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Encountering Jesus: Training

Encountering Jesus: Training

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.

– Matthew 4:18-20

Starting anything new can be paralyzing and nerve wracking. It might be starting at a new school, playing on a new team, or working at a new job. It can be a frightening thing to consider, even paralyzing.
Now, imagine starting a new job, in a totally new field of work, in a moment’s notice. That’s what Peter and Andrew did. They were simple fisherman with no training in teaching or leading. In a moment, Jesus changed all that. He called them to leave their fish nets behind to start a new job in a new field of work—soul saving and fishing for people’s hearts.

“But I don’t know the Bible that well. I’m not that smart; I’m a simple fisherman. I don’t even know what or how to teach.” That’s what I might have said.

But Peter or Andrew didn’t. Immediately they left their nets to follow Jesus based only on the promise from Jesus, “I will make you to be fishers for people.” Jesus promised to equip them to do what he had just called them to do.
I’ve never met a parent who had a trial run at parenting first. They may have read some books or watched some videos about being a parent. But they didn’t get to try it out first. God called your parents to be parents when they gave birth to you and promised, “I will equip you to be a parent.”

I’ve never met a pastor who had a trial run at pastoring first. Sure, he went to Seminary and had a vicar/intern year. But until he was installed as pastor, he didn’t really know what being a pastor meant or looked like in that new ministry. Or maybe that’s just me. But he had—as did I—the promise from Jesus, “I will equip you to be a pastor.”

Jesus promises to train us for the things he calls us to be, just like he promised to equip Peter and Andrew to fish for people. Paul says it like this, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).

So relax. Whether you’re taking on something new or sticking with something old, relax. God will train you to serve him wherever you are and whatever you do. He will be with you to help you, strengthen you, and uphold you.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, sometimes in my life I find myself faced with things that I’m not sure I can handle. It feels like I pushed into the deep end of the pool and I’m in over my head. Train me to do the things you’ve called me to do. Strengthen me to do the work and help me. Amen.