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What Happens When You Run from God – Rick Warren

“Jonah immediately tried to run away from the LORD by going to Tarshish.”

Jonah 1:3 (GW)

God gives every one of us a unique mission—and he gives us a choice as to whether or not we fulfill that mission.
God gave Jonah a mission: to warn the people of Nineveh that judgment was coming. But “Jonah immediately tried to run away from the Lord by going to Tarshish” (Jonah 1:3 GW).

Jonah faced consequences for his decision, the same kind of consequences you may encounter if you run away from God’s mission for your life.

The Bible says that when Jonah boarded a ship to get away from his mission, God sent a powerful wind to push the boat back (Jonah 1:4).

Why did God do that? Because he loved Jonah and wanted him to make a good decision that would give him a life of purpose and fulfillment. God sends opposition our way to encourage us to make better decisions.

Jonah’s disobedience also threatened the lives of everyone on the boat to Tarshish. When you run away from God, innocent people, including those you care about, can get hurt. Maybe it’s your spouse, your kids, your grandkids, or your friends. Sometimes it’s people you don’t even know. People can get hurt because of your disobedience.

Jonah shows that when you run from God, your life starts a downward trajectory. Your disobedience will cost you financially, physically, and relationally.

Nineveh was more than 550 miles away, but Jonah tried running to Tarshish, which was 2,500 miles away in the opposite direction. The truth is, you can’t run from God for the rest of your life. He’s everywhere and he knows everything. But he gives you choices because he wants you to love him and follow him voluntarily.

Since God has your best interest at heart, why run from him?

Talk It Over

Why would God want us to have the choice to love and follow him?
Are you running away from something God has told you to do? Why do you think you’re resisting?
What kind of consequences have you experienced when you’ve put yourself in opposition to God?
How might knowing God is for you and not against you change your willingness to obey God?

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