December 9, 2003 • By Ed Wrather
And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. Going on from there, He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him. - Matthew 4:18-22 NKJV.
What do you think of when you hear the words “break out?” Some might think of a “break out” sports star that has an unusually great game or games. Some might think of a person who “breaks out” of jail or prison by escaping. Some may think of a “break out” financial move that gives someone a financial windfall. It could be that one of those “break outs” will change a person’s life for good, perhaps for good or possibly for bad.
There is one thing, however, that is guaranteed to change your life for the good. That one thing is a spiritual “break out.” That day long ago when Jesus walked along the shore of the Sea of Galilee He called out to some of the fishermen there, and it changed their lives forever. Peter, Andrew, James and John would never be the same after their encounter with the Lord. Those four men left their lifelong careers that they thought they would always pursue and in a moment of time became not fishers of fish, but instead “fishers of men.”
Peter, Andrew, James and John are not the only ones to experience a spiritual “break out.” We know seven other men sincerely responded to the Lord’s call in becoming His disciples, as have countless others in the centuries to follow. Think of the woman at the well (John 4) who was just having a normal day until she had a conversation with the Master of the Universe and was forced to think outside of the box of her little world. Once she had experienced the “break out,” she cared little what anyone might have thought of her as she told everyone about the Lord. The man from Gadara (Mark 5) released from demonic oppression “broke out” of his enslavement to freedom in the Lord’s service.
What did most of these people have in common? They were willing to listen to what the Lord had to say, and they responded. Only the woman at the well even attempted to engage in a verbal exchange of spiritual ideas. When they encountered the Truth, they recognized that this One was radically different. The result was a “break out” from everything they had known in the past. Their lives and their worlds were enlarged beyond their wildest dreams and imaginations.
Would you like to experience a spiritual “break out?” You can “break out” if your heart is willing to respond when you hear the Lord’s Voice calling. If God were to speak to your heart right now calling you into a larger world and experience than you have ever known before, would you be ready to respond? Would you leave your “nets” and go without looking back? Or, would you argue, debate, and procrastinate until it was too late. Make no mistake. If you have a willing and listening heart, someday Jesus will be walking your way, and you too will “break out” spiritually.