Sunday Morning Podcast September 22, 2019. Bro. Dave Goble.
TEXT: JONAH 1:1-5
1 Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.
4 But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.
5 Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.
Jettison the cargo! Throwing things out, that weigh us down. You can get to a place where your life becomes “just religion” (dead), and not a lively relationship with God. When the women sought out the body of Jesus at His tomb, the angels said to them, “Why seek yet the living, among the dead?” (Luke 24:5) Facing the challenges that we face. Sometimes people think because God never changes, they can’t change. Not true. Your aging life illustrates the changes your life has taken. It’s a blessing to grow old. It means you’re still alive! A good and not negative thing! It’s a good thing how you’ve grown in the Lord! So much pain and sorrow, you’ve gone through. Watching your children grow up. Change. The never changing God helps, as our ever changing lives …go on. God wanted Jonah to change! God wanted Jonah to change his destination to the opposite direction. To go instead to preach to a 100,000 people in Nineveh that were lost without God. Instead Jonah fled! It caused him many hindrances and difficulties. Even while a saint, God wants you to change also! You need to be willing to change however God leads you. Jonah was called to preach to a spiritually lost people. Do we find ourselves unwilling to change when God directs us in an opposite direction than what we have chosen? Jonah is a “type” of every man/woman. Jonah went into a ship, and paid his fare for his chosen direction. In another biblical time, Saul (after named Paul) traveled down the road to Damascus, for his own chosen plans. Then God challenged him by calling him! So God gave the now newly redeemed Paul (because Paul’s heart listened) to be a messenger, to be capable to bring the gospel of Christ! Many followers of Christ were opposed to Paul,(understandably), based on their own limited understanding and fears. So God uses Paul now, as a vessel. God found someone seemingly not capable, and chose him to carry the gospel. All of us are meant to be a vessel. Simply, a vessel is that which carries “something.” All of us are meant to be acceptable to be a carrier of God’s message. All of us were on the sea of sin. Vessels going the wrong way, and sinking. Until God sent out a Pilot (The Holy Spirit) to find us and pull us into the safe haven of Salvation! Until God pulled our broken vessel into a dry and safe dock from the seas of sin, we were ready to fully sink. But God had mercy to pull us out of our ruins. Our vessels are so valuable! They contain a life! No one else could “underwrite” our vessel; only God could insure us to become delivered and rescued into His safe haven. What strength it took to pull us out! But Jesus was there and worked on our vessel, making us seaworthy. It happens in Salvation! But our vessel is not then, meant to stay there! God makes our vessel worthy for a purpose!
Our vessel is meant to go back out and carry a different cargo, …the message of God. Jonah’s chosen vessel was not going to be simply fixed with parts, etc. Just as we cannot simply go to church to “feel” better. Just as in physical cleanliness. One might ask “when do you feel most clean?” But later, after that shower, you again become unclean. Nothing has really changed from your outward cleansing. No change unless it is a cleansing that has happened in the heart! A jettisoning of hindering and sinful cargo. God calls us to take our vessel with His message of Salvation. If it seems as if we have not reached anyone, God calls us to go out again. God wants us to take the only message that is sent to heal the nations! The nations of dying souls in sin, that need to be rescued through Salvation. Additionally we all need to know our motive to serve God. No one can be effective if wanting to “protect self.” Are we trying to move away from something, or moving forward to carry God’s message? If we flee to protect self, (like Jonah), it will be the mercy of God if He then sends us into a great and fierce storm to get our attention. Examine your motive. Are you fleeing the presence of God’s directions? God is trying to warn us to turn around and repent (jettisoning the cargo) because He has chosen us to carry a message. When being opposed, people often act like a mule. When being exhorted, or chastised, you might think “you don’t want to.” To just hear, and not do God’s will, means you didn’t forsake all. So you you need to then examine your motives. So you can change, …turn your vessel around. God wants us to change. We want God to save us, although we deliberately go into danger, because we are fleeing the exhortations and instructions of God against our fleshly inclinations. God wants us turn around! When in the storms of the enemy, our need is to throw the temporal things overboard, and not just those few things you are willing then to part with. In our spiritual walk, we need to endeavor to attend always, when the assembling of the saints are worshiping together. Not just a hit and miss attendance at your human “convenience.” So you throw overboard all the “stuff” off fleshly ideas and weaknesses that hinder your spiritual happiness. It will take sacrificing your will, to jettison the hindering cargo! But it will be a blessing when you do!
Jettison The Cargo!