Why Run? Turning your back on God’s call to serviceby Greater Diversity News September 17, 2013 0 comments
By Pastor Dale Haynes — “But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the Lord by sailing to Tarshish.” Jonah 1:3. Beloved, how often have we turned away when we were called by God to do a work we didn’t like? How often have we tried to escape that work by rationalizing and pushing it off on others?
Sad as it is to say there are occasions when we Christians shrink from our duties as God’s servants. But do we question or consider the consequences of such actions? Let’s look at our elder brother Jonah, what did he lose by turning his back on God’s call to service? He lost the assurance and comfort of God’s love that comes with obedience. Beloved, when we serve our Lord Jesus as we should God is with us. When we serve him we have the assurance and comfort of his love even when we feel the whole world is against us and if God be for us what else matters? However, when we take a step backwards and begin to rely on our own devices we may find ourselves set adrift. Just as a child who has run away from home the bitter pill of our consequences may cause us to lament and groan reflectively, O God, where have you gone? How could I have been so foolish as to shun your call to service and lose the assurance of your comforting love? Beloved, the price of independence is too high. So let us maintain our allegiance to God so that we might rejoice in his presence.
The other thing we will lose is our peace of mind. When we turn away from our called service as Jonah did sin will soon fill that void and destroy the believer’s comfort. While he was on the lam Jonah lost everything upon from which he could drawn comfort. Think about it, he couldn’t pray for divine protection because he was outside of God’s will. He couldn’t appeal to God for strength and guidance, saying, Lord I’m having some problems with what I’m doing could you help me out. Indeed he was suffering the consequences of his actions, he was full of himself and left to himself.
Beloved, as Christians we are not to play the Jonah game unless we want to have all the fury and desolation of an open sea resting upon our heads. I am sure you will agree with me when I say that in the long run we pay far too hefty a price for turning away from God’s call to service. Look at all the time, peace, comfort and assurance Jonah lost and wasted and wound up going to Nineveh anyway!. It is hard to contend with God so why not just yield when he calls. •