One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding round him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.’ Simon answered, ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.’
When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signalled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, ‘Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!’ For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, ‘Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.’ So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him. Luke 5:1-11 (NIV)
Many of us can feel like Simon who had worked hard all night and seen no results. Despite Simon’s lack of success, Jesus knew the potential there was in him to be a ‘fisher of men’. Thankfully this wasn’t based on his ability (or lack of it) as a fisherman. Of course none of Simon’s life experiences were wasted when he decided to follow Jesus. However, these only prepared him for the task ahead.
What made the difference in Simon’s case was his ability to accept and follow instructions. Can you imagine what you would think if a carpenter got into your boat and told you how to fish, particularly as you’d just spent an unsuccessful night fishing.
Only when he followed Jesus’ instructions to let down the net did he achieve what Jesus knew would happen.
Don’t be discouraged if you see a lack of success in what you are currently doing. Ask God to reveal to you if you should be following an alternative career. But here comes the rub. It is easier to stay in your comfortable position close to the shore, than to launch out into deep water and follow God’s instructions.
Are you willing to let God decide the direction of your life and to do his will, acknowleging him by saying:
“I will do whatever you ask ‘because you say so'”.
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