Peace family, I am reading through Matthew, and this morning, I was really struck by the immediate willingness and trust of the disciples as Jesus called them to his ministry.
Matthew 4:18-22 says, “18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. 21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.” (NIV)
At the call of Jesus, these young men immediately left their families, their jobs, and the places that they had lived in order to follow Jesus and let him transform their lives (and their definition of “fishing”) forever. Their obedience was complete, and it was immediate. They didn’t hold back extra nets, “just in case.” Living in America, becoming a believer doesn’t usually result in us needing to quit our family, our job, or our community. However, this level of trust and obedience challenges me!
There are a lot of “nets” that we can struggle to give up in our walk with Christ, and they are going to be different for any individual. I know for me, instead of finding my identity only in Christ, I struggle with the desire to have a spouse and children, of wanting to be professionally successful, or wanting to feel like I am important and relevant; those distract me from the greater picture that God has on hand for me. I also sometimes try to find comfort in things other than Christ, such as zoning out on facebook or eating or sleeping. These things waste time and reduce my effectiveness in staying encouraged and obeying what God calls me to do.
Peace family, what nets are holding you back in your life? Are there any things, even good things, that you are struggling to put down and follow Christ fully?
I want to encourage you that it is worth it. When we relinquish our “nets,” we can trust that God will not only provide for us, but also give us greater fulfillment in his own way than what we would hope to have our own way. He will give us what we really need, and he is trustworthy.