“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (IJohn 5:4-5).
We overcome the world by our faith. But our faith need not exist unless there is someone worthy of it. Faith is only as good and true as the person or thing we place it in. Ultimately, our faith is empty and useless apart from the One we place it in. It’s only his word that brings life to what I am hoping and believing for, yet my response of faith that brings substance to what was first spoken. A word requires faith, and faith requires a word. His word requires our faith, and our faith requires his word.
It always comes back to his word, as the most sure, certain promise that stands forever. It has lived before I ever breathed, and will continue to live, even when I cease. As Peter cast out his net at the word of Jesus, so do I. It makes the desert smooth, lifts valleys high, and lays mountains low; it causes the hills to become plains, and the wilderness a green meadow. And all mankind will see it (see Isaiah 40). There is no true worship if we do not know, truly, who it is he is. Our revelatory knowing of him is what causes us to worship, then follow. Glancing back at Peter, he first worshiped Christ, then followed him. All throughout scripture, it was those who received a revelation of his worth and character, those who saw him for who he truly is, who worshiped him from their heart and through their lives. What did they see, that we so often do not?
Our rest and peace come from knowing that his word is the first and the last. It was spoken before we ever had faith enough to respond. It will be spoken into eternity, after our faith has long been fulfilled. We will be home, where what we only have faith for now, will finally be fully known.
Often, it’s as if I’m still waiting for a moment, a flash of light, an instant of change, when everything will suddenly be different. When I’ll be in a place that brings peace, doing what brings fulfillment, being someone who is complete. But I keep wondering, keep asking what I’m waiting for, where I’m trying to go, and who I’m trying to be. I, you, we’ll never arrive. There will never be the perfect time to do something; I’ll never be exactly who I “should” be, or do exactly what I “should” do; I’ll never be in just the right place, at just the right time; there will always be more, and always be a lack of some sort. But all of this, it’s OK. Why? Because of grace. And because none of this – me, you, life – will ever be perfect. None of the things I’m seeking and searching for were ever meant to fulfill me or satisfy me or define me. We live paralyzed lives when we attempt to live in such a narrow view and walk such a narrow path. Basically, we will never put one foot in front of the other if we wait only for the “right” time, “right” place, or try to be just the “right” person.
I am currently in the very season and process of “casting out.” I know not how much or what I may catch, if anything at all. But I know I’ve heard a voice and a word worth obeying, worth following, worth risking for. I’m hesitant, apprehensive, and have only a little faith, but it’s enough. Because I know the one who’s called me, and he alone is sufficient. It doesn’t really matter if I get what I want (or think I want), because I already have it – both what I need and want. I want to be the Peter in the moments of this story. No matter how he started, he ended up in just the right place – following the footsteps of Jesus. I want to be one who recognizes the worth of the one who calls, and one willing to follow because of it.