I recently read “your new life is going to cost you your old one.” That’s a really scary thought … and so true.
The new you are seeking will require your release of the old you’ve been clinging to. God says in Isaiah 43:19 “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
Do you want this new thing God is doing in you? Do you want to become this greater version of yourself, fully in alignment with who you were created to be? Okay, let go of the old thing holding you back.
If you’re seeking a new healthy life, your old Cheetos snack time’s gotta go! If you’re seeking a rockin’ marriage, your old life of nagging and complaining is bye bye now. If you want a debt free life, your old life of impulse shopping on the Amazon is over now.
You know how to do you … but how to become who you WANT to be is a mystery. Or is it … is it really all a mystery, or does it all boil down to one right choice at a time? The mystery serves to keep us stuck, when the truth is it’s really not that hard. You can do this and God wants to help you!
How bad do you want that new life? How bad do you want change? Bad enough to give up your old life?
Peter and Andrew were fishermen. Fishing is what they did. It was their life. One day they were working and they were given an invitation for a new life. In Matthew 4:19, Jesus walks by Peter and Andrew and says, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.”
They stepped into a new life that day, a life as the best friends of Jesus. His disciples who would be trusted to tell his stories and help build his ministry. You know what the bible doesn’t tell us … it doesn’t tell us how many other fisherman Jesus may have walked by that day with the same invitation. How many others were offered the same opportunity, but they said no. Why would they say no? For the same reason we do … they didn’t want to let go of what they had. The mystery scared them.
What we have may not be great, but it’s familiar. And familiar is better than unknown. The unknown is … well, it’s unknown. We’re comfortable with what we’ve always known. And so we miss opportunities for something so much more, because we settle for the little that has always been. Would you be willing to pay the price of a new life if it cost you your old one? Would you be that daring?
What if God is prompting you to a new place, a new career, a new opportunity, a new level. What if he has it all available to you, but you’ll have to step into the mystery with faith and go before you know for sure? Would you? Will you?
Peter and Andrew’s lives were radically changed the day Jesus walked by. An invitation was extended and what was their response? Straighway they left their nets, meaning right then and there. There was no delay. They went.
Understand this, Jesus is here for you this morning with an invitation. An invitation to trust him enough to surrender your life fully to him. And what does that really look like? It looks like bringing all you worries, all your messes and all your stresses to him and saying, “I can’t do this without you. Help. My way doesn’t work, I want it your way.”
Here’s what I really love about the story of these two fishermen, Jesus made the roles very clear. Your job is to FOLLOW. My job is to MAKE something out of you.
Jesus said “FOLLOW ME and I WILL MAKE YOU fishers of men.”
We get all caught up in the details of when and how, when all this time all we needed to do is follow him. Our job is to follow Jesus. Follow him. Pursue him. It is the pursuit of Jesus that changes us. It is our pursuit of success and our pursuit of money, our pursuit of temporary happiness, our pursuit of status and our pursuit of approval that leads us astray. HIM. All along all we’ve needed to do was pursue Jesus and follow after him and all that needs to change in our life will change. The pursuit changes us. This is how we become who we were created to be.
And we can begin that journey immediately. Jesus is extending his hand once again and saying “hey, I have this great life available to you. I have had these big plans in mind for you all along. Dad and I were in on this together and if you’ll trust me, I’ll help you. I’ll make something big out of your life. Come with me. Follow me.”
How about an immediate YES this morning? I’m not talking a half way, little bit, kinda sorta, maybe I’ll give it a try and see, kind of yes. I’m talking an all-in, all of me for all of you, reckless abandon, heck-to-the-yes Jesus, nothing can make me not follow you! How about you drop whatever it is you’re doing, whatever it is you’re clinging to so tightly and say “yes Lord, I will follow you.”
I believe when we get our roles right, then we finally see the change we’ve been seeking.
Follow me – that’s your job.
Make you (meaning change you, equip you, strengthen you) – that’s his job.
It’s it reassuring to know you’re not solely responsible for making something out of your life? This isn’t all up to you. The pursuit of Jesus will lead you exactly where you need to go. Your job is to follow him.
You say to me, okay well that all sounds good, but tell me exactly HOW do I follow Jesus. I think like that as well. I’m very practical. Tell me HOW to do something and I will do it, but you gotta be clear with me. HOW. Give me some steps here. And I’m not talking like Ikea buidling instructions. Nope, that makes no sense to me. I need a simple bulleted list. HOW DO I FOLLOW JESUS?
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen Jesus walking by me lately. I’ve even been standing on the bank of a lake fishing just as Peter and Andrew were and Jesus didn’t walk by. So how am I suppose to follow him if he’s not walking by? I don’t feel like he’s been showing up? I bet every single one of us would drop everything we’re doing if Jesus literally showed up in our world today and spoke to us.
But what if this whole “follow Jesus” thing was as simple as saying “hey God, I’m here. I’m seeking you. I want your way over my own way. I’m ready now.”
Now, this is big. This is where everything begins to make sense … check this out. What brings you to that place of being ready now? Failure. Disappointment. Delays.
Don’t you see it? If it weren’t for the failure, if you were never disappointed, if you wouldn’t have been delayed, you wouldn’t even be listening today! You’re ready now because it’s been harder than you expected. You’re seeking now because your way didn’t work. And God knew that all along! You think you’ve screwed this up … girl, really all you did was fall into God’s plan.
God is using your failure, your disappointment, and your delays to bring you to this place of finally being ready to follow him. Everything in your life is being used for your journey now. Nothing is wasted. I’m pretty sure I say it daily, but indeed, all things are being used for good!
Get out of your own head here sister. You don’t have to understand HOW God is going to use everything. You don’t have to understand how all the pieces are going to fit together here. That’s his job. He does the making. He will make you into who you were created to be. And isn’t that what he’s been doing all along? He’s just been preparing you to step into your destiny. Preparing you to live the BIG Life he had in mind for you from the very beginning.
This chapter of your life could be titled “The Pursuit of Jesus”. Maybe there are a whole lot of things that don’t make sense in your world right now and maybe they’re not supposed to. Maybe this is just where you follow Jesus. This is the part of the story where you wake up every day and say “Jesus, I’m looking for you today. My eyes are open and my answer is yes.”
Now, step on into the mystery.