My daily Scripture readings took me to the stories of the calls of Abraham (Genesis 12) and Peter, James, and John (Luke 5). I have always loved reading the “call stories” where God issued incredible invitations to people like Moses, Isaiah, Samuel, Ezekiel, and Paul. But the call of Abraham is one of the most amazing. The Lord chose this simple man and set His mark upon His little life. Of Abraham, God said,
“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12.2-3)
When Jesus called Peter, James, and John, the three fishing partners, He invited them to be part of salvation history, part of the amazing plan of God to redeem a lost and dying world. Jesus said to Peter,
“Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him. (Luke 5.10-11)
Following the lives of Abraham and Peter is both challenging and comforting. Neither of these guys was exactly perfect. Abraham was such a giant of a man that he passed his wife off as his sister so that it would go well for him in the land of Egypt (Genesis 12.10-13). Peter rebuked the King of Kings for daring to suggest that salvation would come through the cross (Mark 8.33). So I find comfort in the reality that God chooses unworthy people to do great things through, and I long to be one of those blessed unworthies.
But I am also challenged. Abraham, though a man of great faith, didn’t give much thought to his calling. It never even crossed his mind that the same God that called him to be a blessing to all nations might be powerful enough to protect him from the King of Egypt. And it never crossed Peter’s mind that perhaps the servant girl who accused him of being a follower of Jesus might be one of the people he was sent to catch. Abraham and Peter received such great calls, but they didn’t always faith in them completely.
The Lord has blessed me with a gracious call, as He has done with all of those who faith in Him. The stories of Abraham and Peter remind me that God is faithful to fulfill His plan and to work that plan through me as He chooses. How will God use me to “catch men” or to “bless the nations”? That is really His problem, not mine. My call is to faith in Him with each daily step, trusting that He is at work within me, through me, and around me.
Don’t be afraid. Pull up my boats. And follow Him.