Barnabas Bulletin ~ 0017
"Nevertheless At Your Word I Will . . .
IT had been a long, hard night. They were disappointed, discouraged, tired, cold and with no reward, no pay. In spite of all their fishing expertise, Peter and his men had caught nothing. Empty-handed, they were cleaning and mending their nets when Jesus came along and preached to a great crowd of followers. The numbers grew so large that Jesus borrowed Peter's boat for a pulpit! From there He taught the people practical, spiritual truth. At the end of His teaching He turned to Peter and told him to "Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." In that simple statement Jesus challenged the "fisherman mindset" of Peter. Peter logically knew (from being out there all night) that the fish weren't there. Would he trust his own "fisherman's know-how and experience," or would he trust the Word of Jesus the carpenter? He began to logically reason with Jesus, but then stopped and made room for the Word of Jesus,"Nevertheless at Your Word I will let down the net." In direct obedience to that Word of Jesus, Peter prepared a net, drew up the anchor and sailed out into the deep. Peter's obedience was almost a reluctant obedience, for Jesus had said "nets," but Peter only let down one. But with the partial obedience of letting down only one net, Peter caught the biggest haul of fish in his life! There were so many fish that two boats were in danger of sinking with the weight of them! What a powerful demonstration there was to even Peter's partial obedience. It so impacted him that he fell down at Jesus' feet, repenting of his own sinfulness (of doubt and unbelief). Those with him were absolutely amazed at the demonstration of the power of the Word of Jesus through one man's partial obedience. Imagine what could have happened if Peter had been totally obedient! That one demonstration had such a profound impact upon them that they forsook all and followed Jesus.
What a lesson there is for us in this passage of Scripture. Far too often our Christian lives are (in reality) a testimony of having "fished all night and caught nothing." We get locked up into a natural, logical understanding of what we think the Scripture is saying, rather than living to hear the word directly from the mouth of Jesus. It only takes one word from Jesus to totally change our circumstances. But that word has to be obeyed before there is an outward demonstration of His promise. The Word of Jesus often cuts across logic, and we have to make a conscious decision as to who or what we will obey. Are we willing right now to put aside our reasonings and excuses, and say, "Nevertheless at Your word I will . . . " ? When we trust our lives to obedience to Jesus, we are releasing Him to be all He wants to be in our life. When Jesus says, "nets" He doesn't mean "net." When He says "today," He doesn't mean "tomorrow." When He says, "I will provide for you," He doesn't mean you "go out and beg"! He wants us to learn to trust and prove the truth of His Word! He is God! Do not doubt Him. Yours and my miracle is on the other side of our obedience. We have to decide to act, in order to obey. It is more than a prayer. It's an action.
When Peter trusted himself to an illogical word from the mouth of Jesus, he experienced a tremendous life-changing miracle that released him into a totally new life-style to the glory of God. How about you? Has the Word of Jesus had that kind of impact on you? That is where the answer to your needs lay. Listen to what Jesus says, and "Whatsoever He tells you to do, DO IT!"(John 2:5). Then you can't lose for winning! Your life will be abundantly fruitful! You, too, will want to "forsake all and follow Him"! God bless YOU! - Rodney W. Francis.
Please Pray This Prayer:
"Dear Heavenly Father, I come before Your throne in the mighty and majestic name of Jesus Christ my Redeemer. I bow myself at Your feet today and acknowledge You as the Answer and the "key" to my present circumstances. You know all about my life, my ministry, my problems. I yield them up to You right now and ask that You will speak Your Word into my heart for my situation right now. Help me to obey whatever You say and ask of me. Help me to experience the abundant provision that Peter did when he obeyed You, (even though it was onIy a partial obedience on his part). My desire is to be totally obedient to You in every way. I ask this in the wonderful name of my Wonderful Lord Jesus, Amen."