Devotional: Applying the Bible to my today.
Read: Matthew 4:18-20
By Dane Tyner
When Jesus called Peter and Andrew to “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men,” they were already fishermen. And their fishing was not what most of us think of when we go to a lake or river or creek. Fishing was not a recreational diversion from life’s routines for these men. It was how they provided for themselves and their families. And Jesus called them away from that – with only a promise of being taught to catch men, which could not have made complete sense at the time they left their boat and nets behind.
Have you found that this faith-life is risky? Has God asked things of you that did not make complete sense at the time, perhaps didn’t make any sense at the time? What caused these fishermen to walk away from their familiar life to follow Jesus was faith.
Faith is a cooperative effort. It is not just us choosing to believe; it is also God working in us to enable us to believe. Biblical faith has its own unique internal rationale. It makes sense to our spirits, not always to our minds. Something about the offer and the promise Jesus made to these men made sense to their hearts – enough to obey the call.
Are you facing an uncertain future? Aren’t we all today? This little passage of Scripture can help us – if we allow it to do so. These men whom Jesus called to follow him chose an uncertain future when they chose to obey. They had no idea of how their needs would be met in the months and years ahead. They had no idea how “catching men” could relate to them eating. They knew the fishing business: you go out in your boat, put down your nets, hope for a reasonable catch, and take the fish to the markets where you can sell them or trade them for things you need. But they must have wondered, “After Jesus teaches us to catch men, what will we do with them? How can that translate into groceries, clothing, etc.?”
All they knew was that this impressive Rabbi asked them to follow and made a promise – a promise that in faith made sufficient sense to do what He asked: follow and learn.
Your life, just like mine, is as simple as this, as difficult as this. We can simply trust the Master, follow Him as faithfully and as closely as possible, and learn from Him along the way. If you are concerned about how you are going to make it through the next year, and you can see no way, try to remember this: you are in the very shoes of the Apostles when they were first called. When you cannot see the way, remember you are following the One who claimed to be the Way. He knows where we are going and how to get us there.
Dear Lord Jesus, we choose to trust You in these perplexing times. Defeat the lie of the enemy in us that says, “Well, yes, but they had Jesus with them in person. You don’t!” Help us to refute that lie as we remember Your Word to us. You promised the Gift of Your Spirit and said this would be “even better than you staying with us” physically. Enable us to trust You and not be afraid in this hour! Amen.
Dane Tyner is founder and director of Home Improvement Ministry in Tulsa. H.I.M. is a trans-denominational ministry, providing a variety of Christian family services including personal and family counseling, seminars, and written materials designed to help people overcome obstacles to the life God wants us to claim in Christ. Learn more at www.forhim.org.