I am, by nature, somewhat skeptical. Promises do not impress me all that much. I prefer to see action. Show me the proof. Demonstrate to me why I should buy what you are selling, why I should follow your advice, why what you are telling me is compelling. Gain my confidence and I am ready to comply.
A story from Luke’s Gospel caught my attention today that shows the importance of doing what Jesus says, not just talking about it. One day Jesus wanted to teach, but the crowds were pressing him so he asked to use Simon’s boats. He got in the boat, pushed a little way out from the shore and spoke to the people.
“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 signaled 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!” (Luke 5:4-8, NIV)
Simon was tired from fishing all night. He was ready to go home and take a rest, in spite of no catch. Jesus had another plan. “Simon, sail out and throw your nets again!” To the tired man it was not a small thing. If he complied, it would mean more hours of work, cleaning and drying his nets again. And, besides, there were no fish in the vicinity, as his fruitless efforts had shown. He protests but then says this –
“Because YOU say so, I will!”
There are two things for us in those words for this Monday morning.
Are you in touch with Jesus, in a place where He is able to speak to you?
Our agendas can fill up our lives to the extent we become spiritually deaf. Persistent sin will grieve God’s Spirit leaving us without the benefit of His guidance. Fatigue can, and often does, cause us to push the disciplines of the spirit out of our day, and we fail to pray, to meditate, or read the Word. Simon (later called Peter) was able to hear Jesus’ directions because he was present, available, and aware. Are you in a place where God, the Spirit, can speak to you? Nothing is more important, truly, than training your heart and mind to be responsive to the voice of the Spirit.
Are you ready to obey?
Jesus told a story about two young men whose father requested action from them. One objected and refused, but later did what he was asked. One readily agreed, but then did nothing! Which one was actually obedient? The answer is obvious. It was not the son who merely agreed. It was the one who did the task. God is unimpressed with our prayers if they are disconnected from life. He cares little for our ‘worship’ if, in reality, our choices reveal that we love other ‘gods.’
We need to be inclined to obedience, because we KNOW and TRUST Him. He does not threaten us or force us to comply with a strong arm. He says this, “if you love me, keep my commands.”
On this Monday morning, does Jesus have a plan for your life today? Yes, He does. Will you let Him lead?
Our word from the Word shares His promise. Our richest life, our best, is wrapped up in Him. Before you head off to your day, take some time to meditate on these words.
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5, NIV)
Trust And Obey
When we walk with the Lord
In the light of His Word
What a glory He sheds on our way
While we do His good will
He abides with us still
And with all who will trust and obey
Trust and obey
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus
But to trust and obey
Daniel Brink Towner © Words: Public Domain