The following is a re-post.
Jonah, what an enlightening, delightful, powerful, compelling, and convicting book. Immediately in Jonah 1:2-3 we see a collision of wills between God and Jonah and we see this highlighted in the call of God to Jonah, "Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it." and Jonah's response...He rose up................to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. Jonah was not being reluctant, he was being rebellious. His disagreement with God (Jonah 4:1-2) turned into disobedience to God, and he fled just as far in the opposite direction of Nineveh as he knew to go.
Jonah's fleeing from God was his way of avoiding God because he did not want to do what God had called him to do. God's call to Jonah exposed an area of Jonah's life that needed to be brought into submission to the Lord, and the limits of his obedience were exposed. This is an object lesson for us. Why?.....There are many times when we have a collision of wills with God, and every collision of our will and His will reveals the limits of our obedience. The limits of our obedience are always being exposed and tested, just like Jonah.
In times like these when our will has collided with God, and we are wrestling with God and ourselves, there are some things we need to remember, things that we observe in the book of Jonah:
1. That God's will is always perfect and pure....ours is neither.
2. When our will is not lined up with God's will, it will always be selfish and self-seeking.
3. The imagined cost of obedience is always overshadowed by the real cost of disobedience.
4. Disobedience is always more costly and the consequences are more severe.
5. While obedience may cause some distress, disobedience leads to disaster.
6. Your disobedience does not happen in a vacum, but will always affect those around you, those whom you are connected to.
7. When you are being disobedient don't be beguiled by the "providential" escape provided by the circumstances.
8. Most often the means of escape our circumstances seem to supply is actually the means of God's discipline, God's chastening.
9. When we are being disobedient our paradise becomes purgatory and our pleasure becomes pain.
10. It is always better to trust the Word of God rather than to trust your own heart.