Matthew 4:18-20 (New International Version)
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 send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.
Peter and his brother, Andrew, knew that Jesus was seeking more than mere traveling companions. At this point the brothers had known Jesus for more than a year. They’d had time to consider his teachings and decide what kind of man he was. They had probably witnessed his miracle of turning water into wine and, according the John’s gospel, already “believed in him.” So their decision to drop everything and follow him was not as spontaneous as it might at first seem. They didn’t understand everything about Jesus or his mission, but when he called them, they trusted him enough to surrender themselves to his authority.
Like Peter and Andrew, our obedience to God doesn’t depend on our complete understanding but on our trust in the One who calls us to follow him. We are compelled not by logic or reason but by the person and nature of Jesus. We obey because we believe in him and trust in his authority over us.
When God commands us to forgive, for example, we don’t have to fully understand the situation before we obey. We don’t have to weigh the evidence and guess at the other person’s motives or decide whether forgiving is wise or fair or likely to resolve a conflict. We forgive because we believe in the God who calls us to obey. We trust that he wouldn’t ask us to forgive if he hadn’t already thought it through and laid out the best course for us to follow.
If we find ourselves struggling to forgive, it helps to refocus our attention on the God we love instead of fuming over our offender and what was done to us. Forgiveness grows from our faith in the person of God, in his wisdom and goodness that always guide us in the right way if we are willing to follow him.
FATHER, you have shown me your faithfulness and your goodness. Yet too often I lean on my own understanding of a situation more than I trust in your leadership. Forgive me for rejecting your ways and trying to handle relationship problems in ways that serve my own agenda. Give me faith to accept your call to obedience as Peter and Andrew did, spontaneously and without looking back.
Proverbs 3:5-6; John 2:11
Is there a situation in your life right now where God is calling you to spontaneous obedience?