LaMoine Tatum, FBC Intern of Youth Spiritual Formation—Luke 5:1-11
My major is Psychology w/ a minor in Christian studies. I took this class called development Psychology. And in this class we talked about the developmental stages of children. It is interesting to watch the growth of a child. They grow physically, mentally (through the literal structure of the brain and the thought processing through the mind), and they grow physiologically as it relates to bones, muscles, intellectually, emotionally, they even grow spiritually.
Even though we looked at different theories of the stages in which children grow; one thing that was common among all of them was the simple fact of the need to change.
And I noticed that when they begin to change, their vocabulary begins grow and they begin to mimic what they hear and try to speak and develop sentences. I noticed that a “milestone” that many parents celebrate is when they take their first steps and begin to walk on their own although they may still need some guidance. The funny thing is, as they get older, they do not look the same way they did when they were 2 or 3.
We have too many baby adult Christians running around the church when God is calling us to mature into the image, the likeness, and the stature of Jesus Christ.
I don’t know about you, but I firmly believe in the right posturing or the positioning myself correctly to respond when change starts knocking at my door and this is in spite of the who doesn’t go with me, or who doesn’t like it or even when it provokes personal fears. Insert mini preach here: Your willingness to be obedient to God has to be greater than your personal fears…and your “no” has to be just as deep as your “yes.”
Tell your neighbor, even if you’ve got to do it afraid, change!
It’s funny how we find this same concept in our text today:
By the way: this messege is entitled RESPONDING TO THE CALL OF CHANGE…
Scripture: Luke 5:1-11
- give a specified name; a cry made as a summons or to attract someone’s attention.
- Synonymous with the term “Vocation”: a call doesn’t just refer to being in the ministry or just to preach, but any vocation or job or career.
- To make or become different
*SN: Change is a sign of natural and spiritual development. God is still a God of development because he is not too interested in providing us with things that we are not mature enough to sustain (whether that be business, school, other opportunities); otherwise we will destroy and waste the investment that God has placed in us as beneficiaries of His Kingdom.
- Freshmen in College: When I was a freshmen in college, I was so scared and anxious. when you’re a freshmen, you have to adjust to your new life, which is why we have freshmen orientation. I lived about two hours away from home, I didn’t know anyone, there is a whole new culture and environment that I had to grow in socially and academically. I also had to confront my mental state. I was battling Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, insomnia, and hypervigilance.
There was one night where I was extremely overwhelmed and I had a mental break down where I was crying on the floor. My roommate at the time walked in and asked if I was okay and I was pretending that I was looking for my ring that I lost. I found my ring, went outside and sat at the table that was in the middle of the campus and started praying. This was the first prayer that I said that didn’t start with “dear Heavenly Father…”
One of the Resident Assistants had given me a bottle of anti-depressant pills the night before and as I prayed, I said, Lord you have to do something before I take these pills because if I take this pills, I might do something that I may regret.
But this night caused me to trust and depend on God in a way that I had never done or was never used to before.
“Change isn’t change until you change.” -Archbishop Henry
Being Christian is about following Christ out of our old and sinful nature and into a new life and that life more abundantly.
In this this text…
I’m going to show you a general process that we may go through as we respond to the changes that occur in our lives:
We see where Jesus first meets Peter and Jesus steps into his boat and interrupts Peter’s life. The encounter that Peter has with Jesus is specific; God knows us by name and by Destiny.
He knows us by name: Most people infer that Jesus called Peter that name after they had gotten to know each other, but the text says that Jesus called Peter, “Peter” when he met him. This lets us know that Jesus calls us by our future selves that he established in the beginning. It’s personal because God knew us from before the foundations of the world. He knew who you were and he knows who you’re going to be.
Peter positioned himself to submit to the authority of Jesus. How do we know: in verse 3: Jesus meets Peter where he’s at in his life and He asks him to step a little outside of his comfort zone by pushing away from the land. When Jesus comes into our lives sometime subtle changes will begin to take place that cause uncomfortability. Your vocabulary is in the process of changing, your mind set and perspective begins to change, you begin to outgrow certain people and certain things and certain places because overtime your appetite begins the process of change.
Jesus sat down in the boat and began to teach the multitude, that means your life will testify of the experiences that you have with God. They that worship Him must Worship in spirit (from the heart) and in truth (from the head knowledge that you know about him). This lifestyle is contrary to the Modern Life and that character attracts attention from both sides of positivity and negativity. Your own personal life preaches its own sermon.
*FIRST (potential) RESPONSE:
Change can sometimes provoke offense: Luke tells us in the beginning of the chapter, that these men were fishermen. This was their occupation, and even their identities. They were professional fishers and Jesus (being a carpenter) tells Peter to go out into the deep water to catch some fish.
We can get annoyed when our own co-works try to tell us how to do our job, let alone someone who has a whole different career path. But Jesus was saying if you would trust me, I’ll show you something that you have never experienced before.
And Peter tells him that he’s already tried, he wrestled all night long and caught nothing! How many of you have struggled and wrestled with something to the point that you had lost your sleep and when it’s real bad, it feels as though you had almost lost your mind???
*SECOND (potential) RESPONSE:
Peter did something, he had what I call a Gethsemane Experience; this is what Jesus experienced in the Garden of Gethsemane and Gethsemane means the place of crushing. Jesus had to kill his flesh, he had to kill his will and said “Nevertheless”…that means “in spite of” not my will, but Thy will be done.
It is at this point where Peter positioned himself in submission to the authority of his Master (that means his teacher and in this context, it also refers to commander). He submitted himself to this new level of teaching called Discipleship understanding that Jesus was fully authorized as the leader. He said “Nevertheless” …at Your word, I will let down the net.
When he responded to the change and positioned himself correctly, he caught a whole bunch of fish and he caught them in abundance.
What was interesting, is that without them knowing it, Jesus began to prophesy what they about to do. They were about to catch fish through and for Christ! You need someone to be able to speak to your future and pull you out from your potential. He knows you by name and by destiny. Your leader has to be able to correct, guide, and develop your character, but they also need to be able to speak to your potential.
How do you do that: Pointing out things you notice or what God reveals about them: (ex. Parents tend to do this for their children).
Plus, what they caught was so big that they had to call the other boat over to help them. God will bless you to be a blessing and he will surround you with people, a community of people that will help you. What you lose for Christ, you gain much more than what you can even imagine.
THIRD (potential) RESPONSE:
Peter once again positioned himself…[got down on his knees] and did a hard thing…he went into repentance which simply means to change your mind or to turn away from something and turn to something else. Sometimes, it takes a glimpse of the future that causes us to turn the other way…that’s repentance.
Repentance is a powerful thing because it’s another sign of responding to change. Why: because it sets us up to be one step closer to being the outward expression of what God originally intended for us to be. Every outward consequence (whether good or bad) is the result of an inward decision.
*FOURTH (potential) RESPONSE:
–This response is making the choice to follow whole-heartedly.
Then, he gives the invitation: he says from now on, you will catch men. They left everything followed Jesus. You have to leave some things and some people behind, but we have to respond to Jesus and follow him. It’s not easy and it can be uncomfortable and it will cause some pain, but you have got to keep your eyes on Jesus.
We also have to be careful that conviction doesn’t turn into condemnation because there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. You don’t have to ashamed by what has happened. Jesus does with us just like he did with Peter, he encourages him and calls him to a higher place in himself.
In order for us to grow from immaturity to being mature, change is inevitable and necessary.
When going back to the night that I had that break down; this process was evident through: offense, submission, repentance, making the choice to follow Jesus even when it was inconvenient, painful and everything in between.
God is preparing us for changes that will and that are taking place even now in this body of believers and it is going to take for us to recognize this process and also recognize where we are congregationally and personally within this process so that we may move forward in what God has in store for this house. Amen.