What do you need to throw overboard?

 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.  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?”  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.” Jonah 1:7-9

But Jonah was deceiving himself. He didn’t fear the Lord because he didn’t obey the Lord.

What is preventing you from surrendering completely to the LORD? ARE YOU READY to face the Lord?
Things are not getting better. Tribulation is coming. What is more important than God? NOTHING! Seek the LORD first in all things every day. Ask yourself: Am I really saved? Three people know the truth. God knows if you are truly saved. The devil knows if you are truly saved. And you know if you are truly saved.

Let nothing shake your faith in Christ. We are saved by grace through faith in Christ. But we do need to examine ourselves to make sure we are walking in a way that is pleasing to the LORD. For example, Jonah was told to go preach to Nineveh. But he didn’t go. Our actions show more than our words.

We must do whatever God tells us to do. We can’t take our ease like the “hare” in the tortoise and the hare story. We must stay focused and keep running for God. If we really fear the Lord, we will obey Him. WHEN we disobey God we can cause other people to have pain and suffering. Disobedience can cause storms in our lives–some storms in our lives are not natural, they are spiritual. We should seek the LORD’s face to get to the root cause of the issue. Here are some tips for items that must be dealt with:

  • Know when you need the Holy Spirit to lead you.
  • You can’t treat God’s people just any kind of way. There is very little respect for godly leaders and they are watchmen for your soul. Ex. Miriam and Aaron got upset with Moses, so she got leprosy for 7 days. You can be anointed but not appointed. Moses was not perfect but he was chosen as the leader. Be careful not to grumble and complain about God’s people and leaders. Put a watch over your mouth (PUT A WATCH OVER YOUR MIND TOO!)
  • Be careful of social media. You can get your mind poisoned through social media.
  • What do you need to throw overboard? a stubborn will? a bad attitude? a loose tongue? a lingering habit? a sin? a certain person? unforgiveness? pride? (Ex. Lot was a hindrance to Abraham and they had to separate)
  • Get rid of anything that separates you from the Presence of God! You cannot bring a book of hurt to heaven! Get rid of all bitterness, resentment and malice. No generational mess will come into Heaven.
  • Pride will take you straight to hell. The devil used to be the anointed cherub, but he was full of pride and rebellion. Only being anointed can take you straight to hell if you are not submitted to the Spirit of God.
  • Get rid of silent frustration (which is bitterness)
  • What are you trying to do in your own effort that only God can do?
  • Don’t row against the will of God.

Here are four ways that demonstrate we fear God.

When we fear God, we will obey God.

  • Hebrews 11:7 New King James Version – By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

When we fear God, we will submit to His will.

  • Luke 22:42 New King James Version – saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”

When we fear God, we will learn to humble ourselves

  • James 4:10 New King James Version10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

If we love God, we will keep His commandments.

  • John 14:15 New King James Version – “If you love Me, [a]keep My commandments.

How can we obey God? We need The Holy Spirit.

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8 New King James Version

We are all called to serve. God even calls Himself the Servant. God became flesh and died for our sins. Jesus served us in the greatest way possible. Jesus said He came to minister and not be ministered to.

  • Matthew 20:28 New King James Version – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

But in order to obey God and serve people the way Jesus did, we need help.

  • John 16:7-11 New King James VersionNevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

Some believers in Jesus have never received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

  • Acts 19:1-2 New King James Version – And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.”

The Holy Spirit will let us know what is right and what is wrong. He will convict us of sin and give us power to resist temptation. The Holy Spirit causes us to walk in the fruit of His Spirit.

  • Galatians 5:22-23 New King James Version – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

The Holy Spirit will help us do the will of God, but we need to ask the Holy Spirit for help.

  • Romans 8:13-14 New King James Version – For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 

The Holy Spirit will help us…

  1. Talk right
  2. Do right
  3. Go right and
  4. Be a witness for Jesus

When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, there is no room for anything ungodly to get into our lives.

The Fear of the Lord (Part 2)

“So they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging. Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice to the Lord and took vows.” Jonah 1:15-16 New King James Version

Sometimes we cause our own trouble through disobedience. This was the case with Jonah. God gave him an instruction that he didn’t like so Jonah decided to disobey. Jonah’s disobedience caused a storm that affected everyone on the ship he took away from God’s will. Jonah knew the storm was because of him and asked to be thrown overboard. As soon as the crew got Jonah off the boat, the see subsided.

Obeying God is required. Those who have a healthy fear of the Lord want to obey the Lord. When we have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us, we want to do right. When we have a problem obeying God, we need to tap into the “do right” ability of the Holy Spirit who always leads us to righteousness.

If we don’t choose what’s right, God will send correction. For Jonah that correction was in the form of a storm and a large fish. Unbelievers expect us to do what is right, even when they don’t. Unbelievers know that Christians are supposed to be Christlike.

  • 3 John 1:11 New King James Version – Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.

Ask yourself: “What should I be doing concerning my relationship with God?” Jonah knew what he needed to do, so he repented. Sometimes we make decisions without seeking God. We must obey God’s instructions even when we don’t understand why.

  • Jonah 1:9 & 12 New King James VersionSo 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.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.”

If we really love God, we will obey Him. God wants obedience without delay. Obedience is moving now–as soon as God gives the instruction.

  • 1 John 5:2-3 New King James VersionBy this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.

God honors obedience. When we step out in faith to obey God, He will strengthen us to do His will.