-Someone’s destiny in God is dependant on your obedience to witness.
In John chapter 1:35-49, we are presented with the supernaturally called of God (Andrew & another) by John’s testimony of Jesus and the called by Jesus directly (Philip) being used as God’s instruments to bring others to Jesus (Nathanael and Simon Peter). Jesus then prophesied over them and they became his disciples.
Andrew and another disciple of John the Baptist heard him say of Jesus “Behold the Lamb of God!” (vs 36) and this was the appointed time of God for them to receive Jesus as Lord and Saviour and so they followed him. Andrew and the other person were convinced of who Jesus was and wanted to know where he was staying; They desired to fellowship with Jesus or have a relationship with him.
Some people have been called of God in a similar manner; they suddenly had a revelation of who Jesus is when they heard someone speak about him. It was their day of visitation when God’s plan in heaven for them as ones whose names are written in the book of life began to manifest on earth.
Then there are others whose experience of knowing Christ is similar to that of Philip. “Jesus…found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me” (vs 43)”. These people had a direct calling from God himself, they felt a desire to search the scriptures and as they did sensed God calling them to Himself through Christ. Some had dreams of Jesus speaking to them or calling them.
I read an account of several people in a town or village in Iran receiving dreams of Jesus calling them and as a result became Christians. When I was at bible school, a pastor who was also a student testified to me that he is from a Muslim family and was one day praying in a mosque during Ramadan, as he prayed he had a vision of Jesus and he knew within his heart that this Jesus he saw was the Christ, son of the living God of the Christian faith not Isa (name for Jesus in Arabic) of the Muslim faith who is believed to be only a prophet.
Whatever manner in which God called us to Himself, the fact is that we have been called and that is sufficient cause to praise Him daily and uphold him in every area of our lives.
As we rejoice in this journey of self discovery in relation to our identity and destiny in God, we must also remember those Jesus prayed for as he prepared for his death, those who will be his disciples. These people who also have their names written in the book of life but their time is yet to come for the manifestation of their salvation in the earth realm
“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word” (John 17:20 KJV).
Who is God depending on for their salvation to be made manifest? Yes, He will supernaturally reach out to some by His Spirit (who is the testimony of Jesus Rev 19:10/John 15:26) as Jesus did Philip directly. However believers in Jesus Christ, by virtue of being so, are mandated to witness about him through bearing fruit that glorifies God and to preach the gospel (Matt. 7: 15-23/Mark 16:15).
“How can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?” (Romans 10:14).
Andrew “found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ)” and he brought him to Jesus. (John 1:41/42). “Philip found Nathanael and said to him. “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote-Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph”. (John 1:45).
Andrew and Philip made it their mission to speak to others about Jesus and these two people, Simon (also called Simon Peter or Peter in scripture) and Nathanael received prophetic words which gave an insight into their nature at the time or what they will be transformed to be in terms of their character as according to the will of God. Jesus who in his deity as the incarnate Christ, is all seeing and all knowing said to Nathanael as he came to Jesus “…Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” (John 1:47).
Jesus said of Andrew’s brother Simon Peter “Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, a stone.” (John 1:42 KJV).
Although it was very subtle at the time Jesus spoke in this manner to Simon Peter, Jesus used his name to prophetically highlight who he will become in time, after a journey of struggles with doubt, lack of understanding Jesus’ mission clearly and fear of man, Simon Peter was destined to develop into a man with an unshakeable faith or faith as solid as a rock or stone. Simon Peter would later vocalise his faith in Christ when Jesus asks disciples who they say he is. Simon Peter replied as follows “Thou art Christ, Son of the living God”.(Matt.16:16 KJV)
The confession itself was likened to a rock by Jesus when he replied to Simon Peter as follows “Blessed art thou, Simon Bar–jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”(Matt.16:17-18 KJV).
In the biblical book of Acts we read about how Simon Peter full of the Holy Spirit, boldly preached the gospel and performed miracles. He also wrote to the Church, canonised as first and second Peter.
As Simon Peter, our confession in relation to who Jesus is should be the foundation “stone” upon which we build our lives and again as with Simon Peter regardless of struggles in life as long as we stay true to our confession and do all things as unto the LORD, we will fulfil our glorious destiny or purpose. Multitudes have been evangelised, healed and blessed by the ministry of Peter since the early church until now.
Think of how many people like Andrew, his friend and his brother Simon Peter, Philip and Nathanael you and I have been predestined by God to witness to in our life time. Think of how God is reliant on us to be His instruments to ensure that people come to him, gain a revelation and understanding of their destinies or purpose in God and live to fulfil them.
If Andrew had not called his brother Simon Peter, think of how Simon Peter’s destiny for the sake of multitudes would never have taken place. God may have found someone else to draw Simon Peter to Himself, but we do not have evidence of this. What we know is that it was Andrew his brother’s mandate. Are we fulfilling our God given mandates or falling short? It is never too late to take stock or assess our Christian lives and the condition of our hearts before God.
It is a privilege to be chosen as God’s instruments. An honour that should not be taken lightly. Some people will never accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour even if we preach the Gospel to them. Others may doubt at first as in the case of Nathanael, (John 1:46-49) but they may eventually be convinced through God induced events that He is indeed their Lord and Saviour.
We are however not to look at people and wonder whether it is worth preaching the gospel to them or not. Our zeal for God and especially our knowledge of God’s command that we preach and disciple ought to be enough to compel us to do so.
Only God knows those who will respond, He will however bless and reward His people for their obedience to preach the Gospel or witness to others about Christ.