When Jesus calls Peter to follow him we see Peter go through four levels of service. In my time of ministry I have seen the same progression of service in people who allow God to use them. The four levels are on the shore, in the boat, out in the deep, and walking on water. Jesus sought Peter at each of these levels and Peter answered. When we answer we will see God use us as well.
Level One: On the Shore. In Luke 5 the multitude where mobbing Jesus to hear the Word of God. This is the first step anyone should take to serving God. Before you can pour yourself out you must have something to pour out and that must come from the Word of God. Get yourself in a church where the Word is tought verse by verse, book by book so you can get the full counsel of God.
Level two: Get in the Boat. Jesus asked Peter to use his boat and to push out into the shallow waters. The first step to being a willing servant is to obey what God is telling you to do. This was easy for Peter because it was in his comfort zone. God often starts using us in areas where we are familiar. Are you a great hostess? Before you open your house you may be asked to help serve at a church luncheon. Don’t put requirements on it just go and be used.
Level three: Launch into the Deep. Once Jesus was done with the teaching he challenged Peter to go into the deep. Peter was reluctant because he had already been there and experienced failure. This presents a trust dilemma. Will we trust God to use us inspite of our doubts and fears? This is why He wants to take us out of our comfort zones so that trust can be built.
Level Four: Get out of the Boat and walk on Water. Jesus asks Peter to leave what he was doing and become a fisher of men. This is akin to walking on water. “You mean you expect me to trust my complete livelihood to you. What about my mortgage and my secure future?” As we serve God He will eventually ask us to forsake everything and follow Him. This may mean full time ministry but most likely it will mean to make Him and His Church the top priority in your life. Are you willing? Could you step out of the boat and walk on water? Jesus says if you leave all the things of this world behind you will reap a hundred fold.
Where are you at? Are you still on the shore? Or are you hanging out in the shallow end? Launch out! Trust God and watch him do a might work through you.