February 25, 2009
The Cost of Running From God 

Jonah 4:9-11

You would think that a life-threatening sea storm and a few days in a fish’s belly would shake some sense into a person. Yet if the man is Jonah, you would be wrong. The last paragraphs of his book reveal a vengeful prophet whose body has obeyed the Lord but whose heart is still on the run.

Jonah paid a financial price for running from God—his expensive ticket to Joppa. And any Sunday School student can tell you the physical consequences he endured. But when those events were long past, Jonah still grappled with the spiritual cost of his flight. His peace and joy were gone. In their place was bitterness so strong that he begged God for the relief that death would bring.

As believers, we cannot disobey the Lord without paying a price. Certainly our spiritual life weakens. The skills and abilities God has bestowed to us atrophy from lack of use while we waste time fleeing. And we risk losses in other areas as the consequences of our actions mount. Family, finances, health, and more can be affected by sin.

Perhaps you have a habit, a plan, or a current course of action that you know defies the Lord’s will. Have you considered the cost? Though the Devil may try to convince you otherwise, there are consequences for wrongdoing. God could not remain holy and righteous while allowing people to get by with sin. The price for following your own will is high. Just look at how miserable Jonah was because of the choices he made. The reward for obeying God is much more pleasing. 

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