I was driving and praying about a lot of things this week. My babies going back to school has given me lots of time for this. One thing I’ve prayed for is strength to be obedient and disciplined in following God’s calling. As I was driving and praying about this, I thought about this:
“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
These men had been trained for years to do this one thing their whole lives. They woke up every day to fish, and knew that’s what they would do until the day they died. This is what they knew. This is what they were comfortable in. In a split second Jesus called and they left all they had ever known to follow Him. They didn’t question. They didn’t hesitate. They just dropped their nets.
That’s the part that really got me. The nets. Nets serve one purpose- to capture, to snare, to trap. Christ gives us all callings, but how many of us drop our nets and go instead of holding onto what we know? When we hear His voice, do we make excuses to stay where we are instead of dropping it and going?
Stepping into the calling of pursuing Graduate school after moving across the country again while raising three kids does not seem like the best timing decision. I was actually on the phone with my cousin this week and made that joke. Then I realized that was an excuse to hold my net that would have trapped me into ignoring God’s call. That made me so thankful for the confidence God gave me when I began thinking about what He had for me in light of my gifts and where He would call me to serve.
How often do we do this? How often to we hold on to what we know or what we like or what we love or what is familiar and ignore God’s call? This doesn’t even have to be with things that we know aren’t good. This can be with things that are great. We can hold so tightly to our net that we are so comfortable with that when God challenges us to let go and follow Him, we can’t and won’t.
This can even be with behavior. You can be a worrisome person. You look for things to worry about or immediately think of the worst possible outcome in any situation. That’s a place where it’s easy to see a tendency to become snared. There are others places that it’s so much harder to see. How we follow the Lord. Why we love Him. Do we follow Him because we love Him or do we ignore in the places that don’t give us what we want or justify what pleases us right now? Do we really love God or His “stuff?”
There are so many nets out there to be trapped in that when God teaches us His truth through His word or through someone who shares His truth with us, we have to be willing to let those things go to follow Him. If you love Him you will follow Him. If you aren’t willing to let go of that thing, He is not your greatest treasure and you don’t really love Him.
If God calls you out of something, He is calling you to something higher. Marriage is a great example of this. If you have married someone, God is calling you into the role of husband or wife. Your willingness or unwillingness to step into that says so much about how you love the Lord. If Jesus says, “Follow me,” He knows where He’s taking you. You can trust that more than what you’re holding.
You can trust Him more than the anger or frustration you feel. You can trust Him more than the greatest joy you’ve ever known. Your feelings are not a place to trust or act from. They are constantly changing, but God is constantly unchanging and we can lean and depend on His steadfastness. You can trust His heart for you.
I hope to remember this in the days ahead. I hope to never hold onto a thing I know isn’t good or to hold onto something that is a blessing so hard that when Jesus calls, I ignore Him to have what I want. I hope to always want Him most.