I have to admit to you, I know nothing about fishing. Absolutely nothing. But I was reading the account of when Peter had fished all night and had returned to the dock with an empty boat, and Jesus was there and told him to go back out into the deeper waters of Lake Gennesaret and let down his nets again.
Now, from what I have studied, the best time to fish in that area was at night. And the best place to fish was in the shallow waters. They didn’t fish like we fish today. They used small nets that were cast into the waters by hand, into shallow waters where they could actually see the school of fish. There would be weights around the edges of their nets that would cause the net to sink quickly and the fish would be caught in their nets. It was a simple, yet effective way of catching fish.
So Peter was met by Jesus after spending all night fishing. And Jesus told him to go back out, into deeper waters, during broad daylight, and cast out his net again. “With all due respect, Jesus, You are a great Carpenter and a super Teacher, but You don’t know what I know about fishing. This is what I do for a living.” Peter could have said that. We would have probably said that, right? Yet … to his credit, Peter did the right thing. He risked being the joke of his hometown and he rowed back out, into the deeper waters, in broad daylight and cast his net once again, just like Jesus told him to do. The Bible tells us that Peter’s net was so full of fish, it almost broke.
That day Peter discovered that when he set aside his own thoughts, and acted on the Word of God, he experienced a wonderful miracle.
We live in a time and in a society where many don’t believe in miracles anymore. They might have happened in Jesus’ day, but they don’t happen any longer. I would have to disagree with you. Miracles happened every day to those who believe. When I read the Gospels, rarely, if ever did miracles take place in the lives of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Yet, miracles happened on a regular basis in the lives of common people. What prevented some from seeing miracles in their lives? I believe it was pride that caused them to cling to their own beliefs and clever thoughts. Pride would not allow them to acknowledge that they could be wrong and God could be right.
The very foundation for learning to walk with the Lord, for serving Him and becoming a blessing to others is to act on God’s thoughts and not our own. We put down our pride and we take up faith to believe what God says is true. His Word, the Bible is true regardless of what anyone would say. It is the true and inspired and living Word of God that guides us in this arena called life. And life comes at us fast, but God and His Word are there to help us navigate during the dark nights and during the sunny days.
How can you learn to trust God and His Word in Life’s experiences? Just simply stop for a second and ask yourself a few questions. Ask: “Am I doing what the Lord would do in this situation?” (What would Jesus do?) What does God have to say about this? (The answer is in the Bible.) Then pray over the situation. And as you do, the Lord will open up your mind to thinking His thoughts and finding and following His will in your life. As you start trusting God in your situation, and then act on them by faith, it will become second nature for you to follow the Lord.
Abandoning our thoughts and walking away from the way we used to do things, and then fully trusting God and His Word will truly honor Him and revolutionize our faith. Try it … God will pour His blessings down on you when you completely devote yourself to Him.
And that is Something to Think About for this week.
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Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at 740-852-7800, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.3C-Church.org or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.