Launching Out

“Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a draught” Luke 5:4

It had been a long night. I mean what night wouldn’t feel like an eternity if you had been fishing and fishing and fishing and caught nothing? I’m sure Peter and the other fishermen would have been thinking the same line you or I would’ve in that instance – Why, oh why, didn’t I just stay in bed? I would’ve accomplished more there than out on this lousy lake where there just aren’t any fish!

I don’t know about you, but I would have been in a pretty sour mood that early morning – washing nets that wouldn’t have needed washing if I had just slept all night. And the last thing I think I’d want is a crowd of people coming down to the beach. Oh com’on! Just leave me alone!

Wait a minute though… Peter must have sensed something different in this Man who asked him to shove his boat off the shore a ways so He could be better heard by the crowd on the sand. Any other man and Peter probably would have told him to shove off himself! I’m afraid I would have – Get lost, I’m going home!

There had to have been something in this Man that caught his attention – even sleep deprived as he was – and made him think I better listen to this. Maybe he kept cleaning those “useless” nets for a while before he became totally focused on Jesus. This Man really had something to say!

And then, Jesus turned to Peter himself. “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a draught”. I know what I would have been thinking Awh man, I just finished washing these nets! What on earth do you think I’m gonna get when I was out there all night long? No way!

Surprisingly, and thankfully, Peter didn’t have that reaction. “Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.” Wow! I think Christ was working in him already.

Due to his submission to Christ’s command and obedience to His word, “they enclosed a great multitude of fish and their net brake”! Wow again!

“When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, ‘Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord’. (Would’ve been my thoughts exactly.) For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken… And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.”

What an amazing, true story! I don’t know about you, but I sure can relate to it. Sometimes it seems like life is just one obligatory, overnight fishing trip and the fish are out to make me one hungry camper. Try as I might, and no matter what I do, it seems that I just can’t get any farther in my spiritual walk with Jesus. In fact, sometimes I feel farther way than ever. Beginning to wish I had stayed in my nice, warm, cozy, comfortable “me zone”, I hear His still small voice saying, “Launch out into the deep and let down your net for a draught”.

Wow! What an invitation! Do I have the faith to take it? Will I say like Peter, I’ve been trying all night and I’m totally despairing, but okay Lord, I’ll do it. ? By God’s grace, Yes!

And then it happens. And it only happens then because, no matter how hard we try, we’re not going to get anywhere on our own will power. It’s only Christ’s power working in us that can fill us with the draught of the Holy Spirit and send us on a whole new journey for and with Him. That’s when our nets fill with God’s unlimited power and love and when our starving spirits can be quenched with the fulfillment of a life lived for Christ.

It’s a choice. It takes saying I don’t have it in me, I’m a pathetic sinner and have drastically come short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). I need You, I trust You, I will obey You. It takes surrender.

One thing we have to be on the lookout for are anchors in the sand that are keeping us firmly rooted in the shallow depths. God has been pointing these out to me and I pray that I’ll listen and act on it! “Anchors” can be different for everyone and not limited to unhealthy, secular and sensual movies, magazines, books, internet, friends, conversations, and thoughts. If we’re honest with ourselves, we can generally find something in our lives that is not something we can do “all to the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10:31)

If I’m at all like other humans out there, we all get “promptings” telling us we shouldn’t be allowing something in our lives, minds and hearts. It’s our conscience, or the Holy Spirit speaking in us. And it’s too easy to ignore it, brush it aside, and rationalize what we’re doing. It’s not that bad! All my Christian friends are watching it! It’s on the bestseller list in the Christian bookstore.

Do we really want to stay next to the beach though, making sure we can always touch bottom so we don’t get too scared? How much is it worth to live the shallow, mediocre existence with a dwarfed understand of God and His ways?

We can be walking on water with Christ! Now how much is that worth? I am convinced that God wants so much more for us than we can even comprehend – and it is worth everything! Here’s a sobering thought though – we never will comprehend it if we don’t cut the anchors and set the sails of faith!

Oh, God, give us the strength to launch out into Your deeps and fill our sails with the winds of Your Spirit! Light us on fire for You!

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