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.
I flipped open my Bible randomly this morning and landed on this passage and was immediately struck with a thousand questions. They just . . . dropped everything and followed Him, no questions asked? Was there any thought process involved or was it Holy Spirit type thing where they just knew in their hearts He was the one? Had any of the fishermen been asking God for a sign? A way out of something?
So many times I feel like the Bible leaves out important details that I need in order to fully understand what is happening in the story. Add to that the lack of chronological order in the way it’s laid out and I’m usually completely clueless to correlations and connected events. I depend on other people who are smarter than me to unpack the words and give me cultural context and true to Greek translations of words that our English language leaves lacking.
This morning the answer to my questions was incredibly easy. I ran my finger down the page of my 28 year old, tattered Life Application Bible and read the notes on those verses: “These men already knew Jesus . . . they knew what kind of man He was . . . they were not in a hypnotic trance when they followed, but instead were thoroughly convinced that following Him would change their lives forever.”
Mic drop, or selah if you prefer.
I stared at those words with my jaw hanging open. All it took for those guys to drop their nets and leave everything that mattered in their lives behind was the conviction in their hearts that said, “This guy is it. Everything is going to change now and I have to be a part of it.”
I hate change. I hate uncertainty. I like plans that stay the same and addresses that never change. But the Lord is constantly requiring me to be bendy in exactly those ways. Like a palm tree, He wants me to bend with the direction that the wind is blowing, and He wants me to trust that I will not be broken by the flexibility. He wants me to be thoroughly convinced that following Him will change my life forever, for the good. Whichever direction that wind of change is blowing, I need to trust in His promises to restore, repay, and rebuild.
I have to ask myself the question: am I thoroughly convinced? Because if the answer is yes, that means I won’t hesitate to throw down my nets and walk away from everything else around me in order to follow Him. If I say no, then that means I’m still holding on too tightly to things that are not really mine anyway.
I know that He has grace for me, whatever my answer is, He has grace for you, whatever your answer is. He knows that we are in process as we walk with Him. I hope one day to be strong enough to hear the call and drop everything and chase after Him, but today . . . today I’m still uncurling my fingers from around some things that I hold too closely. But I’m not squeezing on them anymore. I see that they’re in my way and that they’re in between me and Him and all that He has for me. I won’t make Him pry it out of my hands, I will let go, but as of right this minute, I’m not thoroughly convinced.
Lord, help my unbelief.
Are you convinced? What is He asking you to let go of in order to follow Him?