For November 10, 2019
In John 1:29, John the Baptist introduces Jesus to the assembly as “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” Shortly thereafter, those who heard His teachings and witnessed His miracles would follow the Lord in droves wherever He went.
One of His more reluctant followers initially was Simon who encountered the Lord near the shore at the Sea of Galilee. On that particular morning, as recorded in Luke 5, a large crowd surrounded Jesus, listening intently to His every word.
Then, stepping into a nearby fishing boat, Jesus asked Simon to pull it away from the shore so that He could use it as a speaking platform to accommodate the large crowd that gathered along the shore.
Simon and his brother, Andrew, along with the brothers, James and John were exhausted after returning from an unsuccessful, all-night fishing expedition. In their minds, they were distracted by this meddling teacher, who kept them from washing their nets and performing other necessary chores in preparation for a more productive fishing expedition that evening,
One can imagine how the entire crew must have dozed off to sleep occasionally while the Lord taught. After all, they were exhausted from the night before. Even more stressful for Simon was when the Lord finished teaching, He instructed him to launch into deeper nearby waters, and prepare to catch fish.
Knowing that Jesus was not a skilled fisherman, Simon’s initial response was: “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything!” (Luke 5:5a NIV): In other words, Simon was saying: “Lord, I realize you are a great teacher, but we are experienced fishermen. We’ve spent all night fishing and we’ve caught absolutely nothing!” (Your idea does not make any logical sense!)
We can identify with Simon when we feel our efforts have gone for naught. When we have tried to do things “our way” with disappointing or even disastrous results. The anger, frustration, and disappointment can be most unbearable when we have “taken matters into our own hands” and have failed—miserably.
After his initial angry feelings subsided, Simon had the good sense to surrender to the Lord and say: “But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” (Luke 5:5b NIV) In essence, Simon chose not to trust in his feelings, or unfortunate circumstances. Instead, he chose to surrender everything he had to the Lord, and trust in Him for the results.
Then immediately, Simon and his crew were so overwhelmed by the vast number of fish that they had to call James and John on the other ship for help collecting the fish.
When our work yields futility, surrendering to and trusting in the Lord is always the best response. This may require us to:
- Spend time fasting and praying for clarity of the Lord’s will and purpose for our lives,
- Perform an honest reassessment of our purpose, mission and goals to confirm they exalt Jesus Christ—not us, or
- Reverse our current course immediately so that we can conform to the Lord’s divine plan for our lives and others.
Ultimately, we choose to obey the Lord’s instructions and trust Him for the results, nonetheless. Then, we can experience His excellence and our fulfillment just as Proverbs 3:5-6 (N KJV) teaches:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
Won’t you trust in the Lord today?