Even wonder what can turn a life around?
In my devotions this morning I came to Luke chapter 5. Here three lives were radically reoriented from ordinary to extraordinary.
So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.
I see three fundamentals in this passage that lead to a radically reoriented life.
1. Hearing the word of God. The absolute foundation to any life change is the word of God. The crowd had gathered to hear the teachings of Jesus. We are not told what Jesus taught but one can be confident that the haul of fish served as an illustration of the lesson. God wants to uproot us from the stationary and staleness of our ordinary lives. To do this He uses the faithful proclamation of His word each week to set into motion the process of life reorientation. Are we listening to hear a good sermon or are we listening to hear God’s call for our lives?
2. Seeing the word of God. So many of us are like Thomas, or we’re from Missouri. Show me and I will believe. Jesus created us so He knew it would take a visual object lesson to drive home the point of His teaching. Even more than that, we need to be reminded that Jesus is God. He is supernatural. He is above all. For Peter, James and John Christ went from a really authoritative Teacher to the One to follow with their whole lives when He filled the boats. Remember, Peter dropped to his knees in utter amazement and worship because he knew he was in the presence of Someone utterly too wonderful. Does Jesus drop you to your knees in complete awe?
3. Following the word of God. At the very moment of surrender God gives us a vision for a greater life. With Peter on his knees Jesus says “from now on you will catch men.” There are countless noble careers that we can pursue and labor in but none are greater than being “fishers of men.” The text says that Peter, James and John forsook all and followed Him. God doesn’t call everyone to full-time ministry but God does call all of us to forsake something for the gospel. It is inherent to following Jesus. The word of God is always intentional in seeking to accomplish a greater glory for its’ Author by leading us to a greater commitment of following Jesus.
Are you resisting what you sense God is calling you to do? Refusing to follow can be our last line of defense. We hear, we see, but we fight following. Lay down your full nets and forsake whatever God is calling you to forsake because your heart is full. Life will never be more meaningful.