Yes, I watch TV. I remember the first time I heard Dr.
Sumrall refer to a television show and I was shocked! I thought, “Wow, he
watches TV like real people.” Well, he rarely did and I’m not sure someone didn’t
tell him about the show. Then again, he was Dr. Sumrall and I am not. He was the most remarkable example of being totally
sold out for the gospel of Jesus Christ. He used to say, “I spend thirty
minutes a day on Lester Sumrall and the rest belongs to Jesus.” How many of us can honestly say that?
Moreover, the question is, are we really
true disciples? However, that’s not just the question but it’s the challenge.
Discipleship is a word that has been tossed around so much
that it’s lost its true meaning. It’s become such a part of our “Christian-ese”
that it seems old and tired. But if we are to follow Jesus as we desire, then
we have to follow the pattern given us, in the scriptures, which is
specifically illustrated in the gospel and the book of Acts. Why? Because
that’s where we find the disciples that Jesus called.
I have read and re-read Mark 1:16-20,”As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother
Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fisherman. ‘Come follow me,
Jesus said, and I will send you make you
fishers of men.’ At once they left their nets and followed him. When he had
gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a
boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their
father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.
Imagine what a presence Jesus must’ve had! These men had
never seen him yet he called them and they didn’t hesitate. They dropped their
nets and followed him. Not after a few days, few weeks, or few months, the
scripture declares, “at once they left their nets and followed him.” They left
their careers, their families, and everything and did so WITHOUT DELAY! Think
of that! Next question- who among us could do that?
I’m a planner. I like schedules, lists, and predictability
which also means… I hate surprises! If that would’ve been me, I could hear it
now! I would whine to Jesus, “Now, let’s wait a minute! Can I have a trip
itinerary first? Where are we going? What should I wear? What should I pack?
What will I be doing? Is it going to be hard? How long ‘til we get there and
when are we going to eat? Jesus, you’re asking me to drop everything?
So, that brings me back to TV. There’s a commercial for a
credit card company that has the slogan, “What’s in your wallet?” When reading this scripture passage, I was so
astonished by the fact that these men dropped everything and did it without
delay. Without delay means immediately! As a result, I started asking myself a
series of questions, “What’s in your
net? What is keeping you from dropping everything, every single day, to follow
Him? What are you unwilling to leave behind, either consciously or
Can we drop anything that’s preventing our total surrender
while also yielding to His direction as we follow Him? Can we drop past
failures, guilty pleasures, or unforgiveness? Can we drop self-centeredness, willfulness,or
an unbridled tongue? Can we drop a lack of discipline, and just plain ol’sin?
So… on and on goes the list of detractors that get caught in the net and
therefore get us entangled in the affairs of life instead of following Him
without delay. You cannot move if you’re caught in something! I think I may be the thing in my net, to be
The proof of desire is in pursuit. We cannot say we’re disciples
with lip service and nothing else to show for it. We pursue our passions and
who better to pursue than the one who called us in the first place? To pursue
Jesus is to pursue what He loves…people. He didn’t say, “Follow me and I’ll
make you fishers of power, position, and success while life is rainbows and
butterflies”! He said, “I’ll make you fishers of men”.
In the meantime, we follow Him and we follow what He is and who He is. We follow peace, we follow victory, we follow healing,
we follow grace, and most importantly…we follow love. Yet while we are
following, He is with us with that same presence that caused the disciples to
drop everything at once.
He is the sunrise to
every sunset, the heaven to every hell, and the tranquility to every tempest
and He is…without delay.