Dear generation, let’s not ignore God’s voice. God is often¬†speaking to us but do we take time to listen and obey? Let me encourage you today! I preached a message this weekend that was not only for the church I was at but it’s a general message for our generation. Jonah went in the opposite direction that God was asking him to go. Sometimes we might not physically go somewhere else with our feet but in our mind or in our heart we tune out from God and choose to not listen to his voice. God knows what is best for our life so when we step out of his will he can allow storms to happen because he loves us that much and he wants us to get back on track. When Jonah tried to run away from God he was on the boat sleeping in the middle of a storm. As he was on the edge of death he wasn’t even aware of what was going on. That’s like us and sin, it can take us so far that we simply don’t even care or notice how dangerous our circumstance is. Our generation needs to wake up and be present with what is going on. We can’t play games with God and stay spiritually asleep. The captain of the ship woke Jonah up yelling “Get up and pray to your God.” We all need people like this captain to call us out at times. The people on the boat started to ask Jonah questions like “Who are you? Where did you come from? What caused this storm?” The storms can remind us of our true Identity. In this moment Jonah explains how he worships God, that’s what he was raised to believe. He says out loud how big his God is as a creator.
As Jonah volunteers to get thrown into the water he was either 1) committing suicide and willing to give up or 2) he had lots of faith in God that he would protect him no matter what. As he sunk deep into the ocean he was so close to loosing his last breath but then God sent a huge fish or whale, hmmm, maybe it was even a shark. That sea creature swallowed him and that kept him alive. Some say that this was a time of punishment and they focus on that, but looking at it on the bright side it could be that God was protecting him with this fish. We normally don’t want to be in the stomach of a fish because it’s so uncomfortable but yet could it be that it is one of the most beautiful places where God wants to meet with us. Something special happens when you get to that low point in life where you are so desperate for God that you talk to him with some of your deepest, most sincere prayers. Being in the fish gave Jonah an opportunity to be quiet, still, reflect and to sing, Jonah was focused on God with no distractions like social media, money, friends, Netflix or food. Jonah had an intimate time with God in those few days as he prayed from the heart. God heard him and rescued him. That’s what our God does, he rescues us when we humbly ask for his help. When we admit that we can’t do life on our own anymore he shows up. God has a good plan and purpose for your life and he wants you to obey him. He’s not an angry God but a forgiving God. Even though our culture is telling you to do your own thing, it is actually always better to listen and to obey God the one who created us. Our creator knows you better than you know yourself. Is there a part of this story you can relate with? I encourage you to lean in closer to God and talk to him about what you feel. Don’t tune out by missing this opportunity. Remember your identity in the middle of the storm.