Learning To Follow -
Have you ever asked yourself that question? In the very beginning of my journey with the Lord I struggled with those thoughts. “How can God possibly use me to benefit His Kingdom?” I began to study and reflect upon various stories in the Bible. Matthew chapter 4 gives a vivid description of the first disciples to be called by Jesus. Imagine yourself and a friend out fishing on a lake having a relaxing time and suddening when you reach back to the shore, you hear Jesus calling out to you saying, “Come follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Wow! Do you stand there frozen with the fishing gear still in your hand in awe of ‘who ‘ just called you? Or would you hastilly leave everything behind to join the Master?
Imagine what Simon and Andrew must have been thinking after they had walked a few miles and turned to see the shore in a far distance. They dropped everything to follow Jesus. Their gear may have been visible still. Fish may still be jumping in their buckets on the rocky shore. Do you suppose it was their last glimpse as life as they knew it? Perhaps it was.
Their lives were completely encompassed in the safe keeping of their Master. Life had taken on a new meaning and purpose for them. They travelled, they learned from their great teacher, and they shared with everyone the good news of eternal life. They were mission bound! It wasn’t all glory and dance though. The Gospels record many hardships and trials Jesus and the disciples and followers faced. There was one particular occasion along the journey where they stopped and wondered if the mission was too difficult for them to continue. Some complained that Jesus’ teachings were too difficult. Consequently, some departed.
Is that how Christians feel today? Has your life changed for the Gospel mission? Did you join the force wholeheartedly knowing that there would be some hardships? Did you look back with the yearning to go back? Did you hesitate along with the doubters who found the teachings too difficult to comprehend?
There was plenty of fish left to be caught, but not by the disciples. They had nothing to worry about, their catch was now men. They had a new path set before them. But it was with Jesus, the One who chose them to be the future spokesmen for the sake of the Kingdom of God. I believe they held firmly to the Gospel truth. Their faith proved worthy of all that Jesus had promised them.
May we never forget God’s promises of provision, protection, and guidance as we stand our ground for Him. May we firmly grasp His truths so that we will never be tempted to walk back to where we once were. But to continue in Him holding firmly to His hand. In this way, God will effectively use us to be His partner and friend in mission until the day of completion as He has declared!
Allow Him to use you for His glory!
Copyright Jan Keats