This post is submitted by a B4T worker in the Arab world.
In his book, Start With Why, Simon Sinek lays out a central problem of companies and organizations: they start with the wrong question. Asking “what” or “how” before “why” can lead you to do so many things that aren’t a part of your core business, you have no business doing at all, or simply that take you off track.
Yet, as I’ve studied the Scriptures I’ve seen a great many cases where people don’t understand the “why” and yet they more importantly know the “Who.”
In 2 Kings 18 / 2 Chronicles 32 / Isaiah 37, Sennacherib is threatening Jerusalem. There is a mixture of hubris and blaspheming, but the situation seems dire. He has already taken the other fortified cities of Judah (Isaiah 36:1) and he marches on Jerusalem. He sends his Rabshakeh (high ranking military official) to taunt and scare monger the Judahites into submission. They are rightfully terrified. No one has been able to stand up to these guys! “Where were all their gods?” asked the Rabshakeh. In human terms, the people of Jerusalem stood no chance. Hezekiah doesn’t have time to think about what, when, where, why, or how, but he does know Who he needs to run to for help. Terrified, he sends for Isaiah who gives him the word from God: don’t worry. Knowing the “Why” is great for peacetime. It’s great when we have time to sit and think about the direction of our lives or how we may want to serve the King. Usually, we do have that time and so starting with “why” is normally a wonderful idea. But in war time we often don’t have time to think or understand the “why.” Knowing the “Who” is more important than knowing anything else.
Currently, I know of a precious new believer on the African continent who is running for his life. He has family members and ex-friends and community members trying to murder him for his new faith. He is too new to fully understand the “why,” but he certainly knows the “Who.” As he is in hiding, he is feasting on the Word of God and the presence of God. He has even experienced a vision of Jesus comforting him in his new faith. The preciousness of this man’s faith is beyond compare.
When you know the “Who” it can tide you over until you meet Him in eternity or you get to safety and have time to think about the “why” and the “what” and the “when” and the “where” and the “how.”