It is extremely comforting to know that “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” (1 Corinthians 1:27). That’s why we are here, to do His work and respond to His call in our life.
As we go through the ‘book of Life’, life of apostles, give a clear picture about how to be effective in our respective calls.
Let’s consider the life of Peter. A fisherman by profession.
What do we understand by today’s fisherman. They are generally shabby, unkempt, rustic and most of the time stinking of fish. Imagine those days.
Fishermen would be more unkempt, uneducated and probably using very foul language. Peter was that kind.
But later stage of his life, he turns out to be one of the most outspoken apostles, who was used powerfully by God. One of the boldest witness, for Christ.
Now let us consider how he was before Peter was called by Jesus.
Scriptures record, Peter was a Galilean rustic fisherman, uneducated, and shabby. His profession was a physically demanding job. So he must have been a boisterous person by nature, quick to temper, because when in the sea, you do experience storms. Catching fish isn’t an easy job.
His original name was Simon. Jesus was the one who changed his name to ‘Peter’ which means ‘rock’ or ‘petra’ . Like all of us, he was a sinful man.
Luke 5:6-8 records, …..he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!
Now did Jesus condemn him? No. Then why he said like that? Because, the moment he had an encounter with Lord, he experienced conviction of spirit. He didn’t know that. But the work had already started. An unrefined uncouth man was to be transformed from here on, but ,…..it was a long journey ahead.
But the process had just begun.
Now consider yourself.
When you first came to Christ.
What did you experience? That same thing happened, conviction of spirit. God did not condemn you. But something that happened inside of you, that you couldn’t explain at that point of time. But you knew you are wrong all this while. You always had been wrong. But the beautiful part is, which now you can see…..he never left you, even when you were all wrong. Probably because he saw your heart.
Unfortunately, the world is so lost in their pride, wealth, lusts of flesh and mind, honour and status in life, that they do not know they need a Saviour, so desperately. They reason out everything. For them, if they are doing good, and not harming anyone, then they are doing fine in life.
Romans 3:23 says, “……for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
Psalm 51:5, “Behold I was brought forth in iniquity. And in sin my mother conceived me”.
Ephesians 2:3 says, “Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, including the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even at the rest”.
Coming back to Peter…the first step had happened. But he had a long way to go.
Surprisingly when Jesus called him, he left everything. Now leaving everything behind means, he must have left his boat, fishing net and all kinds of accessories that he required for fishing…..everything he must have left behind and came with Jesus. That never went unnoticed by Jesus. That is simplicity and also firm faith. It wasn’t that Peter had known Jesus before this encounter. He just met a person and he dared to leave it all? That kind of trust, God wants from us Our call is like that. That is the beginning of the life of an evangelist.
Peter was the first one to know the identity of Jesus. He called Him the Son of the Living God (Mark 8:29, Luke 9:20, Matt 16:16-17). That was the work of the Holy Spirit’s revelation to him. But this is the same Peter, who even rebuked the Lord and said he was willing to die for Jesus. This willingness was proven wrong later on, which proves that he became ‘emotional’.
Your emotions might not impress God or speed up His schedule for you even for a moment. He will go as per His plans for you, because His plans for you will be much bigger and better than you can think of.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.
But…..your act of OBEDIENCE surely will make Him look down on you from His throne in Heaven, with compassionate and loving eyes.
When in job, you can’t be emotional, say things you don’t mean, do things that can land you in trouble. Likewise, It definitely is not going to impress God if we say things to Him just for the heck of it. If you say something to God, or even to people, I think we should mean them, else keep quiet. Empty words put us in a very poor image in front of God and in front of people.
Now back to word.
Later on we find this same Peter who claimed to give his life for Jesus, getting intimidated by a small girl. Luke 22:54-62 records, he denies Jesus in front of the girl. This shows, in spite of the conviction of spirit, in spite of the wonderful work that began in him, he still was not ready.
He was the privileged one to be with Jesus during His ministry, saw him so close, saw all the miracles happening around, but still he could deny Jesus in front of a small girl. Still he was not ready. But…did that stop Jesus from including him in his core team? Did it stop Lord from anointing him? No. Why?
Because, even if we can’t see our tomorrow, God can. Jesus saw the potential Peter carried in Him. Jesus remembered that he dared to leave al his work behind, without even knowing Jesus well, not knowing Jesus till so far from that close, he chose to follow him without questioning him even for once. That kind of courage and sincerity of heart, Lord appreciated.
It’s same for us. Christ is same yesterday, today and forever. He never changes. He never will. He knows the potential you carry deep within you, because He is the one who gave it to you. All He will see, is your willingness and genuineness of your heart. He will never leave you nor forsake you, provided, the work you start to do, is for building His church.
How powerfully, mightily Peter was used. A man who was gruff, boisterous and illiterate, learnt to be a combination of a lion and a lamb. That’s what an evangel should be….a combination of a lion and a lamb.
When I started my journey with my Lord, it was very easy for me to be a lion. It was natural in me. The difficult part was to be an obedient lamb. God allowed situations in my life. It changed me, changed my perspectives in life. I learnt to be gentle and sensitive to people’s need. I started seeing things now by placing myself in the other person’s shoes, and it helped me to be more effective in the work Lord assigned to me to do. Now I understand, the entire process of my trials was to make me grow. God spoke endless times through the Holy Spirit, and trained me to be sensitive to His Holy Spirit, that I may hear His voice, when He speaks to me.
It was the Holy Spirit, living that time, and still living amongst us today, to teach us, guide us, lead us and empower us to do the things God calls us to do. We always have to go ahead in His strength, His wisdom, and never ever on our own. Because it would be foolishness if we work on our own strength, justify self on our own goodness. Let us never behave in a manner, that gentle dove as He is, Holy spirit withdraws Himself from us, and the work turns to nothing. There is tremendous potential in growth of a church and an individual, if Holy Spirit leads and guides.
Acts 1:14, …..Peter along with others, minds in full agreement devoted themselves steadfastly to prayer (waiting together)
Acts 1:16-26……… Peter began ministry.
The same uneducated, not so confident man, begins something, that the world was to receive later through his work and the work of other apostles.
Life of an evangelist is primarily on knees. Yes we are leaders called by God, but our leadership is not being boisterous, but by meekness and humility we are to serve. That way we reflect Christ, touch the world with His love and goodness, inspire others to become Christ like and show them the way to salvation, as His vessels.
Acts 2: 2-3……as witnesses, they were first empowered, and then began the work.
Learning to wait on God is the first priority, if you want God to give you responsibilities. You can’t jump and skip this part and go headlong into work. Because that way you will be immature, and reason for others to backslide.
Spiritual maturity comes with waiting on Him. By His anointing, by His guidance.
Understand the great call by waiting on Him.
Do not get into ministry if He hasn’t called you. You will find yourself most of the time in need then. Because He never called you, and it’s not His responsibility to provide for you if He hasn’t asked you to get into ministry. But if He has called you, don’t even doubt. He will surely do as He promises.
“They that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength. They shall Mount up with wings of eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint” Isaiah 40:31.
(“”The writer has been a Cover page Model for various fashion magazines , anchored various musical shows for youth Channels and a (short film) filmmaker for Discovery Channel. Currently busy writing her own book””)