The world is passing away, and with it its lusts [the shameful pursuits and ungodly longings]; but the one who does the will of God and carries out His purposes lives forever. (1 John 2:17, AMP)
This week, I thought it would be fun to explore what the life of a disciple looks like. How far am I willing to go for God? How far are you willing to go? What does discipleship look like? The first thing I see in Scripture when it comes to discipleship is an “Immediate Response”. There is no delay, no time to think sometimes, and no time to come up with excuses. We simply need to be obedient when the Lord calls us. Let’s take a look at a few examples of this…
1. Peter & Andrew
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. ~Matthew 4:18-20
Simon Peter and Andrew were called to follow Jesus and they made an immediate decision. They did not sit and think it over. They didn’t stop to clean the fish or get their things in order. They simply got up and followed Jesus. That is discipline in its highest form. When Jesus calls us to come, the greatest thing we can do is instantly follow! We don’t need to hum and haul over it. We don’t need to try to squirm our way out of it. We don’t need to try to figure out what His agenda is. We just need to follow Him. He has a great plan for our lives!
“Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.”
The Proverb above talks about holding on to instruction, not letting it go, and guarding it well because it’s our life. In this case, Jesus is life. Jesus had asked the disciples to follow Him and they did it. No questions asked! When was the last time you followed God without any questions?
2. James & John
Going from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. ~Matthew 4:21-22
I love this! James and John immediately left their father and their boat. They got up and followed Jesus! Again, no questions! They didn’t ask where they would be sleeping that night, what the accommodations would be like, if there would be any food, or how they would support themselves. They simply followed Jesus! All too often, we don’t follow the Lord because questions keep us from trusting Him. God is looking for an immediate response! Will you drop what you’re doing and all your questions to follow Jesus?
3. Matthew (Levi)
After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him. ~Luke 5:27-28
Wow, did you see that? Levi followed Jesus immediately too. Levi wasn’t concerned with what people would think of him or why Jesus chose him. He didn’t offer up excuses of why someone else would be better than him. He didn’t say he wasn’t good enough. He simply got up and followed Jesus. In fact, he threw a party for Jesus. You will find this when you read the rest of Luke 5. Levi didn’t have a good reputation, yet the Lord called him to follow and he did without looking back.
We need to take some lessons from Simon Peter, Andrew, James, John, and Levi. They were ready to follow Jesus immediately. I wonder if we are ready to follow God’s guidance on a daily basis. Has God shared something with you lately? Have you followed through on it? How long before you do? It doesn’t matter what it is, God desires your complete obedience! Will you be obedient to the One who gave it all for you?
Let’s reflect on what our lives will look like if we start responding to God more quickly. I know I would get in a lot less trouble, if I did. Wow, what if I forgave more quickly? What if I said I’m sorry more often? What if I loved others more fully? What if I looked outside of myself a little more often? What if I gave up my need to be first more often? What if I gave up my need to be right? What if I talked a little less? What if I listened a little more?
Dear Father God, I pray that You will help me have a heart of readiness. May I be ready to respond to You whenever You call and for whatever You ask of me. I choose to be available for Your service and pray that I will be obedient to You on a daily basis. May my response to You be immediate! No questions, no hesitation, and no excuses! I come to follow You Lord!
Praying for a Heart of Readiness,