I want to start out by THANKING you for your awesome comments! Gail, the one you ended with yesterday, really is my jumping off place for today! Let me share with you all— in case you didn’t read–her response-“when asked to take on additional tasks– “Let me pray about that; I’ll let you know what God wants me to do.”
Is that what you do? I have to be honest…sometimes–in the past sometimes I would get so excited about the “project” or idea—that I would completely leave God out of the picture. I forgot that He already has an agenda for me. Some things are permissible. However, some would take my attention completely away from the task He has for me.
I have asked Him to please keep me on the track.
I love everything that Beth had to say to us today, but I want to draw your attention to something the Lord showed me when I was reading. Look up Luke 5:2. If we were in a room, I’d ask you to tell me what you think…but since we’re not exactly there…I’m just going to tell you what I see. “He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets.” Luke 5:2
They were washing their nets because they were finished. They had to wash the “lake-gunk” (whole blog right there) out of the nets, and then spread them out to dry. They were done fishing. They were still close enough to hear the message, but were occupied with the chores of their daily lives. Their jobs. They had their eyes on their work, but their ears tuned to Christ. Because, for sure—they were curious!
As Jesus was teaching the crowds, He looked around and saw the boats that had been dragged on to the shore. He walked over, and climbed into the boat belonging to Simon Peter. You may ask–how did He know it was Simon’s boat—well duh–(as the teens say) I think we KNOW how HE KNEW! If He knows the number of hairs on our heads…I am sure the knowledge of a boat owner even without a tag number wouldn’t get past him!
I picture Him climbing into the boat and hollering out to Simon at the same time, “Hey Simon, come row me out into the water a bit”. Or —“hey–be a part of this ministry and let’s see what God will do!” So, Simon stops what he’s doing, and runs over to his boat to do the bidding of Christ. He climbs in and begins to row out to sea a short distance. As he rows, Jesus continues His teaching. And Simon Peter heard the whole thing, up-close and personal–a captive audience if you will!
I cannot begin to imagine the feelings that must have stirred in the heart and soul of Simon that day. Maybe something akin to what we feel when the Holy Spirit is moving in our church services—with a fierce anointing that is almost tangible!
When Jesus finished His message to the people (I’m paraphrasing and visualizing), He leaned over to Simon, as if to say—“want to see something neat?” He told Him, “row on out a ways, where the water is deeper. Then let your nets down–you will get your ‘catch of the day’.” (Remember—I am paraphrasing)
I see poor Simon. It’s me. Sitting in that boat. Hardly believing what I’m hearing. Saying, “look, I’ve been doing the same thing. A long time. I’ve prayed a long time. Still nothing. The Prodigal still hasn’t made it all the way into the “house”. Oh, she’s showed up on the porch. Yes, and she lingers a bit now and then around the table. But before the Prodigal gets all the way back to her dwelling, she is already wearing the cloak of oppression that the enemy has constructed for her. Same thing. No fish today. But because You say to do this, I’m going to humor You. I’ll let down the net one more time tonight. I’ll get on my knees one more time tonight. I’ll pray that prayer one more time tonight.”
“WHEN they had done so”, is what the Bible says, but “when they were OBEDIENT–is what I read. When they LISTENED. They caught more fish than their nets would hold.
In our faith, speaking–what we believe, as we KEEP praying—those Prodigals will take a bulldog grip of determination on the road of following CHRIST…and will win souls along the way! (Small rabbit trail there)
They signal to the other men to join in the “pulling in” of the fish. The boats, so full of fish, begin to sink. It was not the “sinking boat” that made Simon Peter suddenly afraid. It was the power that he had just witnessed. It was the miracle on the sea. In his mind he saw his wayward heart and knew that he was unworthy to be in the presence of such a Man. For this was no ordinary Man. Simon Peter felt sudden abashment in the condition of his heart. He knew–the Man who had called all the fish to the boats, surely knew what was hidden in the recesses of his heart. Clear as day.
But Jesus simply looked at him, I believe with love and compassion at the translucent life before Him and said, “don’t be afraid, from now on you will catch men.”
“So they pulled the boats up on the shore, they left everything and followed Him.” v.11. The Message reads this way: “They pulled their boats up on the beach, left them, nets and all, and followed Him.” They had just pulled in the catch of the year, possibly a lifetime. So many fish that the boats were sinking.
Do you think that the thoughts of “what they could buy with the income from that catch” ever entered their minds? Maybe. But weighed in the balance of life, they chose the better. It seems they didn’t hesitate. It’s almost like a temptation though—I mean look what happened. They pulled in enough fish to put them on easy street for several weeks. They could rest. They could buy those new boats they’d been admiring in the showroom. But instead, they gave it up to follow the Master.
I don’t know why I followed this vein of thinking today. It’s where He led me. I intend to follow Him. If I pull in the financial catch of a lifetime, if I landed a job that paid kazillion dollars a year, I want to be so focused on what He is in my heart and life, that I don’t hesitate. I want to be willing to walk away from the nets bursting with fish and the boats and walk away. To follow Him.
What this could mean in our lives, might be walking away from a job that held security. Big salaries, bonuses, medical benefits, retirement plans, profit sharing plans, houses, cars, and yes, even family. Are we willing? To get back in the boat, row out into the deep and allow Him to use us? I want to be.
Before I close—I just have to share a nugget that hit me while I was studying. They were on the Lake of Gennesaret, a.k.a. The Sea of Galilee, also Sea of Genneseret, Lake Kinneret or Lake Tiberias was the very body of water that Jesus walked out on further in the scriptures. The one that Simon Peter said, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.” I can’t help but think that Peter remembered back to his encounter with Jesus in the boat that day.
Father God, I am just blown away by what You are doing in our hearts and lives. But what You WANT to do is so much more. You reveal to us as much as we can handle or comprehend at the time. Help each one of us to be willing to leave it all, should you ask it of us—to follow You. Give us the vision to see the plan that You have for each of our lives. I want to feel Your Holy Spirit guiding me each step of the way. Thank You Lord for Your AWESOMENESS! Go with each heart and life today. Use us to bless a life—sharing Your love with others, in the powerful Name of Jesus~Amen.
Keeping the Faith,