What If

What if now is our time? 

“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 4:18-19)

Why am I jealous of the response these 2 brothers demonstrated when I possess the potential for the same type of obedience also?

On a scale from 1-10, (the only scale that I find to be okay to use…) where would you say your obedience level is? Do you obey God quickly when He calls to you? 

A lot of questions today!  Hang in there and “soul search” with me for just a few minutes.

The main word from the scripture which stands out to me, when I read this story several times, is the word “immediately.” I want to be able to say I would’ve obeyed Jesus immediately, stopped my job and earthly responsibilities like Peter and Andrew to go with Him, but would I have responded as they did? Would you be willing to do that? Honestly, He asks us to stop what is “normal” on a daily basis and follow Him. He has the best plan for you and me. He is calling us to not merely go through the motions of our day, and focus only on the task at hand, but to do what He does. Focus on those that are in our path and do so hastily. See others first.

Peter and Andrew were minding their own business, and doing their job, when Jesus was out for a walk that day. I can only imagine what it would be like to look toward the one who was approaching my workspace, and it be Jesus! He wasn’t coming to reprimand them, but to show them the best option for their lives. These two were fishermen (symbolic, huh!), but Jesus was calling them to be “fishers of men,” and to bring others to Know Him.

When Jesus is trying to get my attention, often through a sequence of events, one of the most challenging feelings I deal with is to think it’s so He can discipline me or, in my words, “get on to me.” Yes, Jesus disciplines those He loves, but He approaches us or “prods” at our hearts for other reasons also.  

Stacee and her oldest daughter shelbee

Stacee and her oldest daughter shelbee

When our oldest daughter, Shelbee, was about 2 years old, she was going through an intense season of testing her daddy’s and my patience.  I remember one time in particular. It was a bone cold night, Doug built a fire in the fireplace, and it was bright and beautiful. This was very intriguing to a little one, naturally. Since the season was only getting colder, we knew that the best strategy was to teach Shelbee about the word “hot.” You know the drill. We would put our hand toward the fire and say, “no, no Shelbee, it’s hot!” She was so cute and would put her tiny hand by mine and say, “hot”…It’s hot, mommy…it’s hot!’ Doug and I were trying not to crack up at her absolute cuteness. We looked at each other like, “that was easy. She’s got it!” And then took her with us into another part of our house. I barely even put her down, and off she ran back to the fireplace. We ran after her, of course, and she climbed onto the brick which led to the fire, while turning around to look right at me! I ran and scooped her up, and we started the process all over again with a few time-outs and lots of deep breaths by Doug and me. 

Shelbee was merely 2 years old. A baby! She quickly learned that we did not want her by the fire, but her obedience was lacking.  It was a process to the desired behavior, and we should’ve expected this! 

I use this example because you may be a brand new Christian, having recently asked Jesus to forgive your sins and lead your life.  This requires an admittance that you do wrong and need His guidance in every area of your life, in order to live life and live it to the fullest potential.  God our Creator, intended this life for us. The bonus? Forgiveness for our wrong actions and eternity in heaven with God our Father. Some of you know this promise.  But some of you do not. So for you who are reading this post and have not heard, there you go. Surrender is peace. Maybe you are brand new at following Jesus and your learning to obey Him. Begin your relationship, as a new follower of Jesus, by obeying Him ‘immediately.” He has the best plan for you to be forgiven, and loved, and guided. Yes, you can live resisting obedience, but peace will not come. 

Many of you have been walking with our Father for many years.  You have experienced both obedience and disobedience. What if we went back to the basics and obeyed Jesus when He tells us to do something for our good and for the better of all those whom God we impact? What kind of life are you and I looking to lead, I suppose, is the real question?
We taught and disciplined Shelbee, who is now 20 years old and following Jesus with her whole life. Honestly, it’s been our understanding that if we taught our girls to obey us the first time we talked with them about something, that they would eventually do the same action with God. We love them and want the best for them.  And WHEN we fell short in teaching them, God was faithful to continue teaching them. We are so thankful for His grace as He continues to teach all four of us.
Jesus could save the world without your help and mine. He is mighty to save. But He is so very gracious to let us be a part of the process because it changes us.

Leading others to Jesus is life-changing for all who are involved, and it reminds us of what Jesus did and does for us. 

What do we want our lives to look like? Peter and Andrew were doing what they were supposed to be doing…fishing. But in the process, they were obedient to the voice of Jesus for what else He had for their lives. What if they wouldn’t have obeyed? What if you and I DO? Now is our time.