By Pastor John Mateos Ong
Do you welcome divine interruptions? They are a nuisance and are not a welcome visitor. But did you know that Jesus is the master of interruptions?
Luke 5:1-5 says, “One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God. He noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.” “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again. And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking. When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.” For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him. His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed. Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!””
Who did Jesus interrupt in this story? Jesus interrupted Simon Peter. His boat was already ashore when Jesus went in and asked him to push the boat into the water. In the process, they caught so much fish that they needed the help of other fishermen in their boats. Because of this, Simon Peter knelt before the Lord and said he was not worthy. What did his sins have anything to do with the catch? The others were only astonished by the multitude of fish.
Luke 5:27-30 tells this story, “Later, as Jesus left the town, he saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Levi got up, left everything, and followed him. Later, Levi held a banquet in his home with Jesus as the guest of honor. Many of Levi’s fellow tax collectors and other guests also ate with them. But the Pharisees and their teachers of religious law complained bitterly to Jesus’ disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with such scum?”” Levi did not ask any question. He got up from his seat and followed Him and even threw a party for Him.
Before anything else, let me say that Jesus is the master of interruptions. We walk in them even if they disrupt our normal lives. What things does God interrupt?
-lives and livelihood
-times (B.C. To A.D.)
-systems and cultures
Divine interruptions are from God, though not all of them are. Make sure of where your interruptions come from. Sometimes they are consequences of your actions. Sometimes, they are indirect human interventions. Your desires and the enemy can also interrupt you.
How do you know if the interruptions are from the Lord?
1.Expect - Luke 5:27 says, “Later, as Jesus left the town, he saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him.” - do you know why Levi was sitting in his booth? Because it is how God designed it to be. Jesus was really going to pass by there and God made it so so that Levi will meet Him. He was just sitting in his booth, waiting for people to pay. There are divine interruptions that we do not see. But wherever you are when you receive the calling is really where you are supposed to be. God’s interruptions in your lives are His way of saying He is in full control of your life. They keep you humble too. Proverbs 19:21 says, “You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” Expect the interruptions because if not, you might react in the wrong way. Expect the interruption so that you can embrace it.
2.Discern - Luke 5:28 says, “Follow me,” Jesus said to him. Did Levi ask Jesus questions like where and why? No. He just stood up and followed Him. That is obedience. If you discern that it is Jesus, follow promptly. John 10:27-28 says, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me.” If you are God’s sheep, you will know His voice.
Tips on how to discern:
A. Pray for discernment - James 1:5
B. Know His character - Proverbs 8:17
C. Seek godly counsel - Proverbs 11:14
D. Check the fruit - Matthew 7:16
E. How is your peace? - Colossians 3:15
F. Does it bring you closer to God? - James 1:17
G. Understand God’s sovereignty - Romans 8:28
Discernment usually takes time and practice. Other people do not recognize it. But if you practice it with reflecrion and prayer, the. you will understand if something is a divine interruption or not.
3. Obey fully - Luke 5:28-29 says, “So Levi got up, left everything, and followed him. Later, Levi held a banquet in his home with Jesus as the guest of honor. Many of Levi’s fellow tax collectors and other guests also ate with them.”
1 Corinthians 1:18 says “The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.” When you fully obey God, people will laugh at you. As important as asking the right question is is the person you are asking. Even if your question is right, if you ask the wrong person, you will get a wrong answer. The gospel is for people who are perishing. Their destination is hell. Ask godly counsel. And since you cannot please everyone, please the right ones. No matter what you do, you cannot please everybody.
Joshua 24:15 says, “But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”” Many people attend church but are playing safe. As long as they attend the Sunday service, they think they are fine. You are not saved to go to church; you are saved to serve and share the good news. You need to perspire and be embarrassed. You need commitment and fully obey. Choose your side. Sitting on the fence will not get you anywhere. If you choose Jesus, you have to fully surrender. And the ultimate test of surrender is when you get interrupted. What will you do?