“ … But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” –Luke 5:5, NIV
Jesus was teaching along the Sea of Galilee when He decided to hop into a nearby fishing boat and make the rocking vessel His pulpit.
Perhaps Jesus noticed that the boat in which He sat was fishless, because after His seaside sermon, He told Simon the fisherman to move into deeper water and cast his nets there. Having had no luck all day, Simon responded reluctantly, but respectfully:
“Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets” (Luke 5:5, NIV).
What do you suppose happened next to the fishless fisherman? The next verse tells us:
“When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break” (Luke 5:6, NIV).
Not only did the nets start to break, but another boat had to come to their aid, and then both boats began to sink – and perhaps stink – with fish!
This snippet of Scripture speaks directly to those times in our lives when we find ourselves empty. We’ve poured out our self-importance and swallowed our pride, but still there is something missing. We feel like fishermen sitting idly in an empty boat. Like Simon, James, and John, we’ve done all we can with the talents, time, and tools we have. We’ve awoken before the break of day, set our sails, cast our nets, watched the moon rise and the stars appear, and returned home without having “caught anything.”
What do we do? To be completely honest with you, when I don’t catch the fish, so to speak, that I desire after an all-out effort and hours at sea, my first impulse is to return to the harbor and trade in my fishing nets for a new line of work altogether. The last thing I want to do is go into even deeper water and try again. But that is exactly what Jesus asked Simon and the other fishermen to do. Despite his better judgment, Simon trusted and obeyed this captivating “Master” and was richly rewarded with a hardly containable catch of fish.
The Lord wants to do the impossible in our lives. But to do so, He asks us to trust him completely and to obey His word…
It is natural to have doubts and reservations and a hundred reasons why, to the “reasonably minded,” nothing will happen if we obey God and follow His guidance. But it takes supernatural faith, one that that holds little regard for what the naked eye can perceive or the educated mind can rationalize, to venture out into deeper waters, believing fully in God’s ability to let men walk on waves or fill empty nets with an astounding surplus.
Ephesians 3:20 declares that God is able to do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” Simon and his fishing buddies saw this to be true, and so can you. You will leave behind emptiness and sail into waters of abundance when you simply listen to and obey the word of God and the whispering of the Holy Spirit within you.
Please take a minute to watch this video. It’s an acoustic recording of one of my new favorite songs, “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” by Hillsong UNITED.