Luke 5:10-11 NKJV and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” (11) So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.
This story was a very personal one to Valarie and I as we began in ministry. We had been very active in serving in our local church and in a para church ministry, but as our second child was born and Valarie who had been on a professional track was transitioning to serve at home and as a full-time volunteer for the church we were about to help plant and I was looking for a new job… stuff got REAL.
I knew that the Lord had called me into ministry and specifically to serve with my pastors at FCFTucson. In my lightning quick mind, I also knew this meant I needed a job that allowed me to be off Sundays and evenings and would be flexible so I could be available for other ministry meetings and conferences as needed. I also knew that my wife and children enjoyed being housed, clothed, & fed. Luke 5:1-11 was a reminder to me of God’s faithfulness, provision, & encouraged me to be courageous in the face of all the questions and fears.
I don’t know about John & James, but I know Peter was married and had his mother-in-law living with him. This meant he had natural responsibilities to make sure that their basic needs were met. John & James were employed by their father and at certainly didn’t want to hurt their fathers business by up and leaving and what about their obligations. Still, the Lord has called them serve Him and learn from Him in a full-time traveling capacity, which would raise all kinds of fears and worries for any normal person let alone ones with family pressures.
It was the miraculous catch of fish, their faith in Him, & Jesus’ words “Do not be afraid” that encouraged them to quit their jobs, change careers, and leave their families for weeks at a time to obey the call of God and fulfill their purpose. Their very identity was about to change from fishermen to fishers of men, but it was God’s goodness, faithfulness to provide, & His Word to them that they put their trust in.
Valarie and I have made a lot of decisions through the years that would impact our finances, where we lived, what we wore, what we drove, what we ate, and how much we give. But once you are sure of what God has told you to do, you can do it without fear. That is the message I want you to hear today.
You may not be called to be a pastor or have a traveling ministry, but whatever God has asked you to do (pray for somebody, give a significant gift, serve in your church, shift careers, etc.…) you can do it without fear knowing the Lord will provide for you. He’s proven His faithfulness in His Word and in the goodness He’s shown toward you. Do not be afraid, do what He’s asked you to do.