“The sailors were terrified when they heard this, for he had already told them he was running away from the Lord. “Oh, why did you do it?” they groaned. And since the storm was getting worse all the time, they asked him, “What should we do to you to stop this storm?” “Throw me into the sea,” Jonah said, “and it will become calm again. I know that this terrible storm is all my fault.” Jonah 1:10-12
“Hello, this is Sam Wal-Mart—I am unable to take your call right now, but please leave your name, number and a short message and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible (beep).” The whole point of having the message blank is to make sure you don’t miss your calls. But, there are some people who use it to screen their calls, to avoid certain callers, to sift out who they want to talk to , to work out which calls to return and which calls to ignore. Have you ever done that? Maybe you know someone who does that, like Rev?
Well, Jonah is just like that when it comes to God—his message went like this, “Hello, this is Jonah—I am unable to take your call right now, please do not leave your name, number or message, because I won’t be getting back to you, (beep).
Instead of going to Ninevah, Jonah ran in the opposite direction. He fled “from the presence of the Lord,” which means that he resigned his prophetic office. He resigned his calling and stopped preaching! He became a backslidden prophet: the causes were many. He had the wrong attitude toward God’s will; he thought it was something difficult and dangerous. He had the wrong attitude witnessing; he thought he could turn it on and off when he wanted to. He had the wrong attitude towards his enemies. He wanted to see them perish.
The course of his backsliding was downward: down to Joppa, down into the ship, down into the sea, down into the great fish. The causes of his backsliding were tragic. He lost God’s voice, for now God had to speak to him in a storm. He lost his spiritual energy and went to sleep in the hold of the ship. He lost his power in prayer—heathen were praying while he was sleeping. He lost his testimony. He lost his influence for Jesus Christ and almost lost his life!!
There is always a consequence to our behavior! Disobedience has a price tag! Take time this morning to confess your sins. It is never to late to start doing what is right. Ask God for forgiveness. Seek God’s mercy and grace. Begin walking with Jesus. If God can restore my life, He can do the same for you.