that I've done for you to come and tell you how much you only Lord would tell you something she ever given that mindset. Remember this, you will never grow in the faith with that mindset. But if you come acknowledging that you have nothing to .2 except for his grace.

When you come to him with nothing to claim from him except his promises. When you come to him with nothing in your hand to bring, except his unconditional love.

Watch out because God loves to fulfill his promises to his faithful children.

I'm gonna tell you this story as I conclude back in 1788, there was a man by the name of William Cowper not comprehend the great ministry both to John Newton and William Wilberforce. He was a writer he brought beautifully, not only poems but also pros and many of his work was published in the newspapers, so he was a gifted man, but he also suffered from depression and at the moment. Living was caving on him and he felt that he was not serving God as he sure needs not as effective as he could. He wanted to commit suicide, cycled a cabbie back then of course the cabbies were horse-drawn carriages and he asked the cabbie to take him to the London Bridge because that's where he was gonna jump off, but then after he's been in the For about two hours in the very sick London fog that You look back and he said Sir I have to confess to you I'm totally lost. I can see and I don't know where I am.

Talk about irritated. He got annoyed. He didn't been wanting to get there and get his deed done over with them and so in anger. He got out of the cabin. They walked up the steps and then he looked he was in front of his house for two hours. The cabbies been going around in circles and that sick London fog for two hours going around and around and so he began to see the hand of God in saving everyone back to his house and early hours of that morning. He wrote the following words God moves in mysterious ways, his wonder to perform the plants his footsteps in the sea, and rides up the store and out of the depths of this pain out of the depth of this feeling of insufficiency came the magnificent him. The blessed millions of people in the past 200 years wherever you are, whatever your situation might be. Only you know you need to know one thing, God wants to use you. He really does. He did not save you so that you sit in the puerile salvation Sunday after Sunday that would make a mockery of the Lord of glory, leaving the splendor of heaven and dying on the cross so that believers can come and sit in the puerile salvation day after day. The one thing you can be sure of the God wants to use you yes you God wants to bless his kingdom through you and God longs for you to say Lord I will go I will do. I will sacrifice I would give children it is me. And definitely whatever you say and whatever you send father what a privilege it is to be called the servants of the living God, the God who sits on the rim of the universe. The God who said, let there be light and there was light. God, who was the creator of all become an embryo in the virgin's womb lived the power in poverty died on the cross rose again father. What a privilege it is for us to serve you to make you known to be the spokesman and women of you, Lord God and father with that provision. With that on that in mind we know we can fast that we cannot do it on our own strength. We can never do anything on own strength but father, we know that through Christ we can do all things because he strengthens us in Jesus name, amen. Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael. You sat recently featured on leading the way. If you'd like to know more about us, please visit that LTW.Ward

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