A few months ago, I was sitting at home sorting a few finances out on my laptop and my daughter was upstairs playing happily cooking a meal for Mr Potato-Head. All was calm and relaxed until suddenly I heard a huge THUD! Immediately, I abandoned the laptop on the seat next to me, ran upstairs as fast as I could and found her crying uncontrollably in her room. She had been bouncing on the bed singing songs with her toys and had lost her footing! She ended up a heap on the bedroom floor with Mr Potato-Head’s body parts scattered all around her.
Can you imagine if the story was, ‘I heard a thud and just sat there’? That would be an unreasonable response and would make me a bad father! The only appropriate and reasonable response is for a loving father to drop everything to make sure their family is safe and protected. They are my world!
In Scripture, the gospel of Mark tells us a story about some fisherman who literally ‘dropped everything’ to follow Jesus. It was an act of complete obedience, to respond to the call of God and the opportunity to serve him.
Mark 1:16-18: As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.
This invitation from Jesus to “follow me” would have been completely radical, much more than we have attributed to it today. In our social-media saturated culture, when we just press a button to ‘follow’ someone, we can easily lose the force of meaning behind Jesus’ words. This call wasn’t vague or unclear – when Jesus called them to follow him, they literally dropped everything and started walking with him.
People casually say today, “I’m giving my life to Jesus” or “God is calling me on this new path” but have no intention of actually following through on radical obedience. But these fishermen gave much more than lip service or a nod of the head to Jesus; they dropped everything to follow him. They abandoned all they knew: their agendas, their rights, their routines, literally everything to walk with him.
But what does that look like today, for us?
If we’re honest, most us are settled and like our lives just the way they are. We like the idea of God drawing us to new things, or giving us a fresh call, but at the same time we don’t want any interruption to our lives! We try to ‘fit God in’ to an already full plate, full of our own ambitions and activities, but relegate him to a limited box in our lives. We say we want to follow Jesus, but don’t want to drop anything or rearrange any priorities in order to do just that.
But the response of these fisherman was their defining moment. They immediately left their nets to follow Jesus. Their actions spoke louder than their words.
That is a huge challenge for us today. Our words are powerful. There is power in our declaration and our positive confession. But if our actions speaker louder than our words what would, or should, that look like?
Worship has to be more than words. It should affect our relationships, our service, our prompt obedience. So, the challenge today is this: what are you willing to “drop” from your life to truly follow Jesus? What are you holding onto so tightly that it’s stopping you from moving forward with him?
This is such a huge but profound question, but if we want to follow Jesus wholeheartedly, and step into to the plan he has for us… then the next step is up to us!
What do you need to drop today?