Fishermen and Kings - Obedience


…Peter got to experience God in a fresh, powerful way only because he listened to Jesus and did what he said. Huh.


Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Give a man hundreds of fish in a moment of time, and he might start asking some questions…

Recently a few threads from the Bible intertwined for me and I’ve been hearing a clear message, that experiencing God more happens through obedience. I think obedience isn’t a very popular sentiment or word even, and it feels threatening. But it seems pretty core to the Bible and to God, especially if you see as about listening. Because listening is valuing the other person’s words, trusting their judgement and acting accordingly.

Back in the time to the time of Solomon in 1 Kings 6, God tells Solomon what he always told the leaders of Israel. “…if you will walk in my statutes and obey my rules… then I will establish my word with you, which I spoke to David your father.  And I will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake my people Israel.” (1 Kings 6:12-13). God had this specific promise to Israel and King David, for blessing as a nation, but it pretty much depended on whether they were faithful. It’s not like God isn’t gracious even in our failures, and that’s a whole another topic, but it just seems that God works when people listen.

Simon Peter listened to Jesus too, in Luke 5, when he was asked to put out his boat so Jesus could teach better and not be crowded out. He did it again when Jesus asks him to go fishing - even though Peter had already gone fishing the whole night without catching a thing! But the miracle was that instead of Peter getting to say “I told you so, there’s no fish out there right now and you should feel bad for making me do it all over again” - instead of that, Peter gets to catch hundreds of fish and realizes that Jesus is way more than a normal guy. A point was made at bible study that Peter got to experience God in a fresh, powerful way only because he listened to Jesus and did what he said. Huh.

I’ve been thinking about this for myself, about how much I simply hear God and do what he says, how much I value that and pursue that, rather than just “living Christian-ly”. And I think I see the blessing too, waiting for me. I want to experience miracles, I want my life to be established. Obedience gets a bad rap from dystopian novels and school and whatever else, but when it comes to God, that’s where I want to be.

Benjamin VanDerHeydenComment