Last week’s article, Do You have Enough Faith to Weather Life’s Storms? touched on the prophet Jonah. He had to endure a storm, was thrown into the ocean, and had a three-day time-out in the belly of a fish, all because he rebelled against God’s call on his life. In this case, the storm was needed to correct his attitude toward God and His commands.
This week I want to take a closer look at Jonah’s story to see what we can learn about the signs we are rebelling against God’s call on our lives. In Jonah’s case, his attitude toward God and what God asked him to do is what got him in trouble.
Wrong attitude toward the will of God
The role of a prophet was to be God’s voice to the people. God asked Jonah to go preach against Nineveh, but Jonah thought he could resign his role as prophet, and head out in the opposite direction (Jonah 1:1-3).
Wrong attitude toward God’s direction
God, because of His love and compassion, wanted to save the Ninevites. But Jonah hated the Ninevites and wanted to see them destroyed rather than saved. He even expressed his anger toward God for being gracious and compassionate toward the Ninevites (4:1).
Wrong attitude toward the Word of God
The Word of the Lord came to Jonah (1:1) with specific direction, but rather than obey, Jonah openly rebelled against God. Receiving God’s Word was a great privilege of the prophets. Jonah thought he could exercise that privilege when it suited him and refuse when it suited him.
Wrong attitude toward the circumstances
Jonah fled to Joppa and found a boat going to Tarshish. He was able to pay the fare, board the ship, and set sail. He must have thought he had succeeded in ignoring God’s will. Circumstances all seemed to be working in favor of his get-away, right up until the great storm came up.
Wrong attitude toward the Gentiles
Jonah hated the Ninevites who were Gentiles. He hated them so much he would rather see them destroyed so they could no longer attack Israel than help them find God.
When we are in the midst of a storm, whether it is in our spiritual lives, our personal lives, or our business lives, it might just be that our attitude is part of the problem.
Attitude toward the will of God
Do you sense God calling you do to something, and maybe you think it’s impossible, or maybe you think you didn’t hear God right? Regardless, you’ve decided God must have picked the wrong person, so you’re going to ignore God this time.
Attitude toward God’s direction
Do you think maybe God is just plain wrong, or that what He has asked you to do goes against your grain? Are you mad at God because of what has happened or because of what He has asked you to do?
Attitude toward the Word of God
Do you see God’s direction in His Word, but think that it can’t apply to you in this situation? Perhaps you think including that verse was an error, and it shouldn’t have been in the Scripture anyway? All scripture is given for our edification (2 Timothy 3:16). We don’t have the right to pick and choose which ones we agree with and those we don’t.
Attitude toward the circumstances
Do you think that just because circumstances seem to line up in favor of your rejecting God’s call you must be right in rejecting God?
Attitude toward others
Do you sometimes think there are people that don’t deserve God’s love and compassion: that co-worker that takes credit for your work; the customer who drives you nuts, how about the homeless guy you passed on the sidewalk?
It is so easy to let the pressures and stress of our day affect our attitude, and suddenly we cast that bad attitude onto the people around us, even our loved ones. If you want to avoid the storm of correction, check your attitude toward God, His direction, His Word, the circumstances, and the people in your life.
Join the Conversation
As always questions and comments are welcome. Have you experienced a storm in your life that was brought about by a wrong attitude? What did you do to weather the storm?
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Category: Personal Development | Dependence on God