“How Can You Sleep?”
Jonah set out on a course of defiance against the Lord when he refused to go to Nineveh to preach against it. In running away from God, Jonah ran into a storm that would have destroyed him. “Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.” (Jonah 1:4) Jonah’s rebellion put him into a spiritual slumber where the Scripture says, “he lay down and fell into a deep sleep.” When we are in rebellion to God’s call on our life, we too will fall into a “deep sleep.” The world may be falling apart around us, but we seem to be oblivious to the needs of others. “All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god.” But while all of this was going on, Jonah was in a deep sleep. While the sailors were throwing the cargo overboard, Jonah continued to sleep. If the captain had not awoken Jonah, the ship may have sunk and all on board would have perished including Jonah. God used a pagan captain to wake up Jonah. This story could be a parable for the church and the world of today. A violent storm has come upon the world that is threatening to destroy its very
existence– economically, socially, emotionally– violence is rampant and nobody feels safe, yet the church is sleeping. At some point, a pagan captain will shake the church and ask, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your God! Maybe He will take notice of us and we will not perish.” (Jonah 1:6) Jonah had the power to calm the storm and save the doomed ship even if he didn’t know it. The church has been given the same authority and power, but we must exercise it so God may accomplish His will. We are not sideline spectators in this spiritual battle. We are active participates out on the field. God is awakening the church for such a time as this.
Will you answer the call?