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What Are Our Stages of Commitment to Christ?
Each of us, when presented with the call of Christ, goes through certain stages of our commitment to Him. This happened with all the disciples, even Peter. We start out optimistic and full of hope and then, if we’re not careful, we end up sad, apathetic, and discouraged because things didn’t turn out the way we envisioned in the beginning. Or, we begin our relationship with Christ at a full sprint, with reckless abandon, only to lose our fervency over time as we see others do the same.
But this is not the way our life with Him was designed from the beginning. If you remember, we were bought with a price and no longer belong to ourselves. We are now His and His alone.
Just think, in John 2:11 the disciples believed in Him but had yet to totally commit their lives to Him. Their belief and commitment to Jesus at this time was much like our commitment to Him today. We maintain our independence and call our own shots yet claim total devotion to the Lord. But that is not what He was looking for then.
Nor is it what He is looking for now.
In this study, we’ll look at how long it took Peter to move from part-time follower to forsaking all for the Lord. It is a gradual process of letting go of what you know and embracing the unknown by faith. And as it was with Peter then, so it is with many of us today.
Peter: From Part-Time to Full-Time Follower
Consider the following in the life of Peter:
• Peter is introduced to Jesus in John 1:41-42.
• Peter was obviously following Jesus as he witnessed the miracle in Cana in John 2:1-11.
• And Peter “believed in Him” (John 2:11) but had not yet fully committed himself to the Lord.
• Peter, still following Jesus part-time, went with Jesus to Jerusalem and witnessed His first cleansing of the Temple in John 2:13-22.
• Jesus calls Peter (and the other three) to follow Him the first time (but they later returned to their old life) – Matthew 4:13 -22, Mark 1:16-20, Luke 4:31a.
• Jesus then heals in the Synagogue in Capernaum – Mark 1:22-28, Luke 4:13b-37.
• Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law in Matthew 8:14-17, Mark 1:29-34, Luke 4:38-41.
• Jesus continues to minister throughout Galilee – Matthew 4:23-24, Mark 1:35-39, Luke 4:42-44.
And then something changed in the call of Christ and Peter’s response when Peter “forsook all” to follow Jesus.
• Jesus later calls Peter (and the other three) to follow Him the second time (and they responded and forsook all to follow Him) – Luke 5:1-11.
Where are you in the continuum of God’s call on your life? Do you know what life He is calling you to? Do you know what is standing between where you are now in your spiritual life and where He wants you to be? Are there some things you are still holding on to and have refused to give to Him?
If so, you are in good company. So don’t get depressed and quit. Keep moving forward. Keep striving to be more like Him. After all, each of us is on our own journey to completeness with Christ (Col. 2:10), and no two people’s journey is the same. Be faithful. Trust completely. And God will complete what He has begun in you.