clothing, Corrie Ten Boom quote, deeper waters, fisherman, fishing, food, inability and ability, ingredient to success, Luke 5, Luke 5:10-11, ministry of availability, more concerned about physical things than spiritual, shallow to deep
Whenever Jesus has an encounter with us, He wants us to be more concerned about spiritual things than physical things. This is the way Jesus reaches us in our blindness and busyness of life. The Lord takes the physical things which usually trap us and turns them in such a way that it becomes a lesson about spiritual things. In the New Testament a simple discussion about food turns into a lesson about spiritual food… clothing becomes a lesson about wearing clothes of righteousness… fishing becomes a lesson about fishing for men. Jesus turns what we are concerned about into eternal matters.
The Lord is always striving to take us from shallow water into the deep. It is in these deep waters we begin to grow in faith and learn to trust Him more. The question becomes are we appreciative for the Lord’s attempts to move us into deeper waters? Do we view deeper waters as troubles or opportunities to grow.
Here is my invitation to you. Don’t be afraid when God attempts to move you from one place to another. He has a purpose and there is no need to be afraid. God has your best interest at heart. It is true…”If He led you to it, He will lead you through it.” Deeper water is always an opportunity to express faith and please the Lord. Peter’s response to Jesus at the shore should be our response as well. Listen to his response to the Lord.
Simon answered and said, ‘Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.’ Luke 5:5
Peter basically said, “Lord, I really don’t want to do this again…but because You suggest I should…at Your command, I will do it.” This needs to be our response to the Lord as well. We may not be totally excited about every word the Lord speaks to us. In fact, some of those words may actually give us shivers. But because the Lord speaks… we are obedient.
I believe there is a “ministry of availability” ready for each of us today. Obedience is the most important ingredient to our success in living the Christian life. The question becomes are we available to the Lord? There is an old quote which says, “God does not ask for your ability or for your inability. He asks only your availability.” I am sure you know your own abilities and inabilities. In fact, you may have already told the Lord about them. The truth is God is not interested in what you think you can or cannot do. He is only interested that you avail yourself to Him. Every believer is called to the ministry of availability.
In this story in Luke, Peter’s boat was available to Jesus, his net was available to Jesus, and ultimately his life was available to the Lord. The end result of all this availability was….”And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men. When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.” (Luke 5:10-11)
Peter did become a fisherMAN. Three years later He would preach a message after Pentecost in which three thousand people came into the Kingdom. Now all this didn’t happen at once, but it began on this day by the shores of Galilee. Many life altering events begin at inconspicuous moments.
I am reminded about the petite Japanese lady who was on a bus touring Iceland. At one short bus stop she got off and went into the bathroom to change clothes. While she was gone it was reported that a person was missing from the tour. She returned, not recognizing it was her personally everyone was looking for…and joined in on the manhunt. It is difficult to find someone when they are not missing. So for a whole day everyone was looking for a small Japanese woman who wasn’t lost.
I know a lot of people are looking around church and the kingdom for someone to step-up and give themselves to the Lord’s work. They have never considered that the Lord is actually searching and calling for them. They only see their inabilities…. never their availabilities. I believe there is a boat with your name on it and it is ready for deep water.