“One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, he saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.”
So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.”
I don’t think I could begin to count how many times I’ve read this scripture. And then try to add in how many times I’ve heard someone speaking about this passage. It’s countless.
BUT, as I was reading this scripture this week, something new jumped out at me.
These guys, after a full and unsuccessful night of fishing, on shore washing up their nets, were asked to get back in their boat to give Jesus a platform to speak from. I can only imagine how exhausted they were, but they provided that platform.
I can also only imagine how important it was that they catch something. This was their provision; their way to pay the bills. So, I’m also certain that in addition to their exhaustion, was a fair amount of disappointment, worry and stress.
At this point in the story I began to reflect on current life. Am I willing and obedient in the midst of my lack, frustration and/or stress? Honestly? Not 100% of the time.
They listen to Jesus’ lesson, he finishes then tells them to go further out to sea and drop their nets. I’m telling you that would be the LAST thing I’d be willing to do. “I just cleaned these nets”, “I’m tired”, “we just fished ALL NIGHT LONG”, etc… RIGHT?
Obediently, they did what Jesus told them to do. I think their obedience had a slight tilt on what happened next, but I just know that it was mostly because of how awesome God is! He loves His kids and craves to meet our needs.
I can only imagine the adrenaline rush that came as their nets started to snap, as the boats started to sink with this overwhelming supply! A supply I’m certain they desperately needed. Most likely that type of catch you hope for, dream for; the type of catch that would most definitely take care of all things. No more lack.
I think it’s safe to say, this answer to their needs and prayers was met with an Ephesians 3:20 answer: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…”
They received this net-breaking blessing with excessive joy, then with humility, repentance; he then recognized his brokenness. When you’re initially broken, you don’t feel worthy of much. I know how those shoes feel. I’m sure that’s why Jesus’ first comment was “don’t be afraid”. He was saying, there’s no judgment here, I’m not condemning you for anything. Now, here’s your purpose! “You will now be fishers of men”! Whew!
They received the largest blessing they’ve ever had, got to shore and left it all to follow Jesus.
Here’s where I got hit with the revelatory brick.
The question that immediately came to my mind as I read was this:
“If I blessed you with all you’ve prayed for, would you walk away from it to do something I’ve not yet asked you to do?”
You see, I’m sure the majority of us have had at least one prophetic word spoken over our lives, at least one vision; a glimpse into His plans for us, a dream that we’ve carried for our entire life. If in this moment, you received this answer to prayer, the prayer you’ve travailed over, soaked your carpet in tears over, fasted for, fought for, been alienated for, believed for was instantaneously given to you; would you set it down and walk into an unknown, undreamt, not prophesied, but God is speaking it to you in that moment where He wants you to go, would you do it? I think we would all say yes, but it definitely comes with a little bit of pain, right? We’ve got some serious skin in the game when it comes to our hopes, dreams, plans and purposes that we believe are on our lives. Maybe this is where some immaturity in my relationship is shining through my cracks. I know I would say yes, but it would be a teary-eyed yes. Yet, in the same breath, I know Kingdom principles. I know that if He asks me to lay something down, He has something better in store. If He wants me to give something away, I do, because I know He will provide for all my needs.
If we are truly surrendered to His perfect purpose, plans and provisions for our lives, the things we plead for really shouldn’t be of any consequence if we are to give them up at His request. It’s fine to take ownership of those things and contend for them to manifest, but they have to remain fluid for Him to do what He plans with it. It has to remain His, for Him, for His Glory.
You see, Simon could have said, “That’s cool, Jesus. I’ll pass on the message of what you just shared, we’ll catch some folks for Heaven while we work our day jobs and hey, thank you so much for this awesome blessing!” He could have stayed comfortable in what he knew was a certain thing because he had this net-breaking, boat-sinking blessing they just hauled to shore. But he didn’t. He laid it all down and walked into unknown territory. This blessing that initially meant everything to him instantly became fluid; dispensable, once he knew his purpose; his identity.
I’m sure there was a twinge of fear leaving all he knew behind and walking into places and doing things he’d never done before, but He had Jesus. Jesus is the real treasure; the true and tangible, net-breaking, boat-sinking treasure. No dream come true, no financial provision, no success in business will ever compare to Him. Just say “YES”!