What do you do when God calls you to do something crazy or something that you don’t want to do? Have you been called to teach overseas? Have you been called to reach out to broken people in the inner cities? Living radically is not easy. Radical means, “Thoroughgoing or extreme, especially as regards change from accepted or traditional forms,” basically anything out of the ordinary. This means that people are going to think you are crazy, your parents might not support you, you may put your life in danger, you may make little to no money, and you may even be terrified to do it. However, whenever God calls we must listen not matter how hard. God will give us the strength and if we run away or are tempted to we simply need to remember Jonah.
Jonah was called to do something radical. He was told to go to the Ninevites and convict them of their evil ways. Jonah didn’t want to do it. He hated the Ninevites and did not want to give up his life and his time to do so. He thought He could literally run away from God and even tried to do so. He boarded a ship and went in the OPPOSITE direction of Nineveh. Of course God knows everything so He knew where Jonah was “hiding” and sent a huge storm. The ship was about to be torn to pieces and the sailors were terrified. They reluctantly threw Jonah overboard, presumably to his death, but he did not die. God sent a fish to swallow Jonah and after three days God caused the fish to spit Jonah out on dry land. Jonah was still reluctant and still prideful, but God used Him to save an entire city-120,000 people from total destruction.
If God is calling you don’t be like Jonah and try to run away and do your own thing-even if it is “good” or “godly.” Now there aren’t any oceans close by with big fish to swallow you in, but God will continue to use trials and other challenges to get you to listen to Him. You will not feel content or complete until you are following Him wholeheartedly. I get it though. Following Christ is tough, it is scary, and I want my own way. However, God has the best plan and I have to take faith in that. I have to trust that He will help me learn a new language. I have to believe that the funds will come in. I have to say goodbye to my family and friends. I have to take a plane overseas to Nicaragua where God is calling me. I am not going to pretend that I am fearless because I am scared. I have little knowledge, especially of the Spanish language but love translates and the people will be patient. I don’t know what God is calling you to do, but I want to encourage you not to act like Jonah and try to escape His calling. Life will not be the same if you do. I am terrified of what God has called me to do, but at the same time I would be more scared of not going. He has great plans for me and I don’t want to miss out on them.
Don’t forget that, “God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Go out, live radically, and look out for big fish.