Put Out Into The Deep

From passage in Luke 5: 1-11

ThinkingWhat have you been doing lately that has brought you much frustration? Maybe you need to stop trying to do it on your own and let God tell you where to “fish”. Like the fishermen in the passage referenced above, we sometimes want to achieve success on our own and the result is usually disappointing.

Simon, James and John were fishermen by trade and on one particular occasion had tried throughout the night to catch fish but with no success. They probably went to all the good spots they knew, casting and retrieving the nets countless times. No matter how much they tried, the result was the same: they met with failure every single time. By the time Jesus came by the lake the following day, these fishermen must have been exhausted from the night’s work.

Jesus obviously knew about it and when the crowds pressed on him as they tried to listen to his words, it is the boat belonging to Simon that he chose to sit in, and teach the people. Simon, James and John listened to the master teach. When he had finished, he said to them, ‘Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch’.

The first thing that came to Simon’s mind was how they had unsuccessfully toiled all night to catch fish. Now every fisherman of the time knew that the best time to fish was at night, it was so much harder during the day. Peter made his thoughts known to Jesus. He said “Master, we toiled all night and caught nothing”. Let’s pause here for a moment. This is what we do many times. We look back on our fruitless ventures then begin to doubt if God can really cause us to succeed. We must ask ourselves a question: did we seek God’s approval before we started the venture that failed? If the answer is no, then we cannot charge God for failing to finish something he did not begin. The wiser thing to do is to seek him and let him tell you where to cast your net for a catch.

Coming back to the story, Simon continued and said, “But at your word I will let down the nets”. What Simon was saying is, I do not know how we can be able to catch fish in the very same places we tried all-night and failed, but I will trust you anyway. They reluctantly threw their nets in the water and waited. When it was time to retrieve, they had caught so much fish, their nets were almost breaking. Two things here: First, if we follow God’s instruction we will be successful in whatever we do, it may not always be instantaneous, but we will certainly succeed. Second, God’s instruction will usually be something you may not want to hear. God’s direction almost always requires you to use your faith, and almost always doesn’t make logical sense. Just like Simon we have to forget about what makes sense to us and just trust him.

In the end the choice is ours, we can accept God’s guidance (even if it may be difficult) and be successful, or choose to trust in our own ideas. I suggest we trust God.

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