"Follow Me!" - Jesus - John 21:19
The way you come on, is the way you continue on, in the Kingdom of God. Citizenship is enriched by fellowship, but it is initiated by "followship."
Note to self: From God's lips to my ears, from His Spirit to my heart, from His Word to my eyes are the only time lapses between hear and obey, that God allows between me and my next act of obedience. Just do it!
Obedience is the key to initiating and sustaining long-term, life-changing, life-giving Spiritual Awakening. The paralysis of analysis, or waiting for someone else to make the first move are not game changing strategies. They feed on delay, and doubt, and in the process miss the God-given opportunities always delivered in strangely wrapped packages, at inconvenient times.
Peter had just delivered three affirmations of His love for Jesus; one for every denial he made of Jesus, on the night before He was crucified. When commanded to return to his mission in life, following Jesus, the first words out of his mouth were, "What about him?" Jesus was very clear.
"If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!" - Jesus - John 21:22
Note to self: Responding to a command from God, with a question mark is rarely a high water mark of your obedience. If God says, "Jump!", then "Just do it!" Don't ask, "How high?" What are you saving yourself for? Life is not a dress rehearsal. Live it! You will have eternity for God to explain His reasons and His timing. It won't matter then. If it doesn't matter then. It doesn't matter now. Pray & Obey!
Peter is such an easy target. Big men always are. They have big flaws. Little men have them too, but they hide in the tall grass, far from the fight, and usually become critics or talk show radio hosts. I have recently been reminded of the similarities of political talk radio and sports talk radio hosts. They fill the air with their own commentary and critiques of men and women who are in the arena. When they have more air time than breath, they call on others to join them, to fill the void.
Most critics have never been national champions or held national office. From their Krispy Kreme stained hands they hold a copy of the latest gaffe or the most recent error of a politician or athlete and hold them up for examination and dissection. Their tongues are sharp, glib, and articulate. There is only one thing missing. The courage to step into the floor of the arena and expose themselves to the danger of the fight. They confuse talking about the fight, with being in it. They are wrong. In a culture that glorifies the critic above the champion, don't be surprised if there are more critics than champions.
Following Jesus doesn't give anyone the privilege of sitting in a safe room and making fun of someone else who is taking one for the team. Jesus said, "Follow Me!" It is a lonely road, and prayer is the only way to keep the lines of communication open with The One who can give direction, protection, and correction, during the course of the journey or the duration of the battle.
Prayers is not a sign of infallibility. It is an admission of inability. When Peter asked if John was coming on this mission with him, Jesus made it clear to him that it was none of his business. It was not a rude remark, but it was a rebuke. Jesus was letting Peter know, "I am all you need." He still is.
TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!