Chapter 25: The Call by the Sea

February 20, 2007

The results of a connection to the heart of Christ is taught in this chapter. How does it happen?

“Peter exclaimed, ‘Depart from me; for I am a sinful man;’ yet he clung to the feet of Jesus, feeling that he could not be parted from Him.” DA247

While feelings can’t be trusted, they do have a purpose in the changing of a person. What was the function of feelings in the above scene. At one moment Peter’s heart floated on the sea of weariness, discouragement, and doubt. But for love, Peter obeyed the command of God–the power that has control of all creation (but allows for our own scattering of mind and emotion). Minutes later, a new level of truth awakens the attention of his heart, and Peter is overwhelmed. The “spirit filled fish” was to Peter like the dislocation of the hip of Jacob.  In both cases, fear and guilt dragged the struggling heart of a man under the waters of earthly reality. But it not for earthly reality that Jesus releases his heart upon a man.

“I will make you fishers of men.” How does this happen? Must we wait through nights of discouragement?

“The first thing to be learned by all who would become workers together with God is the lesson of self-distrust; then they are prepared to have imparted to them the character of God.” DA249

Is it by feelings that we respond to God? Yet, everything we want to feel acknowledges self-trust. By self-trust Eve fell. By his love for Eve, Adam fell. Both elevated something above what they knew to be right in their Spirit (whether it be reason or emotion)–and the Spirit was quenched.

Could it be that something beyond feelings sparked in the heart of Peter? Self-distrust allowed this spark to ignite, and the spirit of man, whichhad mastered feelings and reason before the fall, again took up cooperation with a greater Spirit.  

This is a profound and beautiful mystery. But it is the reality that is worth clinging to, even if we fear our own shortcomings.

“There is no limit to the usefulness of one who, by putting self aside, makes room for the working of the Holy Spirit upon his heart, and lives a life wholly consecrated to God. If men will endure the necessary discipline, without complaining or fainting by the way, God will teach them hour by hour, and day by day.” DA250  

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4 Responses to “Chapter 25: The Call by the Sea”

  1. Jan said

    “apart from Christ, our work is fruitless, and it is easy to distrust and murmur. But when He is near, and we labor under His direction, we rejoice in the evidence of His power. It is Satan’s work to discourage the soul; it is Christ’s work to inpire with faith and hope.”

    I really needed that statement this morning. Being the member of a tiny church, it just gets discouraging; we so often think that numbers means success, and a lack of them means you have failed. For those who are reading, we had a family with 6 kids coming; but due to financial pressures, they are attending a church which is much nearer geographically. That makes perfect sense..however, it is lonely and we miss the energy of the kids; especially me as I am the kids leader, and now I have 3 kids..age 6,7 and 15 instead of 9 kids! I find myself struggling with feeling that there is no evidence of His power; because the numbers are not there. Than I read how Jesus was interested in just one person..and “let him take hold of my strength..” These two chapters were really encouraging to me.

    I pray I can work in His strength, and not be burdened by a need for visual success, to have Him in my life, that is enough.

    JE

  2. wallygoots said

    Where do we get the idea that size=success? Jesus himself enjoyed great attention and great desertion from fickle man. I know it bothered Jesus, but He knew not to trust himself to man. This is difficlt to ballance.

  3. Jan said

    We get the idea the size=success because we are human, and we like to see results. God’s idea of a good result, however, may be different than ours. May be? It would be an nteresting study to see what scripture says about results.

  4. Carla said

    Yes, it seems that in the Adventist church, size=success. The more baptisms the better, but what of the hearts of those that are brought into the fold. What can be done to keep the first love of Christ forever in our hearts so that it is shared with others forever?

    I want to have space for the Holy Spirit all of the time and I want to live my life wholly consecrated to His work. Where is He working? Where can I join Him?

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