Called: To and From
By Elisa Morgan
Every call to Jesus is also a call from something else.
The first disciples were called to Jesus. Jesus came upon Peter and his brother, Andrew, casting nets into the sea, fishing for a living. He invited them to "come ... follow me ... and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19). Going on from there, Jesus saw two other brothers, James and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father, Zebedee, working on their fishing nets. Jesus offered them a similar invitation (Matthew 4:21).
A call to Jesus includes the call to a relationship with him where we let him love us - as well as the call to love him back by serving him in our everyday.
We've been called, you and I. Jesus has beckoned us into a life-changing relationship of grace with himself. And that call on our heart has beckoned us into life-changing actions and choices and beliefs and sacrifices where we've played out our heart response in body, soul and spirit response. In how we do friendship. In how we invest in marriage. In how we raise our children. In how we work and play and celebrate and give and worship.
We are familiar with the call to and we scurry to respond. When Jesus calls us to himself, we respond by coming.
But a call to Jesus is also a call from something else.
When we see the first disciples coming to Jesus, we also see them leaving something. For Peter and Andrew: at once they left their nets and followed him (Matthew 4:18-20). For James and John: immediately they left the boat and their father and his hired men and followed him (Matthew 4:21-22; Mark 1:20).
Every call to Jesus also includes a call from something. Net. Boat. Father. Friends. Luke catalogues the leaving this way: "... so they pulled their nets up on the shore left everything and followed him" (Luke 5:11).
When Jesus first called you ... what did you leave in order to follow? Home? Friendship? Singleness? Comfort? Pain? Control? In order to continue to respond to Jesus as you fully enter 2018, what might Jesus be calling you from?
While it begins as a pivotal shift from one thing to another, Jesus' call continues in each and every season of our days. His call to himself woos us to deeper intimacy, more understanding and greater embrace of who he's making us to be. And his call from everything else weans us away from things, even good and wonderful pastimes and investments, which no longer serve the intimacy he died to provide. The continuous call to is also a continuous call from.
Every call to Jesus is a call from something else. Come. Go. Follow. Leave. Embrace. Release. Jesus is calling.
Elisa Morgan is an author and speaker and the cohost of Discover the Word and contributor to Our Daily Bread. Her books include The Beauty of Broken, Hello, Beauty Full, and She Did What She Could. Connect with Elisa @elisa_morgan on Twitter, on Facebook and elisamorganauthor on Instagram.