Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.
One of the great fears of any leader is if their followers will continue to do what they are told or taught to do when they are not there. No doubt, Jesus knew that His disciples needed to be taught to do what was right even if He was not physically with them. Jesus knew that He was about to ascend to Heaven, and He knew that if He did not teach His disciples to do right in His absence that the truths He taught them would die.
The verses above show that the disciples had yet to learn the importance of doing right when Jesus was not with them. For three years, these men heard the teachings of Christ in public and in private, and for three years they saw Christ perform miracles and reach people with the Gospel. You would think the disciples would be past the stage of not doing right when Jesus was not with them. However, we see Peter saying, I go a fishing, and the rest of the disciples going with him. Though they saw a “man” standing on the shore, they did not realize it was Jesus until they caught the multitude of fish after following His command.
Let me talk to a few groups of people about this critical principle. Children and teenagers, your parents will not always be with you. At some point, you need to learn to do right despite your parents not being with you. If the only time you do right is when you are in the presence of your parents, you will quickly stop doing right when you leave your house or God takes them to Heaven. You should do right because it is the right thing to do. Never let the presence of your parents be the only reason you do right, but let the fact that doing right is the right thing to do become the cause for you doing right.
Church member, your pastor will not live forever. If the only reason you do right is because of your pastor, you will quit doing right when he takes another church or God takes Him to Heaven. Christians ought not to do right just because of their pastor, but they ought to do right because it is the right thing to do. Many have changed and compromised because they only did right because of their pastor. If you want to do right your entire life, you must embrace doing right, not because of your pastor, but because it is right to do.
Staff member, if the only time you do right is when the pastor is around, you will stop doing right when you leave his staff or if he goes out of town. Just because the pastor is not there does not give you a right to let up from what you are supposed to be doing. The greatest staff member is the one who does right without having oversight and without being told what to do. If you only go soul winning because you are told to go soul winning, you will stop going when your pastor is not there. As a staff member, you need to prove your pastor’s trust in you that he believes you will do right even when he is not there by doing right all the time.
As a believer, you must realize that doing right is right despite who taught you to do right. Don't be the one who only does right when the spiritual authority is present, but do right because the Spiritual authority is always present, and that authority is the Holy Spirit who indwells you.