While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen.  And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  Immediately they left their nets and followed him. [Matthew 4:18-20 ESV]
The call to follow Jesus is one where you relinquish control of your life and trust the One whom you follow; namely Jesus. It’s not a life where you call the shots. I was recently speaking with a group of young men when one asked me how long do pastor’s stay at churches. I responded, “That depends on God”. He smiled and agreed and that was the end of his inquiry. My guess is that he heard all he needed to know; basically, the call to follow Jesus is not one you get to control.
The call to follow Jesus is one of trust. You may not get the whole picture. Often times God operates on a need to know basis. The call may simply be to go to such and such a country or to such and such a town. God may not lay everything out in black and white but rather in a muddled, garbled mess; one that starts to make sense as you move along God’s path.
The call to follow Jesus is not necessarily one of worldly riches and comforts. And this is the one the gets a lot of people. I need to provide for my family. I have to pay the bills. So you may be hesitant to listen to God’s voice because you are afraid of what it might say (even though deep down inside you have been hearing it already).
The call to follow Jesus is one that may lead to friction in worldly relationships. Family may be upset that you are moving so far away or putting your family in a difficult financial situation or moving to an unsafe part of the world. Close friends may express sadness and maybe a little pressure to stay close. Some may call you crazy and think you have fallen off your rocker for “following Jesus”.
The call to follow Jesus is one of discipline and refining. God may bring a period of darkness in your life in order to draw you deeper in Him. God may be refining out impurities in your faith in order for you to minister in a new way. God may be convicting you of a sin that needs to be addressed in order for you to better glorify Him.
The call to follow Jesus is one of leaving peace of mind in order to bring peace to those in chaos.
The call to follow Jesus is one of Kingdom advancement; not yours, so therefore the hesitation for some.
The call to follow Jesus is one of great joy for those who place their complete faith and trust in God almighty through Christ Jesus our Lord. For when the Jesus follower does this it is because they know it’s not their knowledge or skills or wisdom or strength that will get them by. It’s God and if God is for you then who could possibly be against you?
The call to follow Jesus takes prayer, patience and persistence. Prayer in order to receive your true marching orders; patience to wait on God’s timing; and persistence to keep at it during periods of darkness and difficulties.
The call to follow Jesus is one of fishing for people so the nets of God’s kingdom are filled to overflowing and then some. Those first disciples had no clue what Jesus meant by “fishing for men” or how to go about doing it. They simply responded to the call to follow Jesus and trusted him. And you know something? They did it and the net continues to be filled.
The call to follow Jesus is a call to participate in God’s plan of redemption and God’s plan is NOT going to fail. So drop your nets and go. Follow Jesus wherever HE goes.
Holy Father, You have called me to follow You. You have called me to faith. You have called me to share the Gospel through Word and deed. You have called me to obey. Grant me the faith to listen and follow that you may continue to be glorified. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
The Pastor -|—