[Translation: [French | Italian | Spanish]

By Pastor Stephen Quackenbush, Montreal

Dear believer, do you know that our God is a merciful and gracious God? There are times when we’ve wandered so far from God and we’ve tried to come back on our own. How many of you know what I’m talking about?

Today we will be discussing the story of Jonah that is a great example of Divine Mercy.

In this story God is concerned with and merciful to the inhabitants of Nineveh – the capital of the Assyrians, brutal and oppressive nation which devastated Jerusalem. Jonah was a disobedient prophet who hardened his heart toward the Assyrians.

He rejected his divine destiny of saving Nineveh from God’s wrath only because he would see God’s grace extending only to Israel. Jonah was commanded by God to go east to Nineveh. He flees from God toward the westernmost possible point, only to be swallowed by a great fish and dumped back at this starting point.

Why do we Destroy our Destinies by Disobeying God?

To cause us to harden our hearts is a great tool of Satan because it cuts us off from our destiny. He numbs the heart and this is one of the quickest ways to destroy your destiny. He deafens our spirit ears so that we can’t hear God, so that we don’t see the difference between right and wrong.

[Jonah 1:1-5] We become easy prey for evil spirits. That separation causes us to fall into temptation, which brings shame. Then we fall so far away from where we were that we don’t see how it’s possible to come back.

But I want to encourage you with this truth: satan is a liar!

Why we Don’t Have to Listen to the Lies of satan

He is the father of all lies. It doesn’t matter what lie he has sold you or tried to sell you this morning about your destiny. He has no power over you. He has no authority over you.

There is only one person to whom ALL power and ALL authority has been given, and He sits at the right hand of the Father, interceding and pleading for you and me, and His name is Jesus!

I declare over you today, satan might have tried to steal your hope and joy in the Lord, but the Lord is cancelling his attempts and attacks, in Jesus’ name.

He may have tried to destroy your destiny, but you look him in the face right now and say “satan! I’m coming back. You no longer have a hold on me. I am a child of God and my heart belongs to Jesus, my mind belongs to Jesus, I belong to Jesus and my Destiny belongs to Jesus!”

The Shore is Not Far

There are times when I’ve wandered so far from God and I’ve tried to come back on my own.

In [Jonah 1:4-5] sailors began to throw cargo over board. In life we recognize that there’s a problem and we try first to fix things on our own, instead of running back to God. But not drastically, we start small…like throwing cargo overboard.

Trying to rid the ship of the things we drag along with us. Maybe a friend or two, maybe a bad business partner, job or investment. We try to logically think things through and makes what seems to be the wisest decision to us…UNTIL…we realize that we’ve gotten rid of all the nonsense and garbage in our life and still we seem to be sinking.

There’s only ONE thing left to do…

The sailors and Jonah were no different [Jonah 1:9-13]. You may feel that you’re on a ship heading to the island of no hope, perhaps you’re looking over your life and saying the shore is too far. Well, if you stay on board this sinking vessel, you’ll never make it. You can try to row on your own, but on your own it’s just too far. There’s only one thing left to do.

[Jonah 1:15-16-] We cannot stay on this ship heading in the wrong direction and expect to be saved.

When we turn to Jesus in our mess, He makes all things new! [tweet this]

Not just us, but He leaves His imprint where you were.

The only way is to throw yourself at the mercy of Jesus. [Jonah 1:12] He is the only way [John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.”]

Give Jesus a Praise!!

Aren’t you excited that the Father always provides a way out of our mess?!!! [tweet this]

I declare over you today that your deliverance has already been sent!

The Lord is sending you a big fish, hold on. Your deliverance is coming, the shore is not far.”

Jesus is still Calling…

[Jonah 3:1-5] Jesus is the only way for you to come back to where you belong! His faithful and undying love pursues us through our mess.

He restores us and shows us that His plan and purpose for us have not changed. We are still commissioned. Aren’t you happy that God pursues you and doesn’t let you go? Aren’t you happy that God restore?

God Never Leaves Me

Praise Jesus because He restores you back to where you were supposed to be. [tweet this]

[Jonah 4:1-11] It’s easy to be caught up in life with things that fade away and don’t really matter. We don’t see life the way God sees life. There are too many distractors in life that cause us to look at everything BUT what touches God’s heart.

When we begin to see that God’s heart beats for people, to see and receive His salvation…when we begin to ask God for His heart and receive His heart…then that’s when we will begin to see hell emptied and heaven full, In Jesus’ name!

I hope you have been blessed with this message. If so, don’t forget to share this with your friends!