When I sense the Lord is telling me to do or not to do something, I sometimes don’t ‘listen’ or obey immediately. It usually costs me spiritually. If I do not ‘listen’ and obey the consequences are not always as immediately seen as with poor Jonah. His ‘opinion’ was trumping God’s, in the matter of taking the message of repentance to Ninevah. They were wicked, nasty people and Jonah wanted nothing to do with them. The first time God spoke to him, he ran the other direction, but the second time God spoke to him, God had given him a ‘free ride’ back all the way to Ninevah…in the belly of a fish!
Jonah knew God’s mercy was great…Jonah made himself the judge, with the sin of Adam and Eve…”I think”…therefore “I am”. The error which haunts and taunts us all, day and night until Jesus comes again.
Jeremiah ‘listened’ to the Lord, and reveled in a more intimate knowledge of God, Elijah ‘listened’ and then ran off scared, and Job ‘listened’ to the Lord with a little discussion, about 4 chapters worth, 38-41, of ‘where were you when?”, Paul ‘listened’ to the Lord.
Jeremiah ‘listened’ the first time and God revealed more of Himself. Elijah found he was not the only one still serving God, Job ‘listened’ and recognized his human frailty and gave God the glory due His name, and was restored. Paul ‘listened’ to the Lord, “Who are you Lord?”, and became the prolific writer of the New Testament in which he records (mostly through a secretary-scribe) the growth of the church and goal of missions that Jesus had already given as the ‘great commission’ we are to be obeying to this day.
Lord, I want to be ‘LISTENING’, obeying and leaving a heritage of faith for those who come after, that they may know, serve, ‘listen’ and obey. You are GOD ALMIGHTY and i am not.