In my job, I not only get to teach people how to ask questions, I get to ask them. There are different ways to ask the same question in order to get a more complete response. After I have given information to a group of people, I use questions to check their knowledge of the content that I presented. I often ask open questions and pose them to the entire group. I see who is paying attention and who gets it by doing that. I also ask direct questions to individuals in order to engage them in the conversation.
I’ve noticed that God does that too. He often asks questions that are open to all of us and other times He asks us directly. In Isaiah 6:8, God asks the questions, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” Isaiah was standing right there. I can see him raising his hand, bouncing on his tippy toes and wiggled his fingers saying, “Ooooh. Ooooh. Pick me! Pick me!” I wonder if he knew what he was getting into. I wonder if any of us really know what we’re getting into when we volunteer for God.
There are other times when God asks very direct questions of us. Jesus did this to Peter. He asked him, “Peter, do you love me?” I can see Peter a little stunned by the question. His eyebrows furrowed, head tilted to the side and saying, “Uh, Lord, you know I do.” Then Jesus told him, “Feed my sheep.” I’m sure you know Jesus asked him two more times if he loved him. Peter got a little upset at Jesus for His persistence in asking a question He knew the answer to over and over. When God does that, it’s for our benefit, not His.
He often asks things of us to see what our response will be. It’s not that He doesn’t know what our response will be. It’s that He wants us to be sure in our purpose. What I’ve found is that when God asks us a question, action on our part is required beyond our answer. When Isaiah answered, he had to go deliver God’s message Israel. When Peter answered that he loved Jesus, he was then given the command to feed God’s sheep.
Whenever God asks a question of you, know that He is looking for a commitment beyond your answer. Answering is the easy part. Following through becomes something more difficult. You’ll have to make changes to your life, sacrifices to your schedule and give of yourself to someone else. God is looking for us to serve others for Him. We are to be His hands, His feet and His voice to show and to speak His love to those who need it.
I think God asks that same question to us that Jesus asked to Peter. “Do you love me? Then feed my sheep.” If we love Him, we will find ways to feed others both physically and spiritually. He also asks, “Who can I send? Who will go?” While many of us love Him, not all of us are ready to say, “Here am I, send me.” Faith requires action on our part. James 2:17 says, “Faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead).”
So what is God asking you right now? What will you need to do beyond what He is asking? Are you willing to make the changes and sacrifices required? The men and women in the Bible who followed through after God asked them a question were blessed beyond measure. I believe you and I will be too if we respond in obedience with action.