Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. Matthew 4:20
When I was in college, I had a friend who poked her head in the door of freshman biology, called out my name, and whispered, “Let’s go get lunch.” Class was about to start, but I had no trouble packing up my books and heading out the door. It helped that there were 300 other students in the class. I figured I wouldn’t be missed.
Same thing happened sophomore year one night during finals. My friends had finished their exams and came knocking on the door of my apartment. They were going bowling, and wanted me to come. Again, it took about 2 seconds for me to decide I didn’t really need to study for that political science exam. I didn’t have a particularly strong love of bowling, but I did like a fun adventure. They said, “Let’s go,” so I dropped my books and went.
What I’m saying is I would get it if Andrew and Peter dropped their nets to get out of doing something they didn’t really want to do. But that isn’t what was happening. These guys were fishermen. They made their living out on the water with their dad and their friends. If they were on Survivor, they’d be the most popular contestants; when people got hungry, they were the ones who said, “I’ll go catch some fish.” It was what they did; it was who they were.
We see the same thing with Philip in Acts 8. He was busy growing a megachurch in Samaria. Even the apostles came from Jerusalem to check it out. Then God called him away from that ministry to a desert road, and all the Bible says about Philip’s response is, “So he started out” (v. 27).
I don’t know if that challenges you today as much as it does me, but consider this: God isn’t nearly as impressed or concerned with what you think you’re good at as you are. His plans are not in any way dependent on your plans, or even your abilities; they are dependent only on your availability.
Sometimes following Jesus means leaving your nets behind, even if you’re really good at fishing.
It’s easier to drop what you’re doing when things aren’t going well, you feel unappreciated, unfulfilled, or there is the promise of even better things ahead. Certainly God uses seasons of discontent to move us where He wants us to go, but that’s usually because we were stubborn in the first place.
The greater measure of faith is when we answer His call out of what we see as good places – comfortable situations, successful work, the acceptance, appreciation, and even adulation of people. It’s when you’re not sure how His call will play out. It’s when His call and the opinions or expectations of others are two different things.
In essence, it is the call to trust Him more than you trust yourself.
This is the invitation He pokes His head in the back of the room and extends each and every day. What He asks us to drop is different for you than it is for me, but the question is the same: Will you get up and go?