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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Leaving Your Nets

Matthew 4:20 "AT ONCE they left their nets and followed Him (Jesus)." 

Matthew 4:20 records the response of Peter and Andrew to the call of Jesus to be his disciples. They literally walked off the job and into ministry. We have the advantage of viewing this story with hindsight and the scripture, but Peter and Andrew were in the moment...

Jesus was a hometown boy, a carpenter. He hadn't really started his ministry, yet. Surely he had been preaching in the area and the disciples knew what kind of man he was. But still...

Fishing was a major industry around the Sea of Galilee and most fisherman belonged to family owned business. Can you imagine old Zebedee's face when somebody walked in his "office" and told him Peter and Andrew had taken off with the new preacher? How do you go home and tell your wife that you walked off the job for a ministry with no pay? How do you feed your kids? Their security was gone. Their income was gone. Possibly a few relationships went south. These weren't just a couple of guys with  no other responsibilities. These were grown men with families to think about. And yet....they left their nets to follow Him.

We have a sweet couple from our church who are sold out to Jesus...literally. They sold everything they had and moved to Papua New Guinea to work with Wycliffe Bible Translators. They left their nets and went to the jungle. Before they left, they gave a presentation during our House of Prayer Service. Afterward, I hugged Cheryl and said, "Sometimes, I think I'd like to sell everything and go somewhere." (Don't ever say things like that out loud). The next time I saw her at church she said, "They need nurses." Alrighty then....

I recounted the conversation to my husband and he said, "Would you really go that far from your grandkids for that long?" Well, would I? (Place pregnant pause here) .... I'm working on it.

Or maybe, I can follow and just bring my net with me. How about that? The trouble with nets is you tend to get tangled up in them. They drag you down. You fill them up with other things that distract you. And then before you know it you are back to following your own desires and missing the blessing of God.

Truthfully, today, I do not feel called to any place that would require me selling out materially. But I need to be so sold out spiritually that I would go AT ONCE, if He calls me. 

In order to do that, I need first to focus on His promises. In Joshua 14, when the spies went into the promised land, all but two focused on the giants. Only Caleb and Joshua remembered what the others forgot - the land came with a promise. There may be giants in my way, but if I am obedient and stand on the promises of God, He will provide for me and my family.

I also have to have faith that overcomes my fear. Again, in Joshua 14, it says that when the others saw the giants their hearts "melted with fear". I don't recall anywhere that it says Joshua and Caleb were NOT afraid, but they were willing to trust God in spite of their fears. I may be afraid if God calls me out, but as long I as trust Him to take care of me, I will have His blessing.

I imagine Peter and Andrew had some fear, but they stepped out on faith, focused on the promised Messiah and were blessed beyond measure. 

Could I leave my grandchildren? My children? The comforts of home? The internet? Job security? It wouldn't be easy. I would be afraid. But "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength" (Phil 4:13)

Will I go if He calls me? 

Yes, I'm pretty sure I will.

15 comments:

  1. Judie I think you just said "yes"!!! Watch this space! I can't wait to hear how God unfolds His greater plan for you. Another great blog post!
    God bless you
    Love
    Nicki (OBS Leader)

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    1. Nicki ~ Thanks again for your comments. You are such an encourager! I was on this journey long before I got to "Greater". We will see where God is leading. God Bless, Judie

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  2. Judie, this was great! I was truly blessed by it. All of it really spoke to me. Thank you so much for sharing!

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    1. Sue - Thank you for your encouragement. I am glad you were blessed!
      Judie

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  3. Man - when I read the scriptures I'm sure i'm not alone here where you say - of course I'll go... but as you posted Jesus was a "hometown" boy who hadn't completely started his ministry - yet these guys WENT. Would I go? I'd love to say yes... but its a scary prospect. Lets choose to say yes!

    I love your post!

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    1. Lindsey - It is a scary thought, but exciting, too! Who knows what directions we will all be heading by the time this study ends! SOOOO...YES, let's say YES!
      Judie

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  4. Beautiful post Judie - That fear held me back for a long time - times when I wanted to teach women, times when I wanted to write. Last year I retired and now I am a leader for the on-line studies and there is no fear - sometimes tears for sweet ladies and I am wanting to blog but still have that fear. I love your blog and hoping to do it soon. I have a page, but not blog yet but it's a work in progress. Blessings. Debbie Williams (OBS Leader)

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    1. Debbie - Thank you for sharing that. I love writing AND teaching and I have no idea at this point where God is taking all of that. Much has changed in my personal life over the last couple of years. I have felt that God was clearing out some old "stuff" to make room to do a new thing.

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    2. As for the blog, just jump in there and do it! I'll bet you have some wonderful things to say!

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  5. Wonderful insightful post, Judie!~~ Your post resonated so many thoughts of "should I have said that out loud?" I am also a Nurse, hoping for a mission one day. I'm waiting in obedience, faith and focused on the promises. We are on a >greater journey, we're about to be blessed beyond measure!

    And I love the wonderful scripture to go with our study! One of my favorite scriptures is "I can do all things through Him who gives me strength" (Phil 4:13)

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    1. Thanks, Marcie! I know what you mean about waiting for a mission, but I am also learning we are on mission everyday every where we go. Be blessed! Judie

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  6. That couple has immense faith. I pray for your courage to follow His calling for you-whatever that may be!

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  7. Thanks, Jenny! They DO have immense faith although they would tell you they are just average folks who are following God where He leads. You can see some pictures here: http://www.mcdanielspng.blogspot.com/

    Thanks for your prayers, they are always needed and appreciated.
    Judie

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  8. This post spoke so much to my heart. I, myself am a nurse and have been asked about several mission trips. Many times I have prayed "here am I Lord, send me" so I totally got it when you said: "But I need to be so sold out spiritually that I would go AT ONCE, if He calls me." Worried about my nets too. God bless you on this journey and thank you for sharing! Praying that He gives you boldness and that He makes His call for you clear through this study!

    Jennifer Newsom,
    OBS Group Leader

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    1. Jennifer - Thank you for your comments and your prayers. I pray that He will do the same for you as we journey together! Judie

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