The introduction to this story is so simple that we can miss a lovely and profound truth if we do not linger a bit. At the beginning of Luke 8, we are told that Jesus was on a kind of evangelistic crusade, traveling from city to town, preaching and teaching. One day during that trip, Jesus and his disciples got into a boat. This was not a small dinghy but a fairly large boat, with room for everyone. It was a big, safe boat.
It's interesting to note that the disciples climbed into the boat before they knew where they were heading. Jesus was getting in the boat to go somewhere, and they climbed in with Him. The destination was not nearly as important as being with Jesus, no matter where He was heading. He was, even then, training his disciples to follow one step at a time without demanding the entire route in advance.
After they were in the boat, and likely looking expectantly toward Jesus for direction, He said, "Let's go over to the other side of the lake." Now here is where an important lesson unfolds, and it can be summed up in two words. They did. Jesus said, "Let's go to the other side," and no one complained that there wasn't a good wind, that it was getting late, that they had something else they'd rather do, or that they didn't really care for the people on the other side of the lake. No one asked why they were going or what they would do when they got there. Jesus said, "Let's go there," and they headed out.
That is how obedience in our faith walk with Jesus should look. He leads in a direction, and we go, with just those first few steps clear to us. When He clarifies the destination, we go with only the new clarity we have, knowing that the rest will be given when we need it. He leads, and we go. No arguments. No complaining. No whining. Only going.
What we need to ask ourselves is whether or not this is how we obey? Is the going a constant struggle for us because of the uncertainty? Do we obey quickly or lag a bit to see if He really means it? Those who followed Jesus into the boat that day had an unforgettable, life-changing experience with the Savior. Those who lagged behind and remained on the shore ended up missing the adventure of a lifetime.
Pray today that we and our loved ones will have "get in the boat" faith that goes whoever our Lord leads, whenever He said to go.
Link to last night's post: http://leannahollis.blogspot.com/2014/07/walking-with-dogs.html
Our terrorist prayer focus this week is Abubakar Shekau. He is the leader of Boku Haram, a radical terrorist organization operating in northeastern Nigeria. He is particularly fond of kidnapping and murder, having kidnapped nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls (many who are still in captivity). Just yesterday, his forces captured a civilian-controlled town, murdered at least 100 people, and made the town his new headquarters. More than 22,000 have been killed in battle between his forces and the Nigerian military in the last few years. Please pray for an end to his reign of terror and for salvation for him and his men.