Every week, I have the great privilege of meeting with several guys every week in a Paul/Timothy kind of relationship … sharing life and offering accountability. This weekend, while sitting fireside at Panera Bread, one of these young men and I started chatting about favorite stories from the Bible. He knew his immediately: Jonah and the Whale and Noah’s Ark. With such an enthusiasm, I had to ask him why these were his favorites.
“Noah,” he began, “heard from God, knew what had to be done, expected opposition and still stood strong.” He went on to explain that if Noah could face strong challenges and withstand it with God’s help, so could he.
“What about Jonah?” I asked. “What’s your takeaway from his story?”
“Well, if you don’t listen to God, you’ll get swallowed up by a whale.”
Through the laughter that followed, I realized there was some honest truth behind his words. David wrote in Psalm 85:8, “I will listen to what God the Lord says.” Maybe you’d say this is true of you often … but not always. And when God makes a tough request … like build a boat on dry land or head to “a place I will show you,” it’s a lot more difficult to say, “Yes, Lord.” But that’s exactly what He wants … what’s He’s deserving of. And we’re reminded in James 19:22 to be “doers of the word, and not hearers only.” Consider if Noah had heard the command, but ignored it? God is calling you to accomplish great things in His name every single day.
The challenge for us: do we just listen, or do we take action … and if we err on just being hearers — we ought to watch out for the whale.