About fourteen years ago, I was giving the devotion at our local MOPS group when something abruptly came into focus. As I was sharing my testimony, I realized proclaiming the goodness of God to women was what I was created to do.
I can’t quite explain it, but all the pieces of my personality, spiritual giftings, skills, and experiences seemed to click into place. Something within me needs to share about Jesus—when I’m in a season of not teaching, I feel restless and lost, like part of me is missing. But when I teach about God, I feel alive in ways I never imagined!
The thing is, it’s different from what I thought I was made to do. Before that moment, I had spent most of my time serving in the church through worship arts. I thought that was my calling. In many ways, being a singer was a huge part of my identity. I had been singing since I was thirteen. I was a vocal music major in college. Singing was what I was trained to do. I couldn’t really imagine “being” anything else.
Yet, I realized Jesus was extending an invitation to follow Him into the unknown of a new area of serving Him. I had no idea what it would look like or how to begin, but I knew I had a choice: was I in or out?
All Christ-followers have moments when the Lord invites us to follow Him. Sometimes it falls in line with what we always imagined, but more often than not, it looks different from our plans. Often, it can be a radical call to do something out of our comfort zone or capabilities.
It can be scary to step out into the unknown. Yet, in those moments, we have to respond. Even though we may not fully understand what Christ is asking of us or how we’ll complete the task, we have to choose: follow Him or refuse.
How we respond is essential.
“While walking by the Sea of Galilee, [Jesus] saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.”
Matthew 4:18-22 (ESV)
I’ve always wondered what Simon Peter and Andrew thought when Jesus asked them to follow Him so He could make them “fishers of men.” Did they understand what that entailed? Jesus was the master of imagery and allegory, so it makes sense that He would use something these men knew well to foreshadow what He would accomplish through them. Perhaps they caught His vision right away when He said He would make them “fishers of men,” but I’m not sure they did.
Whether or not they fully understood, their response to His invitation is telling. With both sets of brothers, Scripture makes clear that their response to Jesus was immediate. They didn’t take time to mull it over, weighing the pros and cons of His invitation. They didn’t ask Him for more details before they could fully submit. They unabashedly dropped what they were doing and followed Him! Because wherever He was going, that is where they wanted to be!
Friends, that’s the response we should always have when the Creator of the universe, the King of kings, invites us to join Him–no hesitation, simply a jubilant “yes!”
That can be challenging, can’t it? Our desire to see the path in front of us, to have a modicum of control, and to be sure we will like the journey’s outcome can give us pause. But we must trust Jesus as the Lord of our lives, yielding to His will and following Him into the great unknown. We’re not guaranteed it will be an easy, comfortable journey, but He will be there, leading us! That knowledge alone should beckon an immediate “Yes! I’m in!” from us.
When I sensed the Lord inviting me to shift my focus from worship ministry to teaching, I wasn’t sure why or what it would look like. But I knew I wanted in on whatever He had planned for me. So, in that moment at MOPS, I said “yes” to His call and jumped on board with Him.
The road hasn’t always been easy; there has even been a good deal of heartbreak in the process as I released my dreams to follow His instead. But today, I never feel more at home in my own skin than when teaching women about Jesus. It feels as natural to me as breathing because it is what I was designed to do. I am so grateful Jesus invited me to follow Him down a path I would never have chosen on my own.
When Jesus beckons us to follow Him, our response must be one of trust and obedience, immediately causing us to follow wherever He leads, like His disciples so long ago. There will be time for questions and discovery along the way; those are essential to growth in our relationship with Him. But when He extends an invitation, let’s not get caught up in what we don’t understand or the fear of the unknown. Instead, let’s get caught up in Him and unabashedly follow wherever He leads!
This month, let’s meditate on the following:
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:4-10 (ESV)
Lord Jesus, thank You for salvation through the blood You shed for me. You purchased my life, and I am forever Yours. Today I come, asking You to make your invitation clear. What is it You desire of me, Lord? I trust You. Please give me the courage to follow You into the unknown as I respond “yes” to You today. May my life glorify You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
What invitations have you received from the Lord? How did you feel when He first asked you to follow Him on that journey? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
Chrissie Angell is the Executive Director and a Co-founder of Humble Faith Ministries. She is a speaker, writer, and Bible teacher passionate about pointing women to Jesus and helping them live out their Kingdom assignments. She and her husband, Brian, live in Kentucky with their two boys and their yellow lab, Charger.