“Follow Me.” These words have been in my mind and my heart almost exclusively for a while now. These are words Jesus spoke to those first disciples that he called and as I have come to realize (although I really already knew) He is also saying those words to me. The call to come to Christ in salvation is also a call to follow Him.
As I seek to challenge and encourage the church that I serve, I am wrestling with what these 2 words really mean in my life. As I try to wrestle with these words, I pray that you will be encouraged and maybe you can encourage me along the way as well.
So the best place to start on any journey is at the beginning.
That leads us to Matthew 4:18-22.
Jesus calls Peter, Andrew, James and John. They are simply out doing their job. Doing what they do every day of their life. They are sailing into the mundane, fish for a paycheck, take care of my family day. Now, don’t get me wrong, no doubt they probably enjoyed what they did, but somehow today was different. As Jesus walked along the edges of the Sea of Galilee, they are too busy to notice (as most of us are). They cast their net out into the water and then they heard it – an unmistakable, resounding, powerful voice saying “Follow Me!” The voice didn’t stop there. Jesus continued speaking “…and I will make you fish for people!”
Wow – what a call. What a promise. What a life-changer! The same thing then happens to James and John and the scripture is clear on both counts that each man heard the call of Christ and “IMMEDIATELY they left their nets and followed Him.”
Now, what I’ve been wrestling with is the mindset of the disciples compared to my mindset upon hearing the call of Christ. I guess I have questions more than answers at times.
Was it really as easy as the scripture makes it sound? Did they ever get nervous? Did they have second thoughts? Did they miss their families? Did they ever get to see or talk with their wives and kids? What about their income? How did they support their families then? On and on the questions pour into my mind. Am I alone?
One thing is certain, though – THEY FOLLOWED. Whatever that meant or looked like – they did it! They probably followed with more questions than answers I can almost certainly imagine, but they walked where Jesus walked. They followed.
I have heard the call of Jesus in my life as probably many of you have that are reading this. My desire is to follow Him with my whole life. Sometimes, I have to admit, that I don’t know where that path will take me and I don’t know if I will follow exactly right, but one thing I am learning is that all it took for Peter, James, John and Andrew was to hear the commanding, strong, confident voice of Christ in their lives and they followed. If I am going to follow Jesus with my life, then it will all start by hearing His voice. That is why spending time in the WORD is the most important thing that I can do in my life.
So no matter what questions we might have each day as we follow, and no matter how much we get discouraged, as long as we are listening to the voice of Jesus through His Word – the Bible, we will always have purpose in following.
So, yes the call to follow Christ will be difficult, but it is also the most rewarding life! I want to encourage you who are striving to follow Him to begin where those first 4 disciples and all others consequently after that began – by listening to His WORD and then obeying Him immediately.
GET IN THE WORD TODAY! THEN DO WHAT IT SAYS! (James 1:22)