Are you a leader, a follower … or both?
When God opens a door for you to go through, do you immediately say, “OK, Lord,” or do you hang back in the shadows, waiting and watching others before you jump in yourself to test the waters?
I want to bring up again my favorite apostle, Peter. Peter was just an ordinary fisherman, but when he met Jesus, and Jesus asked him to leave everything and follow Him, Peter didn’t hesitate – he went (Luke 5:11).
Peter became a follower at that point. A follower of Jesus.
Did that mean that he was immediately transformed into the perfect godly man? Definitely not! He was still Peter – with his same personality, and his same weaknesses.
He still was brash and often put his foot in his mouth. He even tried to tell Jesus that He wasn’t going to be hung on the cross and die! Of course Jesus rebuked him immediately – Peter’s mind was on human things, not the things of God (Matthew 16:21-23).
Peter was certainly not afraid of stepping forward to get things done. He wasn’t focused on whether or not he might look stupid. He might have had moments where he was scared, but He loved his Lord.
One of my favorite passages is in Matthew 14:22-31, where the disciples are on a boat, and they suddenly see Jesus walking on the water towards them. In the beginning they’re frightened – what in the world are they seeing?
But then Jesus speaks to them and tells them to not be scared.
Peter is so excited! He asks Jesus to let him step out of the boat and walk on the water. And he does!
Then just like most of us, he eventually takes his eyes off Jesus and looks down instead of straight ahead – causing him to lose courage. He begins to sink. Jesus tells him that he should never have doubted.
We can look at Peter and think whatever we like, but the bottom line is that he stepped out of the boat when Jesus asked him to! What were the rest of the disciples doing? They were on the boat watching to see what would happen to Peter. They certainly weren’t ready to take the same step of faith Peter did.
Look back for a moment. As long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus, everything went great – but then he looked away…
Isn’t that so like us? Things are awesome, but then we look away from Jesus, and we begin to flounder around, just like the fish in Peter’s net once its brought up on the deck of the boat (pun intended).
I, unfortunately, have found myself many times throughout the years being more like the disciples who stayed on the boat watching Peter. I’ve felt like the Lord’s saying, “trust Me and take that step of faith,” yet I’m a little fearful, so I wait. I know I’ve probably missed many opportunities.
I remember when I finally got my book The God of all Comfort finished. I know the Lord led me to write the book, and He directed me on how to get it published.
And I knew that I needed to get a webpage started, and even a Facebook page, but I was scared. I was scared because “what if I looked silly?”
I had numerous confirmations from people I trusted that these were all things that needed to be done – and was reminded that I was not promoting me, but promoting my God. Yet still I hesitated for probably way too long.
But thankfully Jesus never gave up on me, just like He never gave up on Peter. Peter went onto be the first main spokesperson for his Lord (Acts 2:14-47). And God has certainly blessed me beyond measure in this ministry of mine.
My friends – you can indeed be a leader and a follower. You just need to make sure that you are leading and following the right Person.
Don’t be afraid! Take that bold step, and do what God is asking you to do. There are people who need to see the fruits of the Spirit that God has been building within you.