“To me, integrity means always doing what is right and good, regardless of the immediate consequences. It means being righteous from the very depth of our soul, not only in our actions, but more importantly, in our thoughts and in our hearts.” Joseph B. Wirthlin
Jonah 1:1-4 New International Version (NIV)
Jonah Flees From the Lord
1 The word of the Lord came to Jonah, son of Amittai: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”
3 But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord.
4 Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.
Forward Thinkers, last week we were all excited to know the Lord would fight our battles and empower us to defeat our enemies. Last week we cheered because we discovered our enemies would be the gateway into our next level of victory and God would get glory out of our story.
Forward Thinkers, today we may not cheer so loud because the obstacle in our way today is not an outside opponent. The person the Lord has to grant us victory over today is the person we see in the mirror daily.
Today I can’t blame the enemy, today I must accept responsibility for my actions and decisions. Lord, redeem all the time I wasted with bad decisions and poor choices.
Forward Thinkers, until we let go of past mistakes and negative relationships from our past we will never be able to grab hold of the future God has prepared for us. Forward Thinkers, it is impossible to reach forward with both hands reaching backwards, today we must let go and pray for the the Lord to redeem all the time we lost holding on to the past. The reality is, the past has no power over you unless you continue to feed it.
Forward Thinkers, Jonah received a word from the Lord
- Forward Thinkers, just one word from the Lord can change any situation
- Forward Thinkers, faith comes by hearing the word of the Lord
- Forward Thinkers, revelation from heaven brings supernatural elevation
- Forward Thinkers, the word is our pass code to unlock the doors of our greatness
Forward Thinkers, Jonah got a GO from God. Forward Thinkers, a GO from God is a YES in accomplishing all our dreams and desires. Forward Thinkers, every believer prays to receive a GO from God.
But Jonah ran away from the Lord
- Forward Thinkers, running away from a Go from God is a bad decision and our decisions will always determine our destiny.
- Forward Thinkers, this is a poor choice and no matter who you are, your choices produce your consequences. Forward Thinkers, your current status in life is based on the sum total of your choices in life.
- Forward Thinkers, outside the presence of the Lord you’re on your own and that’s a scary place to be.
- Forward Thinkers, notice after his decision, his route took him in a downward direction down to Joppa. Forward Thinkers, how many decisions have we made that took us in a downward direction.
- Forward Thinkers, also notice his decision cost him something and I wonder how much have our decisions cost?
Forward Thinkers, at this point there is no one to blame for whatever happens next. Forward Thinkers, remember when we choose to ignore the voice of God we remove ourselves from the protection of God. Forward Thinkers, remember the Prodigal Son ended up in a hog’s pen when he decided to live life outside the will of God.
THEN (after his decision) the Lord sent a great wind and violent storm. Forward Thinkers, after every decision there will be a THEN season. Forward Thinkers, our choices and decisions play a direct role on what the THEN will look like.
Forward Thinkers, we can’t make poor decisions and act surprised when poor results are produced. Forward Thinkers, America can’t act shocked by the actions of Donald Trump when America chose to elect him as the 45th President of the United States of America.
Look at Jonah 1:12. I know this is my fault–come clean, accept responsibility, own it.
Forward Thinkers, Jonah had to come clean, accept responsibility, and own up to his dilemma. Forward Thinkers,, it’s time we repent and come clean and put ourselves in position for God to redeem us from our bad decisions.
Forward Thinkers, Jonah ended up in the belly of a huge fish
- Forward Thinkers, choices and consequences determine current location of life. If you are in a lonely, cold, dark place in life it’s time to evaluate your decision making process.
- Forward Thinkers, decisions equal destiny and we can’t escape this reality. Forward Thinkers, just like the law of gravity causes what goes up to come down, our decisions cause our destiny to come around.
Forward Thinkers, Jonah prayed his way out
- Forward Thinkers, while Jonah was praying for forgiveness the situation spit him out. Forward Thinkers, the bible says if my people would repent from their wicked ways the Lord would hear their prayer and heal their land. Forward Thinkers, it’s time to pray and position ourselves for the Lord to redeem our time.
Jonah 3:1 the word came again
- Forward Thinkers, thank God for giving us another chance to get it right.
- Forward Thinkers, notice Jonah ends up in Nineveh after all; therefore, if we change our decision-making process, we too can change the result of our destiny.
Forward Thinkers, in conclusion, the cross experience of Jesus Christ is God’s love on display redeeming our time and giving us another chance to get it right.
Pastor E. A. Deckard is the Senior Pastor/Founder of the Green House International Church located, in both Houston, Texas, and the Woodlands, Texas. Pastor Deckard is also the Co-Founder of the No More Bloodshed Movement. To contact Pastor Deckard for speaking engagements contact him at email@example.com, follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Periscope @ Pastor E A Deckard or the church website www.ghic.net.