I had to do it
Synopsis of sermon 11/1/15
Delivered by Bishop Walker III
We as Christians, suffer from entitlement issues. We need to realize that whatever God has for us to do, it is for us to do.
There comes a moment that God will take you through so much that you have to yield to his will. You can run, but you can’t hide! You come to a place where you say, I’ve got to do it!
God has providently orchestrated you to do it! No one else can do this assignment, but you. You have to do what God says do.
Jonah was commissioned by God to go to Nineveh. The problem was that Nineveh was a wicked city and Jonah did not want to go there. Jonah decided instead to run from God and go to Tarshish.
- Reasonable to the call
Jonah 1:1-2 1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.”
When God calls us, he always sends his word to confirm it. He also makes it clear that it is Him calling us. Whatever we are called to, we must know:
- What God calls us to is never easy: Stop complaining as if you are the only one called to something difficult. Can you imagine being Noah who was asked to build a ship for a flood, when it wasn’t even raining? What about Moses, with nothing but a stick and stutter, going out to Pharaoh to try and convince him to let God’s people go? Can you imagine how it must have been to be Jesus coming down from heaven to die for us, knowing that we wouldn’t receive him? John 16:33 says 33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Isaiah 43:2-3 -When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place.- Know that God never calls you without having your back.
- He chose you because he knew you could do it – Everything that happened in your life was about God bringing your purpose forth. He is taking you through predetermined trials to get you ready. If you’re catching hell now, know that there must be greater in store for your life. Romans 8:28 says 28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Hebrews 13:20-21 says 20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you[a] what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
- God won’t give you an assignment he hadn’t equipped you for. Romans 8:30 says 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. Philippians 1:6 says 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; Ephesians 2:10 says 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.-Whatever God calls us to, he equips us for.
- Running has consequences
Jonah 1:3 3 But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.
The bible says that Jonah found the ship going to Tarshish. Jonah goes to the ship and pays the fare. Know that there is always a ship willing to take you where God is willing for you to go. That ship may be friendship, mentorship, relationship, sponsership, or etc… It is important for you to know, however, that any ship outside the will of God is considered a hardship.
- Your disobedience makes you magnet for storms – 1 Samuel 15:22 says 22 So Samuel said: “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams .- Your obedience attracts unnecessary trials and tribulations.
Sometimes the Lord sends storms. Storms are not always the work of the devil. How then, do we rebuke a storm that God sends to get our attention?
Jonah 1:4-16 4 But the Lord sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was about to be broken up. 5 Then the mariners were afraid; and every man cried out to his god, and threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea, to lighten the load. But Jonah had gone down into the lowest parts of the ship, had lain down, and was fast asleep. 6 So the captain came to him, and said to him, “What do you mean, sleeper? Arise, call on your God; perhaps your God will consider us, so that we may not perish.” 7 And they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this trouble has come upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. 8 Then they said to him, “Please tell us! For whose cause is this trouble upon us? What is your occupation? And where do you come from? What is your country? And of what people are you?” 9 So he said to them, “I am a Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” 10 Then the men were exceedingly afraid, and said to him, “Why have you done this?” For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them. 11 Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you that the sea may be calm for us?”—for the sea was growing more tempestuous. 12 And he said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will become calm for you. For I know that this great tempest is because of me.” 13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to return to land, but they could not, for the sea continued to grow more tempestuous against them. 14 Therefore they cried out to the Lord and said, “We pray, O Lord, please do not let us perish for this man’s life, and do not charge us with innocent blood; for You, O Lord, have done as it pleased You.” 15 So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice to the Lord and took vows.-
- Wherever Jonah goes, there is a storm. Whenever you are outside the will of God, storms will show up.
- The ship was in jeopardy. They wanted to know what was going on concerning the storms. Jonah explained that he had been running from God and if they would throw him overboard, the storm will cease.
- Instead of throwing Jonah overboard, they rowed even harder, trying to keep the ship afloat. We are just like this. We know the problem, but we still try to make it work. You can keep on rowing, but it ain’t going to work.
- You are a liability on the ship. God hasn’t called you to be liability, but instead, he wants you to be a testimony. Some of you have liabilities on your ship. You want to give everyone a chance, but there comes a time that you will have to get the liabilities off your ship. Release them into their destiny. Refuse to go down with your liabilities.
III. Rejoice in another chance
We are here; because God was willing that we wouldn’t perish.
Jonah 1:14-17 14 Therefore they cried out to the Lord and said, “We pray, O Lord, please do not let us perish for this man’s life, and do not charge us with innocent blood; for You, O Lord, have done as it pleased You.” 15 So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice to the Lord and took vows. 17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
- God could have killed you, but he kept you. God prepared a fish for Jonah. There is no fish today that could swallow you whole and yet you still live; if nothing else, the acids in the stomach would kill you, but God prepared a fish. God factored in Jonah’s disobedience. God made provision for him. He made a space to keep him, until he was willing to yield.
- This fish was prepared just to hold Jonah – What could have killed others did not kill you, because God was keeping you.
- Reflection -In this space, there is a time of reflection. God wanted Jonah to realize that he couldn’t run from God.
- Repentance – God is looking for your repentance. Psalm 103:4 says 4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Jeremiah 29:11 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. , – God needs you to stay alive to save a whole generation of people.
- Jonah was not willing to be a vessel of God, but while he was in the fishes belly for 3 days, he became ready. All God was looking for was one word, and that word was “Yes”.
- This mess is part of my message. Though you find yourself in a mess, God can turn it around. All you have to do is say yes.