A few years ago, when I was ministering as a soloist, I was headed home but needed a bite to eat before leaving town. I had just taken part in a Jubilee in Orange, VA and I had to hurry if I was going to make it to the drive thru window at Hardee’s on time. They closed at 10:00 and I was just going to make it! I pulled up to the speaker with 10 minutes to spare and the lights went off! To say I was a bit miffed would be an understatement. I put my truck in drive and pulled up to the window hoping to get someone’s attention. After blowing the horn and knocking on the window a sweet little teenage girl mouthed at me through the window, “We’re Closed”!
The truth is, they had been working all day long and they were ready to pack it in. Yes, they should have served me but the grill had been cleaned and I wasn’t worth the trouble.
This scenario reminds me of one we read about in Luke’s gospel. You’ve all heard it but let’s take a closer look…
1 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. 3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. 4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. 5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. Luke 5:1-5
Do you see the similarity? Peter had been at work all night long. He was in the process of cleaning his nets. His mind was on a warm bath, a bite to eat and a long nap and Jesus pulls into his drive thru window. He asks him to undo his nets, pull the anchor and push back out into the same water that had proven unfruitful the night before.
Have you ever felt the Lord moving you to do something that absolutely seemed fruitless? Ever been nudged to do something that just didn’t make sense? Well then, you can relate with Peter. “Let down your nets” (vs. 4) the Lord commanded and with great hesitancy and less than stellar excitement, Peter sought to appease the Lord by letting down a “Net” (vs.5).
This is the equivalent of God moving you to give $100.00 in that love offering for the missionary but you figure a $20.00 bill will serve the same purpose. Sadly, a $1.00 bill is more realistic. It’s no different than the Lord moving you to take part in that 40 day fast but you figure a couple of days of juice and crackers will do the trick.
There’s a huge disconnect in regards to what the Lord is looking to accomplish when He instructs one of His children with a task that seems undoable. God is not looking to be appeased by our action; Instead He is hoping to grow our faith. Our obedience is for us not Him!
Jesus could have commanded every fish in the sea to jump into the boat but He wasn’t looking for a meal. Jesus was looking to test Peter’s faith. By not doing just as the Lord had commanded, the net that Peter cast was ripped and the boat started to sink under the weight of the catch. Contrary to what you believed about this story before… Those two things didn’t give the fishermen a reason to rejoice! Peter didn’t stand on the bow of the boat and shout yippee!!! He was too busy shouting for his partners in another boat to come help him stay afloat. What could have been cause for celebration was instead an occasion for panic. Peter was ashamed of his own lack of faith and repented because of it (vs. 8).
Here’s a little advice… Don’t second guess what God is moving you to do. It may not make a lot of sense to you but remember, the wisdom of God is foolishness to man… (I Cor. 1:25). When He says, “Let down your nets”, He means, “Let down your nets”!