Before You Say, "I Quit!"
- Thursday, September 16, 2010
Peter responded the way we all would do well to respond when realizing just Who Christ really is. When Peter realized there was something more than physical about this Jesus, something holy, then Peter saw his own ungodliness and knew he could not even stand before Jesus.
When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. (Luke 5:8-10)
Peter rightly feared greatly in His presence. Do we fear greatly in The Lord's presence? But for Christ's work in our own hearts, the washing of our own sin, which one of us could stand in His presence? Have we become too comfortable to understand His absolute holiness in fear and awe?
But Jesus says to Peter, "Fear not; from now on, you will catch men." Jesus said his life was now going to take on eternal value. From now on, Peter would not merely expend all his energies on physical sustenance; instead, he would turn to that higher eternal purpose of capturing men's hearts for Christ Himself. How about us? Are we merely expending energies on physical things in order to just make it through one more day? Or do we hold on with all our might to that higher eternal vision of capturing hearts for Christ Himself? It's a high calling. It's the "more" that Jesus asks of us on top of our daily toil, but Jesus asks us to follow Him there:
And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him. (Luke 5:11)
They forsook all. They left behind the all-consuming physical to gain the all-sufficient spiritual. They followed Jesus. It was what they were compelled to do after encountering Him in a new way. They could really say from their deepest heart, "I quit!" They quit following their own life's agenda and changed directions. They quit relying on their own thinking patterns and quit leaning on their own understanding. They quit holding onto what was unproductive. We, too, could learn the lesson of letting go of what keeps us bound and unproductive and fall by faith into the arms of Jesus. We could quit striving in the flesh and change our life's direction toward God's eternal plan for us and our families.
Peter was often rebuked by the One he loved; he even denied the One he loved; and when Jesus died, Peter gave up on the One he loved and went back to fishing. But Jesus called Peter back from fishing and told him to feed His sheep. And once again, we see Jesus reshifting Peter's focus from feeding the physical body to feeding the spiritual body. From this focus on Christ's sufficiency, the early Church was built. And from this same focus, we can be those who build up that Church, as we catch men for Him—whether we think our circumstances will permit it or not. For our hope for provision is not in our circumstances; our hope for provision is in the One Who provides.
So many obstacles in our path seem to trip us up, and major crises confuse us and cause our eyes to drift away from God. Even knowing the God you serve, do you ever feel out of touch with Him because of what life throws at you? I sometimes long for a fresh touch from God. But then I realize that He doesn't need to touch me. I am the one who needs to touch God afresh, as He is ever reaching out to me; He is always speaking to me, continually leading the way before me. And when I really stop to take a good look at Him, and reach out to Him, and listen to His words of life, I, too, am compelled to continue to follow Him, no matter my weakness. It's an amazing love that takes our weaknesses and turns them into building blocks for others, a love that doesn't give up on us. This love should receive a reciprocal love that doesn't give up on Him. Lest you are tempted to give up, here is God's provision just for you:
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