Leaving the Net: Choosing Discipleship in a World That Chooses Itself

Published on 28 May 2024 at 21:17

"People will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people." 

-2 Timothy 3: 1-5


In Matthew 4, Jesus starts his ministry by approaching two fishermen, Simon (Peter) and Andrew. In words that would meet them exactly where they were, Jesus gives them a clear command, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" (v. 19). Jesus made himself so clear, but unfortunately most of the modern church and Christians have decided to omit this command from what is expected of us as followers of Christ. Notice, Jesus did not tell them to drop their nets, accept salvation, and go back to fishing. IMMEDIATELY, they dropped their nets, their livelihood, their way of life, and followed Jesus. This requires us to answer the question, am I actually following Christ, or expecting Him to follow behind and bless my choices? Have I actually dropped any nets? Have I actually let anything go to make room for the Holy Spirit to make me more like Christ, the ultimate disciple maker? Because this is the truth that is either not being taught or is being ignored: being a follower of Christ is not about you, it is about others.

The Christianity that is so popular now is the kind that guarantees us a spot in eternity but does not teach us to spend this life doing the most important thing Jesus called us to do, making disciples. We want to have an appearance of Godliness but are not letting the Holy Spirit do ALL of the work He desires to. 2 Timothy 3 gives an incredibly convicting list of fruit of the flesh. Fruit that quenches the spirit and denies its own production and growth. When I spent some time in prayer and really digging into this list, it made it plenty clear what nets I had dropped, and what nets I was still holding onto. We have to be willing to go through the discomfort of doing all the uncomfortable work by the Holy Spirit to transform us into more into the image of Christ, the greatest disciple to ever walk the Earth. 

In the last 3 years, I have learned what it means to be a disciple; to follow Christ, be changed by Christ, and be on mission for Christ (Matthew 4:19). All of these things require more of the Holy Spirit and less of me. When we make the decision to accept Jesus as King, we can't let it stop there. And if we let it stop there because we were never taught it goes any further, then we have to be the one to take that step into our true calling and teach others. This requires a boldness. However, this boldness is not what the world tells us boldness is. According to society, boldness could be characterized as speaking your truth, making your point louder than the other party, living the life you choose by your own free will regardless of what anybody else has to say. The problem is, this boldness has no stance in biblical truth. Boldness is not about being brave and doing the things that scare us or disagree with others for the sake of going against others. boldness is about obedience. But obedience to the Lord, and not obedience to ourselves.

Webster's dictionary defines 'bold' as this...

"Showing an ability to take risks; confident and courageous."

In Joshua 1, Joshua is preparing to lead the servants into the promised land after the death of his HIGHLY renowned predecessor, Moses. Here, the Lord tells Joshua 3 times in 9 verses to "be strong and courageous". This is biblical boldness, obeying God. Obeying in opposition not because you seek to defy others to satisfy a prideful flesh, but because you are standing for truth. Obeying in uncertainty because you trust the Lord of all creation over your own limited understanding. It takes courage to obey the Lord. This is boldness. Obeying the Lord by sacrificing our flesh (i.e. fear, pride, self-image, selfishness) to be able fulfill His commandment of loving others as greater than ourselves. So what does kind of dropping of nets result in? A heart on mission to actively walk alongside others to bring them closer to the Lord. Discipleship.

So, what nets haven’t you dropped? What nets did you drop, but recently picked back up? Jesus started His ministry telling us to drop those nets, because he would make something new, something better of us. It is up to us to not hinder the process.





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