S (Scripture) – Matthew 4:18-20 “Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon, who was 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.”
O (Observation) – Oh Lord Jesus, when will the world understand that following after You doesn’t mean church attendance, one-way communication, or meditation on what is within us apart from You. You show us here what the progression looks like to be transformed by You – first, You see us. As much as we may think we have come to know You by searching for You, the reality is that You saw us before we were even born. You created us. You never stopped watching us. We most likely drifted away from You at a young age, but You never gave up on pursuing our hearts. It’s when we stop paying attention to the world around us and notice that You are watching us that we are ready to hear what You have to say. The two key words for our relationship with You are simple…You tell us to follow You. If we follow You, You will make us…fishers of men, lovers of people, worshipers in spirit and truth, teachers of the word, disciple-makers. You will make us. We don’t have to try and figure it out on our own. By walking alongside You, You show us how to walk alongside others. It all starts by following You, and walking away from whatever is holding us back from fully experiencing Your goodness.
A (Application) – This begs the question, what does an authentic relationship with Jesus look like? What does it actually mean to follow after Him? When we placed our trust in Jesus, He gave to us the gift of the Holy Spirit to reside within us. Just as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one with each other, we are drawn into that beautiful relationship by this precious gift. The Holy Spirit is our Teacher, Counselor, Guide, and wants very much for us to seek after wisdom and understanding. Reading our bible, spending time in prayer, worshiping God in spirit and in truth, listening for His guidance, allowing Him into our hearts and deepest parts of ourselves that we keep hidden from everyone…it’s as if He is a surgeon that is looking for everything unholy and with the scalpel of His word, will ever so gently cut it out so that the rest of us can be healthy again. Sin is like cancer…if not dealt with, it will spread and eventually consume us. God isn’t interested in only telling us what we can’t or shouldn’t do…He wants us to recognize that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17). We cannot experience all of the goodness that God has for us if we are harboring sin in our hearts. That is why He wants us to deal with it appropriately…not just operate in a sin-management lifestyle, but actually crush strongholds in our lives and walk in victory and authenticity.
P (Prayer) – Heavenly Father, You are incredible. Your kindness is what leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). The enemy has created so many lies about You that are perpetuated and believed all over the world. I pray that eyes would be opened and hearts would be changed by realizing Your true desire to commune with us, walk with us, draw us in, and show us the way everlasting. Teach us what it means to follow after You, and free us from any distractions or lies we have believed that would keep us from fellowship with You.