Jonah 1:5 – 6 “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 lay down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us, and we will not perish.”
It’s a common misconception among Christians that when we sin against God, we will be miserable. We will feel shame and guilt, and we won’t be able to sleep. But as you can see by Jonah’s example, that’s not always true.
Jonah had blatantly disobeyed God. He was flat-out defiant, and he slept just fine. As a matter of fact, in a boat full of pagans, Jonah was the only one who could sleep.
The Bible tells us in Jeremiah 17:9 that the heart is deceptive above all things. The term, “Follow your heart,” isn’t always a safe thing, for our hearts, our consciences will pretty much convince us of whatever we want to believe. We can justify any action, no matter how wrong, and sleep just fine.
Instead of following our hearts, which can be deceptive and rebellious, we need to follow God. Our own choices may be wrong, or they may be right. But God’s guidance is always right. The only way we can never go wrong is to follow God. We can’t follow our hearts or our consciences or our desires, for we will surely end up, at some point, making the wrong choices.
Jonah’s heart told him that the Ninevites were worthless, wicked people, and that they didn’t deserve God’s mercy and grace. He truly convinced himself that He was acting wisely and justly by refusing to preach to them. So when He got on that ship, he didn’t have any trouble taking a nice, long nap, even in the midst of a violent storm.
Nope. We can’t follow our hearts, for our hearts are deceitful. We can’t follow our desires, for our desires will surely lead us astray. The only way we can make the right choice, every single time, is to follow God.
Dear Father, Please forgive me for the times I’ve made wrong choices and tried to justify them. Help me to make the right choices by following You.
Oh, yeah. Our hearts will definitely lead us astray.
The only sure place to drop anchor is God’s Word. Thanks, Renea!
Jean, did you realize you wrote a poem above? Read it aloud, ending with my name. 😉 You’re so gifted.