I had the privilege of sharing this earlier today with a charity in Manchester close to my heart.
Luke 5: 1-10 (NLT)
5 One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee,[a] great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God. 2 He noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. 3 Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon,[b] its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there.
4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”
5 “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” 6 And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! 7 A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.
8 When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.” 9 For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him.10 His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed.
Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” 11 And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.”
Maybe those first disciples weren’t positioned for a miracle that day. They just wanted an ordinary catch. They were thinking of paying the bills, feeding their families – nothing spectacular.
Jesus gets into the boat – he teaches people from it. It becomes his platform, his pulpit – a place where people can see him. Then he finishes speaking and asks Simon Peter to put the nets into the deep water – that same water that he has been working in all night. How annoying is that for us when someone comes along and tells us to do what we have just finished doing! Again!
Now, as Jesus has been teaching, what has Simon been up to? He has been cleaning the fishing nets. So, this is the equivalent of “I’ve just hoovered…. and you walk in with muddy boots!!” Simon wants to put some brackets round the day. He’s just done a night shift in the dark and the cold and is ready for his bed. But Jesus has a twinkle in his eye. He knows what Simon really needs isn’t a warm bed but a warm and overwhelmed heart. Because there is nothing more energising and life-saving than burning faith.
Simon says, “Because you say so, I will.” We can feel like that at times. Is that a voice of blame? “It’ll be your fault if nothing happens,” or is it the beginning of the voice of faith. “Because YOU say so and I have just heard you teach for a few hours and there is something special and different about YOU…” then I will.
We know the story. The nets are let down and then they catch such a large number of fish that the nets begin to break. They signal and shout to their mates to come and join them. Both boats begin to sink with the heavy weight of the fish.
So, what weren’t these guys ready for?
- Supernatural blessing
- Miraculous provision
- Over and above normality
- Breakthrough in their own boat
They weren’t ready for it and so it nearly destroyed what equipment they did have – nets got broken, boats were almost sinking.
They were coming from a place of tiredness, apathy, lack and disappointment. Often our work comes from that place. I have to do this today but I am soo tired Lord! Its hard. There is nothing to ‘put in the pan’, nothing to write home about, nothing to praise. We all have days like that.
The Lord clearly spoke to me today and said this, “Positioning yourself for blessing takes as much effort and preparation as protecting yourself against cursing.”
What does positioning ourselves for blessing look like?
- We need to check the nets. What condition are they in? Are they clean? This could be a call to personal holiness or self-discipline. Am I clean before the Lord? Our net is the place of our resources. Am I stewarding what God has given me well?
- Obey the call – and be ready to go again – even when we are tired. Because HE says so, we will go.
- Go into where we already are and where we have been before. He’s not suggesting they fish on the other side of the lake or on a different lake. Go into what you know but let ME direct you. Yesterday I was walking over Sale bridge and lots of people were there taking photos of something. I leant over but I couldn’t see what they were taking pictures of. I just felt the Lord say “Let me show you the water you’ve looked at for so long, again.” We need Jesus’ eyes to see the familiar in unfamiliar ways.
- Be in proximity to those who can help you carry the weight of the blessing. Who are you personally investing it and keeping near you? How can they help shoulder the blessing with you?
BLESSING IS COMING! ARE YOU READY?