Nothing but Net

FISHERMAN3So, I’m reading Luke’s account of the life and ministry of Jesus, and I come upon the story in which Jesus borrows Simon Peter’s fishing vessel so He can teach the crowds from the boat. Luke writes:

“And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.'”

A very strange thing happens as I’m reading Jesus’ command. It seems like Jesus is talking to me, like He’s giving me the order..

“And Simon answered, ‘Master, we toiled all night and took nothing!'”

Now it’s getting weirder, because I feel like I am offering an objection to Jesus’ request. I feel like I am the one who is answering Jesus in mild protest. “I’ve tried and tried. And I’ve come up empty.”

“‘But at your word I will let down the nets.'”

Now, it’s as if my spirit is agreeing that I, too, should be deferring to Jesus on this one. “I can’t see how this is going to work, but because You say so, I’ll do it. I’ll let down my nets.”

Some of you know what happens next in Luke’s account. Simon hauls in a completely unexpected catch.

“And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking.”

So, I’ve been puzzling over this brief exchange that Jesus and I seemed to have. I’m standing here with a metaphorical fishing net in my hands, wondering what it means for me to let it down.

Then, a couple of days ago, I hear a sermon from that very same text in Luke’s gospel. The preacher issues a challenge: “There’s something Jesus wants you to do, something maybe you’ve done a thousand times before, but He wants you to do it a little differently. You know what it s.”

I really wish I did know. But right now, I’ve got nothing but net.

Has something like this ever happened to you? Has God ever revealed something to youย  in part before revealing the whole?

9 thoughts on “Nothing but Net

  1. I love this story in Luke. And it’s going to be interesting to see the rest of what Jesus shows you. One thing I love about this story in Luke is that Jesus did the unexpected. It was daytime, not a great time for catching fish. Peter obeyed Jesus, honored Him with his obedience. Jesus blessed it with a huge, totally unexpected catch. And no doubt increased Peter’s faith and understanding of Who this Jesus was.

    God’s revealed Himself to me through various circumstances in my life as well. One of the biggest was promising us children well before delivering on that promise. And He did it in such a way that I KNEW it was Him and not my own wishful thinking. He increased my faith and trust in Him.

    I hope you’ll share with us those things He shows you as you hold onto your net!

    • Good comments on Luke’s narrative. I am so encouraged about what God made plain to you about the fulfillment of His promise, and how He strengthened your faith and deepened your trust. I look forward to sharing what Jesus’ shows me. I will try to wait patiently.

  2. I’m still in the “nothing but net” phase myself. I’m anxiously awaiting the complete reveal. Until then, it’s a lot of trusting and waiting and doing. And maybe one day, the net will come up overflowing.

    • Sonia, I pray that your waiting will soon be over and that all the stress will be transferred from you to your bursting nets! In the meantime, I am glad to have company in the trusting, waiting and doing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Dave I read this post and instantly there was an excitement in my spirit for you and for what is going to come next. Following on from your limitlessness post I can see how this is a classic illustration from His word about how there is no limit to His resources, power and love. I also agree with Jeanne – the key is obedience. He has being showing that to me lately as well. So brother, I will be praying that by God’s grace He will reveal to you the action required and that you will find the faith to obey. God is good.

    • Graham, I cannot tell you what an encouragement your timely words are to me. I needed every reminder you provided about God’s goodness, His limitless resources, the necessity of His continued revelation and my obedient response to it. Thank you so much for praying for me and encouraging me. I am overwhelmed. I’m thankful for you, brother.

  4. What? Is this the universal scripture for sermons this month?

    Our minister preached on this same one about three weeks ago. He focused on how odd it was that Jesus would be telling professional fishermen how to fish, but I don’t remember his point. Right now, I’m thinking about how frustrating it is when God tells us to do something, then doesn’t finish his sentence – yep, I can relate. I went through it for at least a year with my writing before I could put a full sentence on paper. I’m there again with a book idea, but I’m much more patient and accepting than I was nine years ago. I like having company. Sorry, I just do. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Now you’ve got my curious about your minister’s point in his sermon from this text! And I am not surprised about your wait for a complete sentence. I know I’m on God’s timetable, and that there isn’t anything I can do to speed up His process. What is urgent to me often seems farther down on His priority list than I would like. I hope I am maturing in my waiting. But at least I’ve got company ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I’m curious too, Dave. I hate to ask him when I probably should remember. Mmmm, if I can figure out a tactful way, I’ll find out.

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