What hangs in the balance of your one small step of obedience? It could be quite surprising. It may be something grand in scale. It may be something unrecognized by humankind. But every opportunity, every potential step of faith has rich potential and is significant to God. That’s part of why our faith journey with God is such an adventure!
Whether the encouragement comes from a Pastor’s message, from your reading of scripture, from a chance personal encounter or by a nudge from the Holy Spirit, God is placing opportunities in our paths all throughout our lives where if we move on them and perhaps even take a risk, all sorts of possibilities may cascade from that single step. Obviously, initially coming to faith in Christ is one of those “steps.”
In Luke 5 we get a fairly detailed account of Jesus inviting Simon Peter to follow Him. Peter was busy mending and preparing his nets for the next days’ trip offshore, having spent an exhausting night fishing with no catch. As Peter worked, he could hear Jesus preaching to a crowd from the shore. Jesus made a request which was likely a minor inconvenience to Peter . . . . he asked Peter to let him in Peter’s boat and push off from shore a bit so he could better address the growing crowd. Peter consented. A step of obedience.
When the preaching was over, Jesus asked the ridiculous of Peter. The carpenter instructing the career fisherman. “Put out into deep water and let down the nets for a catch.” If I was Peter my thoughts would be similar to these. “Jesus, you are a carpenter. You know nothing about fishing. Commercial fishing in the Sea of Galilee is done strictly at night when the water cools. I have done this thousands of time. I am tired. I just cleaned my nets. People will think I am crazy if I put out to sea in the daytime.”
But regardless of these reasonable objections, something compelled Peter to take a step of faith. Perhaps something in Jesus’ preaching impressed Peter. Most likely it was just the man, Jesus. “Because you say so, I will let down the nets” was Peter’s next turning point. Simple willingness to take a step. No promise of a return on investment. No hint that someday Peter would lead the startup of Jesus’ church and that Peter’s name would be remembered throughout modern history. Jesus didn’t teleport Peter to the future or show him a picture of the magnificent basilica in Italy that was built over Peter’s grave and bear his name.
It wasn’t about fish or a notable legacy. It was about a simple step of faith and a beginning of a relationship with Jesus that led to greater and greater steps of faith. Was the beginning a little scary for Peter like it sometimes is for us? You determine that. Here are Jesus words to Peter after the boat ride and astonishing catch of fish. “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.” Fear is the enemy of faith and it is a common response when we are sensing an opportunity for a step of faith that is before us. Embracing these “steps” offered to us may not always change the world as Peter’s did, but God will use them to change us and likely impact the destiny of others.
Do you trust the One to whom you may respond, “Because you say so?” Can you hear Him say “Don’t be afraid” and “I am with you?” What might God be presenting to you as a “next step?” Think About It.