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Following the Call

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. "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him. – Matthew 4:18-20

Did you ever pause to consider that Peter and Andrew really didn’t know what they were getting themselves into? They knew what they were leaving – a known, solid profession – but they had no idea what Jesus was calling them to exchange it for. “I will make you fishers of men”? What did that mean?

But they left their nets and followed him. No questions. No hesitation. No caveats.

Over the next three years, what was involved in Jesus’ call became clearer and clearer. They began to understand the gospel, got used to preaching, and saw lives changed.

Then came Calvary, the empty tomb, the ascension, and Pentecost. That’s when the call finally came into true focus.

I believe God often calls us into ministry (whether professional or lay ministry) the same way today. His voice is unmistakable, his command to follow doesn’t allow for misunderstanding, but he usually leaves the details vague at first. Why? Because he wants us to follow him … not chase after some personal ambition or dream or desire. And because he wants us to follow him … not run ahead of his plan and his timing.

But we frequently resist:

“What, exactly, are you calling me to, God?”

“Can you give me some details here?”

“I need to weigh the pros and cons.”

“I can go, but I have some qualifiers to attach to the contract.”

We want to know how things will work out. What we will be required to do. What the cost will involve. How the future will unfold. Will we be successful? Will we be happy? Will we be fulfilled?

Did you ever stop to think that by asking questions like that, you are placing yourself above God? You’re treating him like a vacuum-cleaner salesman on your front doorstep: “Show me what you’re selling and I’ll tell you if I’m buying.”

We forget that he delivers a call – not a request. He didn’t ask Peter and Andrew if they would consider coming with him. He called them: “Come, follow me.”

Put aside your questions. Your hesitations. Your caveats.

Forget asking God for guarantees or security.

Follow the call. He’ll make everything clear to you in his time.

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