Wednesday night, Encounter kicked back off with a message that hit home for me. Garrett Kahrs preached from Matthew 4:18-22, focusing on Jesus’ invitation to us all to drop everything and follow Him.
We live in a day and age where everyone wants to “change the world”, “make a difference”, “save the turtles”. Everyone wants a purpose, something that makes their lives appear/seem meaningful. Here in Matthew 4:18-22, Jesus is offering us this opportunity to do just that, with a bonus, we get to follow Him. A lot of times, the thing holding us back is the fear of going into it alone. That fear is deemed powerless when we realize we’re not in it alone.
Jesus went to these ordinary fishermen and told them that he was about to change their profession from fisherman to fishers of people (Did they have to give two weeks notice??). This can seem like the more shocking part of the passage, their job change, but to me is what happens afterward. These fishermen IMMEDIATELY dropped everything and followed Jesus. They didn’t say, “Hey Jesus, let me go think about it for a second. I’ll get back to you on that”. They knew the importance of what was being asked and who was asking. Their net was almost like security, their lively hood, their food, job, consistency. Yet they dropped their net, showing that Jesus was greater than the unknown.
I’d like to think I have the same mindset, I would lay down my own net and go. The more I began to think about it, my response is usually a ‘my will be done’ situation instead of a ‘your will be done’. I have this desire to see the plan in front of me, to plan for the unknown. I might let one hand off my net, but the other is still clinging on.
The issue with me thinking this is that it's only unknown to me, but not to God. God knows everything and He’s bigger than any obstacle. When I place my trust in Him and not in myself, the unknown becomes less daunting. Letting go of my own net means I am saying yes to something greater. Jeremiah 32:17 says “Oh, Lord God! You yourself made the heavens and earth by your great power and with your outstretched arm. Nothing is too difficult for you!” What a comfort, nothing at all is difficult for our God. Knowing and trusting in that makes it that much easier to lay down my own net, trusting that God will layout something so much greater for me and to His kingdom.
We can change the world by setting down our nets and picking up the invitation laid out for us. The change we desire is found in the gospel and in relationship with the Father. Through that, we discover a purpose, a purpose so much bigger than ourselves. All we have to do is follow, follow the path Jesus laid out for us in the word. The question now is, what are you holding onto? What’s your own personal net?