Links Daily Devotional

Follow

So they pulled their boats up on the shore, left everything and followed him. (Luke 5:11, NIV)

Stack and Tilt, Natural Golf, Square to Square… one plane or two planes… Leadbetter’s Seven Steps or McLean’s Eight Steps… which golf swing method do you follow? I’ve seen enough gadgets, training aids, and goofy drills on the driving range to know that too many golfers have bought into something without knowing if it even works!

We’ll follow just about anything. You may follow your favorite players or golf instructors on pgatour.com. You may follow the stock market daily. Here in the South, many people follow college football like it is religion. So why is it so difficult for us to follow the one who created it all?

We read the accounts of Jesus’ calling of the first disciples in Matthew 4 or Mark 1 and think “I would have never had the faith to just leave everything, to follow this Jesus guy just because he said, ‘Come, follow me, and I will send you out to fish for people’.” It actually appears irresponsible that the first disciple took such a step of faith, especially since James and John left their father Zebedee behind in the boat!

If this account has ever troubled you or you’ve been made to think you don’t have enough faith, maybe you’d benefit from reading Luke’s more detailed account of this story (Luke 5:1-11). As Luke, a Greek doctor who meticulously researched the accounts of Jesus’ life, sheds light on Peter, Andrew, James, and John’s acceptance to follow Jesus, we see there were more steps to their progression of following him than simply having some dude in sandals they did not know walk up on the shoreline and randomly say, “Come, follow me!”

With Peter at the center of the story, we see Jesus was preaching on the shoreline as Peter was cleaning his nets from an unsuccessful night of fishing. The crowd was backing Jesus into the water. He simply asked Peter if he could borrow his boat to teach from it, and after he was finished he then asked a little more of him, to take him fishing. When Peter did so, they caught more fish than even their nets and boats could handle. All of this came before Jesus’ urging to follow him.

We can learn a wonderful and grace-filled lesson from the Gospel of Luke’s details. We see that Peter first was able to hear Jesus teach for a while and was (1) engaged passively. Then, we see that Peter let him borrow the boat, and it was (2) not a great inconvenience or risk. It appears that not until Jesus asked Peter to take him fishing that it would even (3) cost some time or resources, still of little consequence. And in this interaction that probably took place over a couple hours or more, Peter was able to take some baby steps to following Jesus before he was asked to leave his nets and life behind and (4) submit completely. Whether we are reading the Old or New Testament or the interaction is with the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit, God always wants his people just to follow him. It is in the process of following that our faith is built, but it doesn’t take great faith to begin to follow.

Wherever you are in this process, my hope is that you will simply take the next step. And if you start to get too comfortable with where you are in your faith, it is probably time to take another step! If you don’t know what that looks like, maybe it is time to sit and listen. Jesus has fresh plans for you to follow him.

Josh Nelson

May 27, 2013

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The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.