One way to observe the power of an invitation is through the pace of the response.

This is one of the striking elements of Christ’s call to two sets of brothers—Peter and Andrew, and James and John. Interestingly, Matthew 4:20 and 4:22 both begin with “immediately,” indicating the four young men followed quickly. As soon as Jesus called, they came. What a clear sign of commitment.

Some may ask, “Aren’t we encouraged to consider the cost? Shouldn’t there be a more deliberate process, as Luke describes in Luke 14:28-29?”

By all means, yes! But let’s not assume pace and process conflict. Both can exist together and be exhibited. In a beautiful manner, Matthew highlights the response of pace, and Luke emphasizes the response of process. Essentially, both portray the power of the invitation from the person of Christ to follow him as a disciple. The end result of both is the same: commitment to him.

What neither encourage is procrastination. Delay is not discipleship.

We know intuitively this is true; other areas of life teach us this same thing. For instance, when a man asks a woman to marry him, an immediate “Yes!” is a great sign she’s in. Even if she responds by asking specific questions, converses about important details, all to arrive at a “Yes!” after necessary dialogue, it’s still a great sign she’s in.

But if she simply says, “Not yet” without any explanation or reason, or merely responds with the proverbial “I’ll let you know,“ well, there is undoubtedly a lack of attraction at some level. Such a delay and verbal detour indicates she’s not excited about, or expecting to, tie the knot. Procrastiation like that is a sure sign there is no power attached to his invitation.

If following Jesus isn’t accompanied by a supernatural desire to quickly and thoughtfully “do all that he has commanded you” (Matthew 28:20), then discipleship isn’t a priority in your life. In the plainest of words, you’re not actually following. You’re procrastinating. Avoiding. Delaying. Detouring. You’re unaware who it is that is actually beckoning you in to his yoke with him — Jesus the Christ!

Today, hear the powerful call of Christ and put your prompt and deliberate “Yes!” before his throne. Listen to the King of kings lovingly and expectantly invite you in to a life of discipleship with these simple words: “Follow me.”

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