“But at your word I will let down the nets” (Luke 5:5)
I have a dear Christian brother who claims Luke 5:5 as one of his life verses. Through his knowledge of the Word, but mostly by his life, he has taught me a lot. Like all of us, struggling through periods of discouragement, there is a pattern to his life that is marked by obedience to the will of God. Often perceived as weakness, obedience of any sort is not a very popular word in our culture today. It is made more difficult especially when you’re not sure where the road leads. It requires walking by faith. But obedience gives testimony to God being at work in a person’s life and with it comes proof of one’s love for God and usefulness in His service. The apostle Peter demonstrated both.
“But at your word I will let down the nets” Simon Peter was a fisherman by trade. After an unsuccessful night of fishing, Jesus approached him and said, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch” (Luke 5:4). Peter expressed his previous failure, but he obeyed and this time caught an abundance of fish. The purpose of Jesus’ encounter with Peter was not to teach him how to fish, but to show him that He was Lord. Jesus would, however, spend the next three years teaching Peter and the other disciples how to fish. They would become fishers of men. Had you and I spent all night fishing and caught nothing, what might our response have been? Peter’s response is both striking and instructional. First, note that Peter’s past result didn’t influence his willingness to present obedience. He obeyed at that moment. Secondly, Peter obeyed in faith, though unsure of what the result might be.
Too often, we prefer to be able to see the road ahead before walking in faith and obedience. The problem is that when you can see where the road leads, it’s not really walking by faith. Peter could not have imagined where his road would lead and neither can you. But you can trust that wherever it leads, the Lord will be walking it with you. He will bless your obedience, even though challenges may result because it. If you knew my friend, and some of the circumstances he has faced, had he lessened his commitment to heartfelt obedience to Christ, perhaps certain aspects of his life might have been a bit easier. But that’s not my friend. His obedience to God’s will is proof of his love for Him. It brought Jesus great joy in obeying His Father and as a Christian obedience will bring you joy. Your obedience will never be perfect, but it will be the default position of your heart. Where in your past you chose not to obey, let it go. It’s in the past. A past paid for by the blood of Christ. God’s desire is that you just take the next step. Ask for God’s grace to obey His will. You needed grace for salvation and you’ll need it throughout your life. Trust that He will provide it because He will. “Lord, at your word, I will ……”
Dear God, thank you for the testimony of people who obey your will in spite of the consequences. I pray that as the Holy Spirit works in my life; I will grow in obedience each day. Thank you for your Son, Jesus Christ, who was perfect in obedience and found joy in doing your will. Because of that obedience, I can stand before you. Thank you for your love. Let my obedience to your will be my “thank you” to that love.