You might not have to answer the phone every time someone calls you, but you must answer when God calls. God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach so that the people would turn from their sins and be spared from judgment. Jonah knew better than even to think of trying to run from God’s call, but that’s exactly what he did. He went in the opposite direction and bought a one-way ticket to the farthest place from Nineveh he could find.

As Jonah made his way to Tarshish, God sent a strong wind to trouble the sea. After finally admitting to the sailors what he had done, Jonah convinced them to throw him overboard so the sea would be calm. The sailors did this, and God caused a big fish to swallow Jonah. God’s messenger then spent the next three days and nights in the fish’s stomach. He had tried to run from God, but he didn’t get very far. No one ever does.

It’s a whole lot better to obey God and have Him on your side than to disobey and have Him against you — just ask Jonah. When God calls, we don’t have to understand everything. We don’t need to know the why’s and how’s in His plan for us. In fact, we may never fully understand these details until we get to Heaven. The important thing is that we say yes.

Did you know that God has called you? You might not be asked to visit a wicked city and tell it about God’s coming judgment, but you have been asked to share your faith. God might not be calling you to become a preacher, but He has called you to be a light in your world. If you say no to His call, you will be doing a lot more than passing up an opportunity; you will be running from God, and you know how that will turn out.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder