“When (Jesus) had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” “Master,” Simon replied, “we’ve worked hard all night long and caught nothing! But at Your word, I’ll let down the nets.” Luke 5:4-5
Do you ever feel like Peter? I do. There are situations in life where I feel as though I have tried everything or have looked at all the angles and I’m still confused, tired and want to give up. Yet, just like Peter, Jesus calls me to “let down my nets”. The answer is not to give up but to lean into the strong arms of Jesus. He says “my grace is sufficient and my power is perfected in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9). He exhorts me not to grow weary in doing good…knowing that, in due season, I will reap a harvest if I do not give up (Galatians 6:9). He calls me to “fix my eyes on what is unseen” and “walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
And what a joy it is when I answer as Peter did that day on the shore: “But at Your word, I’ll let down the nets”. For Peter, the results were pretty immediate. “When they did this, they caught a great number of fish, and their nets began to tear. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them; they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink” (Luke 5:6-7). God’s answers in my life might not always be so immediate, but they are always right on time….His time! “Yes, I have spoken; so I will also bring it about. I have planned it; I will also do it” (Isaiah 46:11b). Philippians 2:13 reminds me that “it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to will and to act for His good purpose.” I don’t have to worry, fret, manipulate, strategize, or come up with a better plan. I can rest in God’s perfect plan knowing that He will accomplish it for my good and for His glory. And I know, first-hand, what it looks like to be quiet in my spirit and watch the Lord work! AMAZINGLY GLORIOUS!
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgements and untraceable His ways! …For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” Romans 11:33,36
When Peter beheld Jesus at work, there was only one thing he could do. Luke 5:8 says that “he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, because I’m a sinful man, Lord!” He saw Jesus for who He is, King of kings and Lord of lords, and Peter saw the sinfulness of his own heart. In that moment, he was humbled. When I cling to Jesus, that will be the posture of my own heart, as well.
I love what Kimberly Wagner has to say about humility in her book, Fierce Women: “In reality, humility has little to do with how I see myself but has everything to do with how I see God. Humility is the true response to a proper view of God. Humility opens the door for God’s presence to be at home in our hearts (Isaiah 57:15) and His grace to move in to the situation at hand (James 4:6; I Peter 5:5). Jesus compared this condition to that of a little child. It’s the recognition that we are helpless; completely dependent on Him. Humility doesn’t grasp for, or demand control, but it gladly surrenders to the Master’s control. When we maintain a steady gaze on God, childlike humility permeates our thoughts, attitudes, and actions.”
Throughout the pages of the New Testament, we see a lot of Peter’s life. Much to emulate and much to avoid…much like each one of our lives! I am thankful for his example in Luke 5 and the reminder it is to all of our hearts to: WALK obediently, even when we can’t see more than the next step in front of us. To WAIT on the Lord, confident in the reality that He will accomplish all His purposes for our lives. To WATCH Him work and WONDER at His majesty in such a way that we are humbled by His awesomeness and find our thoughts, attitudes, and actions changed more and more into His likeness!
Want to let down your nets with me?