By Josh Kerby
“Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.” – Mark 1:16-20
I wonder, were the disciples ready for a change in their life? Did they secretly want a new opportunity to rise? Maybe they had talked about doing great things for God in conversation, and that was the extent of their request. God hears all of our requests, even the ones in conversations that we don’t actually make directly to Him. In July of 2012, I was on a backpacking trip with some friends. In conversation, I had said, “This would be cool to do as a career.” God heard that request and set the wheels in motion. Two years later, August of 2014, I was about to guide my very first backpacking trip. I wouldn’t have done that if I hadn’t stepped forward and applied. The disciples may not have been world changers if they hadn’t stepped out of the boat and accepted the offer to follow Jesus.
Fast forward a few years, I was stuck in a place of not knowing where God was taking me. I was on a weeklong trip, and the students were singing Oceans. One of my fellow guides asked me if they truly believed and wanted what they were singing. It hit me, did I want that in my life. That night I prayed Oceans to God.
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
Growing up, I never wanted to be in ministry, yet here I am. That line echoes in my head as I think about it, “Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander.” I would have never wandered into ministry on my own accord. I wanted something bigger for my life, so I jumped in. The full-time staff here at Journey Quest raise support for our salaries. Again, this is something I never wanted to do. It takes a lot of faith to trust that the support will come in. Again, the line echoes, “and my faith will be made stronger.” I am currently writing this blog while I am on a support raising road trip. I felt called to visit the places I am visiting. I stepped out in faith and trusted that this trip would be fruitful. Everyday something has happened where I had to trust in God for his provision; the crazy thing is God has provided everything. It may not have been the way I would have wanted it, but God knew my needs and provided. God invites us to fully trust Him with our daily needs. He will provide when we need it.
“And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in their belts— but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics. And he said to them, “Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you depart from there. And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” – Mark 6:7-11
When our requests line up with what God wants to give us, will He answer those prayers? Yes, but not typically immediately and in a way that seems magical. I think He likes to invite us to live out what we prayed for instead. I prayed my faith would be made stronger and God invited me into opportunities where I can live out that faith. Despite sin getting in the way, I think we all have the capabilities to love unconditionally, live by faith day and night, have grace, mercy, patience, etc. We just need to start living them out. Ask God to show you these opportunities to live out what you want to improve on. Ask God to help you live them out. If you want more faith in your life, go on a mission trip. If you want to show more love to people, volunteer at a homeless shelter. If you need to practice grace, get involved in prison ministry. The opportunities are there; God has already invited you. If the disciples never followed Jesus, do you think they would have regretted it? I don’t think they regretted following Him. Will you answer Jesus’ call? Will you go?
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