Yesterday at work I asked a question to a group of people. A lady answered, but it was only a surface level answer. I prodded her for more to think about what I was asking. I asked her to give me a deeper answer. She sat there with a blank stare for a minute. I offered the question in a different way, but still letting her know I was expecting her to answer. She gave me a “What are you doing” look. I explained, “I’m asking for more from you because what we’re currently doing is not working. If we are to change our results, we have to change how we think and approach the problem.”
I’m kind of in that place right now where God is asking for more from me. I’m the one sitting on the other side of the table with that blank stare saying, “What do you mean ‘more’?” It’s uncomfortable to sit here and not have the answer. To know that somewhere inside me lies the answer and not know how to get it can be disturbing. Knowing that God is waiting makes the situation even more intense.
I wonder if that’s how Peter felt when they were sitting on the shore of Galilee and Jesus asked him, “Do you love me?” Peter answered, “Yes. You know that I love you.” Jesus responded, “Feed my sheep.” He turned around and asked Peter the same question. I imagine Peter sitting there thinking, “Is He joking? Is this déjà vu?” He amused Jesus by answering a second time exactly as he had the first. Jesus wasn’t content with that. He wanted more. “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt that He asked him a third time, and again said yes.
There have been many sermons regarding this and I’m not about to preach another one to you. I just want to stop and look at the emotions of what was happening. Jesus was pushing Peter beyond a surface level love. He was ensuring Peter knew in His heart that he loved Jesus because He was about to ask for more. What Peter had done in the past was not going to be good enough for what he was going to do in the future.
If you skip down a couple of verses to John 21:19, Jesus did something I hadn’t noticed. He again called Peter to follow Him. Peter had been called three years earlier to follow Jesus, but this call was different. This “follow me” was into a deeper relationship. One where Peter would be given the responsibility of raising up the early church and leading thousands to Christ. The dynamic of their relationship just changed in that exchange.
That’s where I am right now. Where are you? What is God asking of you? Are you giving Him a surface level answer when He is calling for a deeper more meaningful answer? Are you scared of what “more” means? Me too, but I won’t let that fear keep me from answering His call. I won’t continue to give the answer I’ve always given. I don’t know the answer yet, but I’m willing to follow Him into that deeper commitment until I do.