Reading Jonah 1:8-17, we see men who are at the end of themselves, desperate for answers, who are open and interested in learning about God. Now that they have figured out that Jonah is somehow responsible for the situation they are in, they ask question after question of him. Jonah shares his story. Interestingly, Jonah’s not trying to convert these men, he just wants them to help him die so he won’t have to obey God. The men try everything they can think of to do this their own way, but in the end, they come back to Jonah’s suggestion and they throw him in. The sea immediately becomes calm and they realize that only the true God could have done this and they turn to God and worship Him.
This is a great picture of how witnessing works. We share, not an elaborate story or plan, but we share with others just what God has done in our lives. God is responsible for getting those people to the place where they are ready and willing to take that step of faith because they recognize thay they can’t do anything more on their own. Then God shows up and is faithful and the person realizes they can trust in God and the person gives God his or her life.
We are simply responsible for telling our story. We must be willing to answer people’s questions and share what God has done and is doing in our lives. God is responsible for the rest. If we will trust God to take care of getting people ready to hear and then be obedient to share when we have opportunity, God will be glorified and worshipped, just like he was by the sailors here in Jonah.