Daily Archives: March 23, 2015

Launch Out Into The Deep

Reference Scripture: Luke 5

“Sir, we’ve fished all night and caught nothing. But because you say so, we’ll do it” (Luke 5:5)

“Because I say so!” I cringe just writing those words! How many times did you hear them as a child? How many times have you said them as an adult? How many times has God said them to you?

One day Jesus said those words to Peter and John. Not exactly word for word, but that’s what He meant. See, Peter and John had been on the open sea casting their ropes and hauling in empty nets all night. Other than seaweed and a few bits of trash, their nets had brought in nothing. No fish. No income. No food to feed the hungry mouths that depended on them back at home.

As the sun made its way over the horizon, the discouraged men washed their nets on the shore. Then Jesus, the carpenter and teacher, followed by a hungry crowd, asked to use their boat as a platform. He got in Peter’s boat, pushed away from the shore a bit, and began to teach the crowds sitting along the beach. When He had finished teaching, He turned to Peter. “Launch out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch” (Luke 5:4).

Jesus+and+the+Disciples+at+the+lakeI can just hear Peter now: “Good grief, John. Do you hear that guy? We’ve been fishing all night and caught nothing. Then here comes this country carpenter telling us how to do our job. He doesn’t know the first thing about fishing. Real fishermen don’t even fish during the daytime. We fish at night. We’re the professionals here. But I’ll be polite.” “Sir, we’ve fished all night and caught nothing. But because you say so, we’ll do it” (Luke 5:5). Good decision.

Peter and John rowed away from the shore and hoisted the freshly cleaned nets one more time. Just then, the God of the universe who created the fish and the seas whistled for the schools of fish to head for the nets. The fish filled the nets like teenagers pouring into a rock concert.

Peter and John must have laughed. I would have. The catch was so large that the nets began to break. They couldn’t even contain all the fish. Exceedingly abundantly more than they could have ever asked or imagined. Abundant. Lavish. Extravagant. A sudden glory! Can you just imagine the size of their eyes, the drop of their jaws, the strain of their muscles as they pulled in the blessing?

Not only were Peter and John blessed because of their obedience, they called their friends in to enjoy their bounty as well. Oh the moments of sudden glory that fill our nets when we live and move and have our being in obedience to the One who loves us most.

“Because you say so…” Notice what Peter did after he hauled in the miraculous catch. He left it all behind and followed Jesus to become a fisher of men. That was the real catch of the day. Oh how silly we are to think that the true riches are simply financial gain. Peter had financial gain with this incredible catch, and yet he left it all behind to follow the God who pursued and caught his heart.

“Launch out into the deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” It was a simple request—nothing earthshattering. Peter had no idea that obeying Jesus would lead to such an all-encompassing life-changing experience. Our little acts of obedience may do the same. Don’t look for the seemingly big showy acts of obedience to get your name in heavenly lights. People might be impressed, but God won’t be. Look for, listen for, and watch for the daily responses to His nudges—opportunities for sudden glory all.

Prayer: Lord, help me to be quick to obey Your gentle nudges even though I may not understand them. Help me to obey Your Word…because You say so. Thank You for the many opportunities You give me to pull in miraculous catches. I pray I won’t miss them because I think I know better. In Jesus name Amen.

Consider: What would have happened if Peter and John had disregarded Jesus’ instruction to throw the nets in one more time? Is there something in your life that God has asked you to do, that you have been reluctant to do, because it didn’t make sense to you? If so, what do you need to do about it?

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For reading & meditation: Psalms 73

“But as for me, it is good to be near God ‘” (v.28)

A tinge of sadness is upon my spirit as I come to this last day of meditations on Psalm 73. In all my years of writing, never can I remember being so personally blessed. The truth this psalm conveys has gripped my own heart and life in a most unusual way. Allow me to share what the psalmist has taught me.

Life is filled with many painful and perplexing problems which at times cause us to cry out: “Lord, why don’t You intervene?” Yet just as our feet are about to slide, something always comes to us – an idea or a thought, which, if we hold on to it, serves to halt our downward progress.

I have discovered that when we act responsibly and do what is right, even though we do not feel like it, we put ourselves in the way of experiencing inward change. But it is not God’s purpose to bring about only a little change – He desires to bring about a lot of change. How does He achieve this? He does it by bringing us into His presence and revealing to us His Word. There we discover that our greatest problems are not the ones that are outside us but the ones that are inside us – our perspectives are wrong.

Real change comes about not when our feelings are soothed but when our thinking is changed. Changed thinking leads to changed desires. When our perspectives are controlled by the Word rather than by the world, then we will experience inner peace. The psalmist resolved to draw near to God and stay close to Him so that he could “see life steadily, and see it whole.” Let’s make that our resolution too.

Prayer: O Father, I see that the secret of effective living is looking at life from Your point of view. I resolve by Your grace to give myself more and more to learning this secret. Help me, my Father. In Jesus’ Name I ask it. Amen.

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