Launch Out Into the Deep
Are you discouraged in your efforts to live by faith? "For the just shall live by faith." "For without faith, it is impossible to please God." When you come to God, it must be with faith. You must believe that He is God and that He is a rewarder to those that diligently seek Him.
From Luke chapter 5, we read that the multitude gathered and crowded around Jesus, to the Word of God. Apparently it was morning and His disciples were at the lakeside washing their nets. We read that they had been out fishing all night without success. Jesus sees the disciples and goes to Simon Peter 's boat and sits down. He then asks Peter to push out away from the shore a bit and Jesus begins to preach the Word. Simon is still in his fishing boat, sitting with Jesus, listening to His preaching. When Jesus is finished with His sermon, He turns to Peter and tells him to "launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch."
We know that Jesus had called Peter to leave his fishing and follow Him. He promised to make Peter a 'fisher of men'. As we know from the scriptures, at this point in Peters life, he was not 'catching' any men. He was still being taught by the Lord and a huge lesson is now ready for application in Peter's life.
Perhaps you have been following Jesus and trying to accomplish what He has called you to be doing, "fisher of men". Maybe you are discouraged because the fruit of your labors is not seen. Perhaps you feel like a failure in the call of God. Today, I pray that you hear the Words of our Lord as He would say to you "launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." Your response may well be similar to that of Peter. "But Master! We have toiled all night and caught nothing!" You may be thinking ~ saying to the Lord "But God, I've tried! I've done all I know to do for all these years. I have toiled and struggled and have gotten no where!" Peter was discouraged. Peter did not have any faith that there was going to be any difference in the results of his toiling now than what he had just experienced.
Peter had been up working all night. He was no doubt tired and dirty and maybe even hungry. Remember, he had just pulled his boat to shore and was cleaning his nets when the Master came and wanted to have a church service. Peter probably was ready to go home, take a shower and fall into bed to sleep! The last thing Peter wanted to do was to go out fishing again. Fishing wasn't profitable in mid-day. Peter was an expert at fishing. Jesus wasn't. Jesus was the son of a carpenter and never even lived by water growing up. You can imagine what Peter was thinking. BUT Peter honored the Lord's wish. Peter told the Lord how he felt, but then he said some powerful words of faith "Nevertheless, at Your word I will let down the net."
I encourage you today, when the Lord speaks to you in your weariness from the toil of ministry and tells you to do something . even if it is something you have done for dozens and dozens of times seemingly without success, remember the response that will please Him. "Nevertheless Lord, because You have asked me to do this, I will." Submitting to His honor rather than insisting on your knowledge and ability from the past.
Yielding to His Spirit and giving up your tried methods. Even if it seems to be exactly what you have been doing ~ even if it is what you have toiled so hard at and not reaped one result. As we learn to honor the Lord and do what He asks, no matter what the past we will reap tremendous results. No matter who has told you it won't work, no matter how many reports you have heard of failure, honor the Lord. Have faith in His voice. At His word, do.
Peter seems reluctant to obey Jesus. The crowd is still there watching and listening. Peter is on the spot. He thinks he is going to fail to catch any fish and the whole crowd is going to watch him fail. He tries to excuse the disaster that he feels is coming. He explains why he doesn't think it's going to be any different. But how can he refuse to honor Jesus.? Peter pushes out further and lets down one net. (Jesus told him to let down his nets - plural). "And when they had done this, (obeyed the Lord) they caught a great number of fish and their net (singular) was breaking. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus knees, saying 'depart from me, for I am a sinful man O Lord!'". What was Peter's sin? Unbelief and doubt. Even though Jesus had asked him to do something, Peter thought the result would be failure. Why? Because he had already tried and failure was the result.
I want you to go back to the last instruction that God gave you. What did He tell you to do but you have not done it because of your past? Launch out - not in your knowledge, not in your ability, not in the tried and true methods perhaps, but whatever God has asked you to do, obey. "Nevertheless, at Your word, I will." Obedience. Submission. Willing to fail again should that be the results, but not willing to disobey the Master.
I believe you will find your boats being filled with supernatural abundance! That as you obey, the power and resources of heaven will come and give you more than enough. The results of the past failures will be overcome with success today! Will you obey no matter what? Will you obey no matter how many times you have tried? Are you willing to try again? Are you willing to do whatever it is that Jesus asks of you, even if you are weary, hot, sweaty, hungry and discouraged? No matter who is watching? Even if by obeying the potential is there for people to witness your failure?
Peter's net was not filled to overflowing because of his great faith. Peter obeyed Jesus because Peter honored the word of the Lord. He was willing to obey no matter what. That is true faith. Faith is really just simply saying 'yes Lord'. Faith is not necessarily a bold statement of success. Real faith is honoring the Lord's words to you. Believing what He tells you. Does the Father tell you that you are pleasing to Him and that He has an assignment that only you can handle? Do you feel inadequate? Do you feel like 'no way' could this ever work? Maybe you launched out and toiled in what you felt was 'great faith'. Perhaps you thought that by ministering as you have in the past you should have reaped great results and you didn't. I urge you not to hang up your nets and walk away. I urge you to launch back out into the deep seas of life. Go out deeper than ever before and throw your nets over for the catch. Not because I have said to, but in following the leadership of the word of God. Whatever it is that He has asked you to do, do it out of honor. Do it out of submission. Do it because you acknowledge that it is His Spirit not yours, that does the work. He alone will produce abundant results as you submit.
Whatever it is that He has called you to do, willingly obey. Have faith in God. For with men it is impossible, BUT WITH GOD, nothing is impossible. I believe you will need to call for fellow fishermen to come and help you with the tremendous catch. And from this place of success in your obedience, God will move you higher into His wonderful plan for your life.
"Father, forgive me for putting limits on my ministry because of the failures of my past. Forgive me for doubting Your ability to take my toil and turn it into something so profitable. Help me to truly know that I am Yours and as I follow Your ways, the outcome is Your responsibility, not mine. Minister to me Holy Spirit. Lead and guide me into deeper waters of Your Word and Your ways. I will Father. It is my will to honor You and to obey everything You tell me. I will do what You say Lord. No matter what the past. I will. In Jesus precious Name, Amen"
May you take these words to heart and meditate upon them, allowing the Holy Spirit to work them in you, to the renewing of your mind. Rest for your soul. Have a light and easy week as you accomplish great things for His Kingdom!