3 Menacing dangers of disobeying God

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Knowing God’s purpose for your life is one of a Christian’s most fulfilling experiences. Some are miserable because they don’t know their purpose in life. And some know God’s purpose for their life, yet they still choose to disobey God. Let me show you the dangers of disobeying God, as seen in the story of Jonah.

But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

Jonah 1:3

God wanted Jonah to go to Nineveh to preach His Word. However, Jonah chose to disobey God and go to Tarshish. He knew what he was doing. But he didn’t care about the consequences of disobedience.

Why do Christians choose to disobey God?

Many Christians are the same as Jonah. They know what God wants them to do. They know that there are consequences for their disobedience. But they don’t care about the dangers of disobeying God. Firstly, Let’s examine why Christians choose to disobey God.

Unable to resist temptation.

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

Genesis 3:1

The devil is always busy tempting us to disobey God’s commandments. Some can resist the temptation, just like Joseph, the dreamer. But many Christians struggle with temptation and are not able to fight it.

Like in the example of Eve, the devil takes advantage of the lust of the flesh, eyes, and the pride of life. Eve continued to converse with it instead of leaving the serpent to avoid temptation. So to resist temptation, we must avoid every appearance of it.

The fear of man.

And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.

1 Samuel 15:24

God commanded Saul to conquer all of the Amalekites. However, Saul spared the king and some cattle to offer to God. His intention seems to be good. But it doesn’t matter what your intentions are. If it’s against the Word of God, then you’re disobeying God. He also revealed that his decision was because he feared his men.

Christians also are willing to go through the dangers of disobeying God because they fear man more than God. Remember that you will obey the one that you fear. If you fear man more than God, then you’ll abide by man and disobey God. And if you fear God more than man, you will obey God whatever the circumstances.

Being carnal (worldly.)

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

Romans 8:7

The carnal mind will never submit to the Word of God. It is worldly and controlled by lust. Because of that, it will always go against the commands of God. That’s why many Christians constantly disobey God because their mind is carnal.

These are just some of the reasons why people disobey God. Now let’s take a look at the implications of Jonah’s disobedience.

Disobeying God signifies a diminishing spirituality.

Jonah did not lose his spirituality when he disobeyed God. His spirituality was already gone. He went down to Joppa geographically, but he was already down spiritually. Notice that when someone in the Bible disobeys the will of God, the Scriptures use the phrase “went down.”

But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

Jonah 1:3

When Jonah disobeyed God’s command, he went “down.” When Abraham strayed from God’s will, he went “down” (Genesis 12:10.) The Bible says the same thing to Samson when he disobeyed God’s command (Judges 14:1.)

Jonah didn’t want to go to Nineveh because of his selfish desire to see the Assyrian capital punished for destroying the northern kingdom of Israel. Abraham went down to Egypt instead of staying in God’s will because fear controlled his life. And Samson went down to Timnath because of his fleshly desire to marry an unbeliever.

Therefore, the Spirit must lead us to avoid going down spiritually. Because when we’re down spiritually, that’s when we’re prone to disobey God’s commands. Remember that we’re sealed with the Spirit when we trust the Lord Jesus Christ as our savior. However, we’re not always filled with the Spirit.

And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

Ephesians 5:18

Disobeying God will have serious consequences.

Jonah was the prophet of God, and he knew that his actions would have consequences. What’s frightening is that Jonah didn’t care what the result would be. Not only was he willing to pay the fare to go to Tarshish, but he was also willing to pay the consequences of his disobedience.

And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.

Jonah 4:2

I believe Jonah was willing to pay the consequence because he knew God was gracious and merciful. In other words, Jonah thought he could take advantage of God’s grace, mercy, and kindness.

Many of us do the same thing. We’re willing to go through the dangers of disobeying God thinking that He would understand it because He is gracious and merciful. God is merciful, but God is also righteous and punishes sin.

If you think you can take advantage of God’s kindness, think again. You have no idea what you’re doing. God punished Moses, David, and Jonah because of their disobedience. God’s justice exempts no one.

Disobeying God will put the people around you in danger.

4But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. 5Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.

Jonah 1:4-5

Jonah’s disobedience caused God to send a storm to trouble Jonah and the people around him. Jonah also knew that all of this was happening because of his disobedience. If he had chosen to obey God, he could have avoided all these.

And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.

Jonah 1:12

God’s principle for judgment is He punishes the one who sins. God was not judging the mariners. They were affected by God’s judgment towards Jonah.

I have a preacher friend whose been living in sin. God exposed his sins, and he got kicked out of the church. His family had to go with him since he was the head of the family. As a result, his sin affected his family. Disobeying God reveals our genuine attitude toward Him.

8Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou? 9And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land.

Jonah 1:8-9

Jonah tells the mariners that he fears God. However, it’s hard to think that Jonah fears God when he’s blatantly disobeying God. He was a hypocrite.

Disobeying God reveals the fact that we don’t fear Him. We can tell others that we love God or we fear God. However, our actions will always show what’s in our hearts.

Let us stop being miserable and enjoy our life in Christ by faithfully doing His will. Let’s do our best to avoid these dangers that result in disobeying God. Let us learn from the story of Jonah.

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