I preached a sermon on the whole book of Jonah this morning at a local church, how our disobedience and stubborness can keep us from having the best that God has for us. It’s like this. Suppose you have two young sons, and one does everything he can to please you and obey. The other one is rebellious, and looks for every way out of obeying rather than submitting to your authority as a parent. You love them both, and both are sons, and both will receive an inheritance from you, but one continually seems to walk in your blessing, while the other is constantly seeing the business end of a board applied to his rear.
I don’t know anything about some who will read this, but you may be one of those people that God has tried and tried to deal with, but you would not have any of it, and therefore have missed out on many of the blessings He wants you to have. Doesn’t mean you may not be saved, but just not walking in all the blessings that are available to you.
I would invite you right now to examine your life before God. I did just a couple hours ago and asked God to point out things that are hiding in my heart that are not pleasing to Him, and bring them to His light, that I may ask for the blood of Jesus to be applied to them. Anything not under His blood is not blessed. God allows trials to come upon us so that He may know our heart. It’s easy when the times are good, the bank account runneth over, and the cupboard is full of food to praise God and be thankful. BUT, when the bank account is empty, you are out of work, and the wolf is huffing and puffing to blow your house down, your true heart is revealed. And when things aren’t going as you would like, do you accuse God of not keeping His word? I have, and my guess is that most people do also. I had to deeply repent of that.

We are many times like spoiled brats who throw a tantrum when we don’t get our way. It’s times like that when our true colors are revealed to us, and others around us. God already knows us, but often we have so deceived ourselves, that we think we couldn’t possibly be like that. We can go to church, study our Bible, but as it is written, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh”. And many times trials come because God said “Go left” and we wanted to “go right”. Some come, just for the sake of the Word in us, because the devil hates us. But God uses those times to refine and purify us, nonetheless.
Trials reveal cracks in our foundations, weak spots in our walk with God, and God wants to fix them. Sort of like rain on a newly roofed house. A leak reveals something wasn’t done just right, and it needs to be fixed. But why fix a leaking roof when it isn’t raining? It doesn’t leak in the sunny days, so it’s ok most of the time. Yes, that’s true. But if you don’t want to get wet the next time it rains, you’d better fix it now, before a leak ruins everything in your house. When we take the time to fix our spiritual house and get it right before God, it will not leak or fall down when the next flood comes. And believe me, it will come, sooner or later.
 When God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and tell them that they would be destroyed in forty days, Jonah disobeyed and went the other way. Why? He hated the people there and wanted God to destroy them, and Jonah knew that God is merciful and if they repented, God would not destroy them as He had warned. And so he figured that if he didn’t tell them to repent, God would just destroy them. How often do we ask God for mercy for ourselves, and are pleased when He delivers us, but yet we want “others” whom we see as “undesireables” to be punished by God, to have to “squirm” a bit?

God wants us to examine our hearts. Do we love others and see them as Jesus sees them, with eyes of compassion and love and mercy? or do we only see ourselves as deserving mercy and we call for “justice” for everyone else? Jonah miserably failed the “mercy” test, and also the “obedience” test.
Sure, he went the second time God told him, after he got shown God meant business. I can see him now walking along, both hands crammed into his pockets, his head angled down , muttering under his breath, with a little black cloud following over his head, like Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes, the cartoon characters) when Calvin is in one of his famous rotten moods. God even blessed Jonah with a gourd plant to shade him from the sun while he sat and waited for God to destroy Nineveh. Then Jonah threw a fit after God allowed it to wither during the night. So you see, Jonah’s heart was still hard, and he griped to God and said it was better to die, he was still throwing a “three year old” temper tantrum. God gently pointed out to Jonah that there were 120,000 people in Nineveh that knew not their left hand from their right, in other words, they were unsaved, spiritually blind. They couldn’t be expected to act any differently, they just didn’t know any better. But Jonah knew better than to act that way, didn’t he? He was a man of God supposedly.
Nineveh repented when they heard the rebuke of the Lord, and it made Jonah mad. Turns out the people of Nineveh were more righteous in their hearts than Jonah, when it came down to it. Jonah was a spoiled brat deep inside. How about you? What has God revealed your heart to be?
If it isn’t what God would like to look at, then change it now. It’s real easy. Just say, “Lord God, I open my heart to your examination right now. Whatever You see there that displeases you, I lay on the altar and ask you to cover in the blood of Jesus.  Bring every area into Your light and purify it, that I may be a pure and holy vessel to serve You. Give me a right heart and a right spirit and fill me with Your presence, and forgive my sins. I ask it in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

And if you don’t know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, there’s no better time than now to ask Jesus into your heart. Why miss out on God’s best for you? Especially being it is already paid for in full. Jesus paid the price, will you accept His gift? Don’t put it off. Say “YES” to Jesus today!