by Rick Warren — July 28, 2020
“Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”
Jonah 1:2 (NIV)
At the time, Nineveh was the biggest and most important city in the world. It was the capital of Assyria, the strongest empire of the day. Nineveh was also a beautiful city with wide boulevards, parks, canals, great architecture, palaces, and temples.
For Jonah to preach to them, it would take a step of faith. Why? First, Jonah had grown up in a small village. Yet God was calling him to reach the biggest city in the world. Plus, it was more than 550 miles away. It wouldn’t be easy to get there.
Most importantly, Assyria had captured, dominated, and enslaved the Jews multiple times. The Assyrians hated Israel, and Israel hated the Assyrians. They were mortal enemies. They were political enemies. They were religious enemies. They were racial enemies.
But God wanted to save these people too, so he sent Jonah on a mission to them. However, instead of obeying, Jonah ran from God’s plan. He wouldn’t take the step of faith necessary to start his mission, let alone complete it.
Like Jonah’s mission, your God-given mission will test your faith. It may challenge your comfort zones. It may challenge your prejudices. It may challenge your politics.
But you can’t accomplish God’s mission for your life without faith. “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV).
What Jonah eventually learned is that God will be with us every step along our mission, guiding and providing for us. Jesus promised this when he gave the Great Commission.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20 NIV).