Jonah Chapter 1

“The Word of the Lord came to Jonah” Jonah 1:1
God’s Word and God’s will are inseparable!  By God’s grace, He has given each person a conscience to help guide them.  John 16:9 tells us that the Holy Spirit convicts everyone who does not believe in Jesus in hopes that they will turn to Him and find Him as Savior.  If they choose not to believe, God can use their conscience to hold back evil in this world.  What a blessing we as believers have, even more than our conscience, we also have the Holy Spirit to help us.
The apostle Paul wrote about this in Romans 9:1 “I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit”
There is, however, the risk of our conscience becoming dull to the truth of God’s Word.  When we meditate on the truth of Scripture, our conscience can confirm the direction that God may be leading us. 
2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”
Joshua 1:8 “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

The life of Jonah is a clear example of the dangers of ignoring God’s directions.  While Jonah thought he could ignore God, his life spiraled downward.  Those around him were in danger and soon Jonah’s life was sinking! 
In God’s great mercy, He gave Jonah another chance to turn from his own thinking and provided another opportunity to follow the “Word of the Lord.”
Aren’t you glad that we haven’t needed to be thrown overboard before we change our thinking and choose to follow God’s Word?  Imagine a world where everyone would first hear what God says about the issues they are facing.  Imagine a world where there would be no one attempting to hide from God and the passing storms had no deeper meaning.  Until then, the more we hear God’s Word and choose to obey, the better we will be all along our way. 
For those of us that know Jesus, let's keep growing as we study God's Word.  It can keep us from sinking to unexpected depths with a dreaded guilty conscience!  I think Jonah would agree!
Pastor Tom