Summary: Often following the perfect will of God means that we are out of step with the world and even with what's happening in the church. We must learn to follow the voice of the Great Shepherd.
God, Where Are You Taking Me?
By Rev. James May
As Jesus walked the shores of the Sea of Galilee, at the beginning of his earthly ministry, his first objective was to find men who would become his disciples. And while it is clear that Jesus already knew exactly which men he would choose; it is also quite evident that not one of those men had any idea of the journey that lay before them. Each man was caught up in his own day-by-day life, just doing what he had learned to do to get by. Some had been educated in the best schools in the land, while others had learned all they knew from the school of hard knocks. They had risen every day, only to walk the same path that they had walked many days before, believing that somehow their lives would be successful. They loved their families and provided for them the best they could
Twelve men got up in the morning to step out on their chosen journey, going where they thought that was a path to success, but every one of them, in a moment of time, discovered a new path to walk that would lead to a very different life than they could have ever imagined; but it was a path in life that would bring them to experience life at its fullest and best; and take them to that portal of eternal life that they would never have found any other way.
All of us have heard that same call that these disciples heard. One day you were walking your own chosen path through life, believing and hoping for the best, living according to your own choices, somehow thinking that life would be good and that all things would work out for you to be a success in your own chosen field.
Some of you may have been like Peter, James, John and Andrew. The Bible tells us of how Jesus called them to be his disciples.
Matthew 4:18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
Matthew 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
Matthew 4:20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
Matthew 4:21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.
Matthew 4:22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.
We are given no clue that Jesus had ever met these men before this day, except that we know God is Omniscient. They were there, in the mind of Christ, and though it may appear that these were random choices as Jesus just strolled along the beach, let me remind you that nothing God does is by accident or coincidental; but its always by design and by choice.
Jesus did not have to take applications; nor did he have to take these men through a screening process, because he already knew their nature and he understood their hearts. In these old rough, weather beaten, sun baked fishermen, Jesus saw men who knew the meaning of hard work, long hours and who also knew disappointment and disillusionment.
I wonder how many days these fishermen had gone out to work all day long, and caught nothing? How many days had they rose up before daybreak, prepared their boats and headed out on the waters, casting their nets, spending their limited resources and then returning home after dark with little to show for what they had done?
The human condition has not changed since the days of Adam. All of us have seen days when we felt we would have been better off just staying in bed. The whole day seemed a waste of time and energy and instead of increasing the value of things in life; all we did was spend more than we earned and waste what we could little afford to give away. But, since we knew nothing else to do but try and try again, when the time came to go again the next day, back down that same rut we would travel.
Among the first 12 men that Jesus chose it must be noted that none were of the educated elite, though we know that many who fall into this category would later be called. It is often harder to reach most people who have been indoctrinated in the schools of man. Luke and Paul would be two examples of God’s ability to reach into heart of those who through their educational background had learned to try to think through everything logically and only accept that which could be explained through natural means. They had to learn that following Jesus meant releasing faith; not logical reasoning.