From the life of a reluctant and disobedient prophet, Jonah, we will learn about 4 affects that can result from disobeying God. Like Christian’s today, not every prophet of God was a willing participant in God’s work and mission.
Do we really think that disobedience to God can happen without there being consequences?
This is not an exhaustive list of all the effects for disobeying God but rather just four that we can be pretty sure will come about if we choose not to join God on His mission!
Jonah Chapter 1
I. Disobedience To God Will Not Only Affect You But Others As Well.
"All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship." (v. 5a NIV)
When we intentionally disobey God and refuse to join Him on His mission our decision will not only affects us but also those around us!
There were others on the ship with Jonah and they all were affected by the storm. They all were afraid of drowning in the raging sea. One man’s disobedience had a peril affect on the lives of all the people associated with him.
When we decide to disobey Christ it will affect our family, our friends and ultimately the people we are to share the Gospel with.
II. Disobedience To God Will Appear As Though You're Not Concerned About Others.
“But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish.” (v. 5b-6NIV)
Where was Jonah as the storm developed? He was asleep in the bottom of the ship. When the captain of the ship found him he could hardly believe what he saw and in disbelief asked, “How can you sleep?”
The captain was shocked! It appeared to him that Jonah could care less about the situation they were “all” in. It looked as though Jonah wasn’t concerned that everyone was about to die!
The issue wasn’t that Jonah didn’t care. The issue was that Jonah knew exactly what was happening and why. When we disobey God we develop a “HARDEN HEART” to God and His will that it comes across to others as an uncaring and heartless.
III. Your Disobedience To God Will Be Found Out By Others!
“Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. (v. 7)
This part of the story proves once again that old saying,
“Your sins will find you out.”
Through the throwing of dice, God was able to show everyone on the ship that Jonah was the cause of their perilous situation.
This story of Jonah not only shows that though you can run from God you can’t hide from God but also that you will be exposed by God.
We would love to hide our disobedience and sin to God deep in a closet so no one will know about them but God has a way of exposing them so that we will have to deal with them and is usually done in plain view of others.
IV. Disobedience To God Won't Stop God From Pursuing You.
“So, they asked him, 'Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What kind of work do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?' He answered, 'I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.' This terrified them and they asked, 'What have you done?' (They knew he was running away from the Lord, because he had already told them so.) The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So, they asked him, 'What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?' 'Pick me up and throw me into the sea,' he replied, 'and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.' Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before.” (Vs. 8-13 NIV)
Even after the sailors discovered that Jonah was the cause of the storm and what they needed to do to stop the storm (throwing Jonah overboard) they tried as hard as they could to get the ship to shore but to no avail. They did want to see Jonah die on account of them but even their best efforts wasn’t going to be able to stop God from calling Jonah to account for His disobedience.
Here’s a spiritual truth that you can count on!
If God has a mission for you to accomplish, He will not stop pursuing you and nothing will prevent him from getting your attention if you choose to disobey Him.
Don’t think that just because you have told God that you refuse to obey him that He will leave you alone! He won’t!
Our God is a tenacious God and He never gives up on His pursuit of us.
Instead, Of Disobedience Let’s Choose Obedience To God!
Instead, Of Suffering The Effects Of Disobedience Let’s Enjoy The Blessings Of Obedience.
I’d like to close with some of the lyrics of and old gospel hymn,
“Trust and obey for there’s no other way
to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.”