Recently, I spent a week in Kenya at a conference for ministry leaders and had my first experience with Uber. If you are not familiar, Uber is a smartphone app that you can schedule someone to pick you up in their car and take you to your destination. It’s like a taxi but you do it all online. Believe me, it’s the way to ride in Kenya.
Upon arrival at the Nairobi airport, I scheduled my Uber and he drove me 45 minutes to the hotel. They drive on the left side of the road, sit on the right side of the vehicle, and the roads go all over the place. They have potholes and speed bumps everywhere. I would have been lost or had a car wreck in minutes. But thanks to my driver, I arrived safely and had a great week.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have an Uber driver for your life? You could have someone steer you in the right direction through the potholes and speed bumps of life? If you ever got in a bad place, your driver could take you through a shortcut and get you to your arrival safely. You could simply call him up anytime, sit in the backseat and enjoy the ride.
Did you know that the Christian life is intended to be like that? When we accept Jesus as our Savior, He not only saves us from our sin, but He places in a spiritual family to help us in our Christian life. We were never intended to try to live the Christian life all by ourself. We have others to help us along. That’s is the purpose of the Church.
In Matthew 4:18-22, Jesus invited some men to follow Him. If they decided to follow Jesus, He promised to teach them how to reach others. That is what the Christian life is all about – One Christian helps another Christian become a better Christian.
So from this story, what can we learn about following Jesus?
1 – God always calls busy people.
When Jesus met Peter, Andrew, James and John, they were busy working as fishermen. It is significant that in the Bible God prefers to call people who are busy. Gideon was threshing wheat; Moses and Joseph were tending sheep; David was with his father’s flock; Elisha was plowering with 12 yoke of oxen; Matthew was working at the tax collector’s table; Saul was rushing to Damascus to persecute Christians. God doesn’t usually guide a believer who is taking it easy.
We are socially constituted to make a mark – a desire to influence others. Jesus addressed this ambition in these fishermen – Do you want to make something of your life that is useful? Follow me.
The art of Christian life may be described as learning how to turn one’s job into ministry.
2 – Rescuing men from sin is God’s greatest concern.
Jesus’ desire was to use the skills of fishing to rescue others. Some of the qualities of a good fisherman that help make a good soul winner include:
- Instinct – eye for the right moment.
- Out of sight.
- Fit the bait to the fish.
Some researchers estimate that as many as 95% of all Christians have never led another person to Christ. Jesus wants to use our abilities, talents, and even occupation, to reach people because people need Jesus.
Brian Welch, lead singer for KORN (known as Head) was a drug addicted junkie. One day his real estate broker did something he had never done before. He felt like God wanted him to tell Brian a Bible verse “Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest” said Jesus. Brian thought about that. He felt weary and burdened and needed rest. They invited him to church and he invited Christ into His life. He said instantly he felt the love of God coming into his life and he threw all the drugs away and quit Korn. His heart was changed immediately.
3 – Jesus is not satisfied with half-hearted Christians
Peter and Andrew left their fishing nets and followed Jesus. James and John did the same, including leaving their father, to follow Jesus. Their action indicated radical discipleship, total surrender.
When Jesus calls, people must be willing to realign previous plans and goals, sometimes leaving something important in order to follow Jesus. Jesus is not satisfied with half-hearted Christians.
Johann Leonhard Dober and David Nitschmann, were two young Moravian Brethren from Herrnhut, Germany, called in 1732 to minister to the African slaves on the islands of St. Thomas and St. Croix in the Danish West Indies. Allegedly, when they were told that they would not be allowed to do such a thing, they sold themselves to a slave owner and boarded a ship bound for the West Indies. As the ship pulled away from the docks, it is said that they called out to their loved ones on shore, “May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering!”
Are you following Jesus? Who are you following to help you follow Jesus better? Who are you leading to follow Jesus? You need others and others need you. Don’t try the Christian life all alone.