In the Book of Luke, we read the account of Jesus teaching by a lake. Some fishermen, including Simon Peter, are coming in from a long night of fishing in which they have caught nothing. They are tired and discouraged. As they are cleaning their boats and gear, Jesus asks Simon to push his boat out a little way from shore so Jesus can address the crowd from the boat. He does so, and at the conclusion of Jesus’ teaching, he tells Peter to cast out into the deep water and put down the nets. Peter is skeptical to say the least, but he honors Jesus’ request. The result is a catch so great that the nets can’t contain it. Although it made no sense to Peter to let down the nets again, considering the night’s empty efforts, he did it! Peter’s willingness to trust and obey Jesus resulted in a miracle. Peter and his fishing partners end up leaving their boats and nets behind and following Jesus in complete trust and surrender. Often God asks us to do things we don’t understand; things that make no sense to us. But, if we trust him, he can do the amazing, the monumental, the miraculous as we follow his leading.
Scriptures – Luke 5:4-8, 11; Proverbs 3:5-6; Psalm 20:7; Galatians 6:9
Verses – When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon Answered, “Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet, if you say so, I will let down the nets.” (Lk 5:4-5) Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Pr 3:5-6)
Thought – We live in a land of confusion. There are too many people with too many problems. There’s tension throughout our nation/world, racial and political division, poverty, ethical decline, violence, economic concerns, supply chain problems, inflation. We see it on people’s faces and hear it in their voices. Throw in some crime, covid, conflict and war, and it’s easy to look at the future and feel that things are out of control. What do you do with tensions rise, stress increases, worry grows, and anxiety invades? We want control. We want to fix it, make things right; yet we are not in control. This is when we must remember that God is fully in control. It’s about trust. This is challenging, especially if you have prayed and God didn’t do what you wanted. He could have, but he didn’t. Can you trust that God has your best interest in mind? How do you grow in trust? You must cling to God and not rely on your own understanding. This is hard to do, but trusting means resting in God’s ways, his understanding. We must obey when God gives us direction, even if we don’t understand. Just do it, let the nets down. We must also surrender what we can’t control (which is pretty much everything). Simon and his partners laid down their nets, left their boats, surrendered all they had to follow Jesus. What is your net? What do you think provides your security? God invites you to lay down whatever you are trusting in and trust him fully!
Questions – Other than Jesus, what things/people make you feel secure? How do you know that Jesus is your net when you still rely on other things and people? How do you maintain your trust in God when things are so out of control, and it doesn’t seem He’s doing anything? When God asks you to do something that doesn’t make sense, do you do it? Share an experience.
Response – Consider how responsive you are to God’s direction. Do you recognize God’s voice when he speaks to you? Read the Bible and pray daily. Ask God to open your ears to his voice. Be responsive when God calls you to do something, even if doesn’t make sense and you don’t understand.
Prayer – Gracious Lord, help me to listen and be sensitive to your voice. I trust you, and my heart’s desire is to be obedient and live a life that’s fully surrendered to you. Help me to trust when things don’t make sense, when I don’t understand and when I’m confused by what I see and feel. Be my rock, my strength and my deliverer. In Jesus’ Name I pray, amen.