Beware Falling Asleep Spiritually By Fleeing God
God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach against it because of their wickedness. But he fled from the Lord, went down to Joppa, paid the fare and sailed in a ship to Tarshish. The Lord sent a great wind so sailors feared and cried out to his own god while throwing cargo into the sea. But Jonah went below deck, laid down and fell asleep. The captain woke him up and asked that he call on his god so they would not die. The lot fell to Jonah, which revealed he was responsible for the storm. After the sailors asked what he did, his home city and country and nationality, Jonah answered he was a Hebrew who worshiped the Lord, God of heaven, who made the sea and land. The soldiers asked what he did since they knew he was running away from the Lord (Jonah 1:1-11). Beware falling asleep and hitting bottom spiritually by fleeing God.
Consider Miracles of God's Sovereignty to Bring People to Christ
Jonah told the sailors to throw him into the sea to make it calm taking blame for the great storm. The men tried rowing back to land and asked the Lord that they not die for killing Jonah since God did as He pleased. They threw him overboard and the sea grew calm. The men greatly feared the Lord and offered a sacrifice to Him. But the Lord provided a great fish to swallow Jonah who was inside it for three days and three nights (Jonah 1:12-17). Consider the miracles of God's sovereignty to bring people to Christ.
Call for Help in Distress to Receive Life and Deliverance
Jonah called for help in his distress while inside the fish. God answered and listened to his cry. After being hurled and waves swept over him, Jonah said he was banished from God's sight but looked again toward His holy temple. The waters threatened and surrounded him while seaweed wrapped around his head. He sank down to the roots of the mountains, but God brought his life up from the pit. When his life ebbed away, Jonah remembered and prayed to the Lord (Jonah 2:1-7). Call for help in distress to receive life and deliverance.
Offer Thanksgiving to Receive God's Grace and Deliverance
Those who clung to worthless idols forfeited God's grace. A sacrifice of thanksgiving brought salvation from the Lord. He commanded the fish and it vomited Jonah on dry land (Jonah 2:8-10). Offer thanksgiving to receive God's grace, salvation and deliverance.
Prayerwalk and Proclaim God's Message in His Assigned Territory
God's word came to Jonah a second time to go to Nineveh and proclaim the message He gave him. He obeyed the word and took three days to go through Nineveh. After going a day's journey, Jonah proclaimed, "Forty more days and Nineveh will be destroyed." They believed God, declared a fast and everyone put on sackcloth. Nineveh's king covered himself with sackcloth and issued a proclamation for everyone to fast, be covered with sackcloth, call urgently on God and give up evil ways and violence so He would relent and turn from his fierce anger so they could live. God had compassion and did not bring destruction after they turned from their evil ways (Jonah 3:1-10). Prayerwalk and proclaim God's revealed message in His assigned territory for you.
Reject Personal Comfort to Focus on God's Grace
But Jonah's great anger caused a complaint to God that the reason he wanted to flee to Tarshish was knowing God's grace and compassion who relented from sending calamity. He thought it was better to die than live. Jonah made a shelter east of the city, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen. The Lord provided a vine to provide shade to ease his discomfort. Jonah was very happy, but the next day God provided a worm to chew the vine and scorching east wind so he grew faint. He said it was better to die than live (Jonah 4:1-8). Reject personal comfort to focus on God's grace that delays sending calamity.
Stop Focusing On Personal Rights to Show Concern Over Peoples' Eternal Destiny
God asked Jonah if he had a right to be angry about the vine. He answered that he was angry enough to die. The Lord said he had concern over a vine not under his control. Because Nineveh had greater than 120,000 infants and many cattle, should not God be concerned about that great city? (Jonah 4:9-11). Stop focusing on personal rights to show God's concern over peoples' eternal destiny.
To prayerwalk and proclaim God's message in His assigned territory, beware of falling asleep spiritually, reject personal comfort and stop focusing on rights so you can show concern over peoples' eternal destiny. Consider the miracles of God's sovereignty, call for help in distress and offer thanksgiving so people can know and be delivered in Christ.
The prerequisites in pursuing a high-impact ministry is to show concern over peoples' eternal destiny and the following items hinder it:
1. Beware of falling asleep spiritually
2. Reject personal comfort
3. Stop focusing on personal rights
The priorities in pursuing a high impact ministry so people can know Christ and be delivered:
1. Consider the miracles of God's sovereignty
2. Call for help in distress
3. Offer thanksgiving
Like Jonah, consider prayer walking in your workplace and/or neighborhood, care for those around you and share the gospel as God opens up opportunities.