Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Next Step

So what do they do now?

Peter stared blankly out the open window. The sky looked so blue and bright, like it was full of hope and promise just waiting to spill out on them.

Yeah, right.

It had been days since they had last seen Jesus. Truthfully, they were all going a little stir crazy. Life was starting to return to normal around them. The people finally settling down after Jesus's death, and they were getting on with their everyday lives. While rumors of Jesus' appearances to them were being spread among his followers, they were still just that. They were still rumors to most of the world.

So where did that leave Peter and the other disciples? Should they get on with normal lives, too? Where do they go from here?

So many questions bounced around in Peter's mind. The more Peter thought about it, the less crazy the idea seemed. Sure, it kind of felt like he was taking three steps backwards, but the looming questions remained intimidating and demanding answers.

Peter pushed away from the chair, clearly startling James and John. They turned to look at him as one. He couldn't sit here forever. This would be his first step towards normal. Peter smiled and looked at the beautiful, blue sky once again. "I'm going fishing."

The brothers didn't even exchange a look. Instead the words just tumbled out of them separately, but at the same time. "We will go with you!"

Based on John 21:1-3

Jesus had died, and their worlds had been turned upside down. Then Jesus was raised from the dead, and even though they had seen Him and spent time with Him, they still don't know what they were supposed to do next. A question was bouncing around in their heads.

Where do we go from here?

So they returned to fishing. They went back to what they knew. Their old life.

After you go through trials, do you return to the old you because you don't know what to do next? When you experience those amazing, glorious moments of freedom and life with God, do you just kind of slump back into your old world because you don't know how to function at that spiritual high? Is returning to the norm safer then giving God your all?

Why go back?

The disciples not catching fish is symbolic of their old life, before Jesus found them. It was the same old, same old. That lifestyle was dead. Just like our old lives are dead. Just like our old selves are dead. Just like back then, Jesus is standing on the shore saying, "Have you caught anything? No. Well, here you go."

You've got it all in Him.

But you need Him for those new things. That next step. Phase two.

"We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin." Romans 6:6

Your old self is gone once you've got God. While it's incredibly tempting and incredibly easy to return to the lives we had before Him, they are not our lives anymore. They died. They died so that we wouldn't be enslaved to fear, doubt, sin, and mediocrity.

"So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus." Romans 6:11

You have a new life waiting for you, but you need Him for those new things. Jesus is that next step. Jesus is where you go from here.

V. Joy Palmer

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