Christianity · encouragement · faith · Jesus Christ · life · religion

Defining moments in ministry: Launching out just because God said it

Believers in Christ sooner or later will have at least one defining moment in their relationship with the Lord that will grow their faith in some way. That may especially be true as the day of his return approaches and the world’s darkness grows.

I was reminded of that in Luke 5:2-10. We find out later in this passage that Simon Peter and his fishing partners James and John had been working hard all night fishing to no avail. They had nothing to show for their efforts except maybe exhaustion. They got zero returns on their investments of time and sweat. So Jesus walks up at the beginning of this scene, hops in Peter’s boat and asks him to go back in the water so he can teach the people from the boat.

No doubt, Jesus’ teaching here had something to do with exercising one’s faith in God. After the lesson, Jesus gives Peter an opportunity to put into real life practice what he had just taught. He tells Peter, “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.” Draught here means catch. Peter couldn’t believe what the Lord was asking. Didn’t Jesus understand? They had been out there in the pitch black of night just a few hours ago, working their butts off moving to various locations, trying different methods dropping their nets, pulling them back up again–netting absolutely nothing.

In the end Peter decided that despite all they had been through in the darkest night, “…nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.” He exercised just the slightest faith just because the Lord said to. To his complete shock and the shock of his partners nearby, they caught a ginormous catch that was so large it filled two of their ships, snapped their nets, and caused their ships to sink a little. Peter then realized that he had hardened his heart and did not have as much faith as he thought, begging the Lord’s forgiveness.

Jesus responded, “Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.” In other words, this was a defining moment where he taught them that not only could he bless them in the material things in life for their business, he would do much more for them spiritually if they would launch into the deep for ministry to the souls of men–just because he said so. Even if their previous countless hours of exhausting themselves in the darkest night rendered nothing.

Have you ever experienced something similar, even if it wasn’t as dramatic? Has the Lord led you to launch something different? Like Peter, you may discover not only will it bless you, it can bless others in partnership with you to the point where all of you may not have room enough to receive all God’s blessings that result.

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