Many are called, but few are chosen. Some of us, aren’t listening so didn’t hear Jesus call. Others of us are occupied with life and all it’s troubles, while others still, just aren’t ready to have God lead them spirit, soul and body.
I know for me personally I’ve been in all three of those camps from time to time, it saddens me to say. But I take courage, and you should too. I’ve recently been reading about Matthew’s account on the start of Jesus’ ministry, where he gathered His disciples together and just what that means for us!
Matthew 4:18-20 Walking along the beach of Galilee, Jesus saw two brothers. Simon [Peter] & Andrew. They were fishing, throwing their nets into the lake. It was their regular work. Jesus said to them “Come with me. I’ll make a new kind of fisherman out of you. I’ll show you how to catch man & woman instead of Perch and Bass.” They didn’t ask questions, but simply dropped their nets and followed.
Jesus will call you out of your giftings and comfort zone. All Peter and Andrew knew was how to fish. They were probably doing it from the day the were old enough to step in a boat with their father. They would have spent many an hour working the nets, scaling fish, and being out of the water. It was their life, it was, as the verse stated, their regular job.
Jesus wants you to use the giftings on your life, but maybe not in the way you would expect it. He wants to fine tune them so that you can win souls. Being out on the water all day everyday, I’d say Peter & Andrew probably didn’t have the greatest people skills. Yet Jesus saw something in them that would translate from fishing to ministering.
Jesus is going to use your gifts, but He’s also going to build on them and refine them, so that you are equipped to do His work. Chances are, you’ve identified the gifts that are on your life, and taken jobs that use those skills, or at the very least use them in your spare time. And that’s fine, but Jesus may just take you out of your comfort zone, your giftings and even your perceived perception of your calling and will modify your gifts, to make you effective. After all, calling fisherman to minister the gospel isn’t that much alike. I suppose the basic principal of catching fish and men and women are the same, but after that, not so much.
Be willing to drop your nets and follow God. He’s not going to stand on the shore all day and wait for you to make a decision. Step out of the boat, hang up your nets and let him equip you even greater than you are now to be effective for the kingdom.
Matthew 4:21-22 A short distance down the beach they came upon another pair of brothers, James & John, Zebedee’s son’s. These two were sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, mending their fishnets. Jesus made the same offer to them & they were just as quick to follow, abandoning boat & father.
Your calling, is going to require you to follow Jesus unashamedly, no matter what friends and family think about it. No matter the traditions in your life, or things you’ve always done. God wants you to drop it, and boldly follow Him. Now that’s a big ask! What if He sends me to Africa? Don’t worry, you’ll be equipped, you’ll be trained, you’ll be in His will, and you will love it! You really just have to trust Him!
He’s really calling you to abandon self as well. James & John’s identity were tied up in their business, tied up in their family. They had a reputation. They were Zebedee’s sons, meaning that Zebedee was a well known man. I’m sure they even took pride in that. Who wouldn’t? Yet Jesus called them to abandon that identity, their own ideas, ways and perceptions and follow Him. Let Him lead so they could follow. The same goes for us. He wants us. All of us. He will shape and mold us into what He needs us to be, He doesn’t need us holding onto our own motives, or ways or ideas. He is enough!
Zebedee in this story is also an illustration of not following Jesus. He chose to stay in the boat, while His son’s upped and left. He was no doubt burdened down with human worries. How will we make money, how will I provide for my family, someone has to fish? But at the end of the day, while Zebedee may have been known to the people of Galilee before Jesus started His ministry, he simply faded away into history. Zebedee becomes simply sons of James and John the disciples of Jesus.
While following Jesus may not bring you fame in the worlds eyes. It will bring you fame in His eyes. He will change your identity, and make you into everything He needs you and wants you to be. If God is calling you, don’t stay in what you know. We can always find excuses to stay in our little boat, much like Zebedee, “I’m too old,” “Someone has to provide,” etc. And we’ll still have problems after we step out of the boat, don’t let them distract you from God’s work.
He’s got your back! So do yourself a favor and put your ear to the sky, and become one of the few who are chosen. The kingdom desperately needs you!
Be blessed and take Heart