It’s been stated on more than one occasion that, people follow vision. We see this principle in action here is this moment. Men follow the lead of Jesus by putting their nets out in the deep water. This after a full day of fishing. They were tired, hungry and perhaps a bit frustrated.
In the midst of this, Jesus urges them to go back out for a catch. Once the men follow his lead they see the power and potential of this man. People are looking for leadership. People want to follow people who are leaders. But it goes much further than this one fact.
Of course knowing the end of the story is one advantage we have that the disciples did not. Peter and the others have no idea where this will carry them. Jesus knows. He is setting them up to become leaders. Shouldn’t this be the aim of each leader? To birth more leaders, capable of making more.
The men are simply happy to be following a leader. Little did they know that they will one day become leaders of the Church and the initial leaders of Christianity. Jesus takes a few men who were simple fishermen and turns them into world changers! That’s leadership!
Yet it doesn’t seem to be that the men would be leaders that draws them into following Jesus. It is something about Jesus that draws them. It is more than Jesus simply knowing how to fish. Regular fishermen would be happy to ask Jesus where the next catch would be and fish in that place next time. After all he had already led them to a great fishing spot once. Certainly he can do it again and again.
They see something in Jesus that compels them to leave their nets and lifestyle to follow.
What do you see in Jesus that urges you to follow?
What have you laid down in order to follow?
How is Jesus shaping your leadership? Where do you see him leading you?
Immediately Mary looks at her own life and questions her ability to give birth. This is true with many leaders in the Kingdom. We wonder if we have what it takes to deliver the vision. Not only does Mary ask how she will be able to get pregnant, she gives a reason she can’t.”…since I am a virgin?”
The beauty of this passage comes in the reply of he angel. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you…” In other words you can’t, but with God nothing will be impossible (verse 37).
God never asks anything of us that is impossible. He equips us with His Spirit and we simply respond in faith. The angel then reassures Mary by mentioning to her that Mary’s relative Elizabeth, in her old age, is in her sixth month! The word impossible does not exist in God’s vocabulary. He gives vision to young and old as well as to those who’ve never had vision before.
And finally, note Mary’s response in verse 38. “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord: let it be to me according to your word.”
Mary sees the connection between faith, servanthood and becoming a leader. As leaders, ready to receive vision, we are to simply trust Jesus. This is accomplished best as we continue to serve and allow the Holy Spirit to empower us.
What has God asked of you that you’ve doubted?
Take a moment to ask the Holy Spirit to make you pregnant with vision.
Does God work in our barrenness?
Right from the start of his book, Luke draws our attention to a couple named, Zechariah and Elizabeth. The two of them are referred as, “both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commands and statues of the Lord.”
“they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren,…”
Five years ago these verses would have never impacted me the way they do as I sit reading them today. You see my son-in-love, Griffin and daughter, Bethany have walked through several miscarriages over the past couple of years.
I have known Bethany her entire life and Griffin for approximately 12 years. Although neither is perfect, they love God, are respected leaders and do their best to walk blamelessly before Him. I’ve been amazed at how this young couple has handled life in the midst of their pain and suffering.
So it is that I read this passage and realize that Zechariah and Elizabeth, although barren and advanced in years, continue to serve God faithfully. What is fascinating is that in the midst of personal suffering, they continued to personally serve and sacrifice. I find this same heroic mindset in Griffin and Bethany.
Elizabeth’s barrenness was not a result of sin as we tend to conclude of those who face struggles in life. No, their miracle baby, John, was delivered with great purpose to announce the great Deliverer, Jesus.
After several miscarriages, Griffin and Bethany are due to deliver their own God ordained miracle in January. What does God have in store for this bundle of miraculous joy? Only time will tell.
Leaders are not without struggles or suffering. Should you find yourself questioning God, yourself or your own struggles, remember that our momentary struggles can be seen as a part of God’s greater plan.
Leaders have simply learned how to continue to trust and walk with God in the midst of life’s most difficult moments.
Could it be that the struggle you find yourself facing today is meant to ultimately birth greater purpose in your life and the lives of others?
You can connect with Bethany’s story on her blog, http://bethanymcgrath.com/