“All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own God and they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship, but Jonah had gone below deck where he laid down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep, get up and call onto your God. Maybe he will take notice of us and we will not perish.” And the sailors said to each other, come let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity. They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. So they asked him, tell us who is responsible for making all this trouble for us.” Jonah 1:5-8
A principle we need to understand about disobedience is that it not only derails God’s purpose for our lives and it denies blessing, but disobedience also disrupts our relationships. Jonah was asleep in the bottom of the boat. He was worn out from running from God, but when he woke up he realized that everyone else around him, all of their lives were completely disrupted. They were running around frantically, all because of Jonah’s bad decision. A lot of people say, “Well, I’m my own person, I make my own decisions, I do what I want to do,” and yes, you do what you want to do, you make your own decisions, but it affects everyone else around you. It’s like a ripple in a pond. Every decision you make every choice you make affects someone else because we’re all interconnected. The moment you make a disobedient decision it disrupts all of the relationships in your life.
You see, we have this powerful thing called free will, we’re free to choose to do whatever we want to do, God’s given it to us. You’re free to choose, but the moment you make that choice you’re not free anymore from the consequences of that choice. And those consequences not only affect you, but they affect everyone else around you. Jonah was asleep in the bottom of the boat because he was trying to get some peace, he was trying to get some quiet in his life. He had been running from God and had no peace, he even had false peace while he was asleep, but the moment he woke up chaos reigned all around him. And maybe you’re running away from God right now and you’re feeling pretty good, but every once in a while those chaotic thoughts come back into your mind, those stressful thoughts. Obedience brings peace. Disobedience disrupts peace. It completely destroys my peace.
Father, I choose today to stop running. Please restore my peace, help me to follow Your will for my life and not be caught up in my own selfish decisions that can cause chaos in my relationships with others.