The Pryor Times

Religion

November 8, 2013

Lessons from a fishing trip

PRYOR, OK — With the water cooling down and the beautiful colors of fall, this is one of my favorite times to fish.  One of the most interesting fishing stories is recorded in Luke 5.  Two boats had returned from a fruitless night of fishing.  The weary fishermen had spent the night throwing their nets overboard and drawing them back in empty.  When morning came, they began washing their nets, thinking this fishing trip had been a failure.

But, Jesus arrived upon the scene and climbed into one of the boats, which belonged to Simon Peter.  He asked Simon to put out a little from the land, and using the boat as a pulpit, Jesus taught the multitudes who were assembled on the seashore.

After teaching the people, Jesus said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”  Simon answered, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net,” (Luke 5:5).  When the net was let down, they caught so many fish that the net was breaking, and they summoned their partners in the other boat to come and help them.  They caught so many fish that both boats were filled, and they began to sink.

This true story teaches some wonderful lessons.  First, Jesus commanded something which human reasoning would never have suggested.  These professional fishermen knew the best times and places to fish.  From a human standpoint, it seemed foolish to go out into deep water at that time of day and try to catch fish in a net.  It appeared additionally unreasonable, considering the fact that they were tired from fishing all night and had just washed their nets.  It was certainly not convenient for them to take their nets back to the boat and start fishing again.  God often commands things that are contrary to human reasoning (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Second, to obey this command of Jesus was to act out of harmony with human experience.  These professional fishermen had learned through experience that the best time for fishing was at night.  They had spent the entire night fishing, and they were tired and discouraged.  What could they expect to catch if they went right back out there?  It would be hard work, and they would have to clean their nets all over again.  It took a great deal of faith in Jesus for them to do what He said.

We should not reject God’s word just because it is not in harmony with our own experience.  Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:7, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”  God’s ways and thoughts are not like ours (Isaiah 55:8-9).  We must learn to trust Him.

Third, like Peter, we should say, “Nevertheless, at Your word, I will obey.”  It doesn’t matter if we have tried before and failed.  It doesn’t matter if we are tired and sleepy.  It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t seem logical or reasonable.  When the Lord commands, we need to obey.  And if we obey, we will be rewarded.

If Jesus is Lord, that means He has authority over us, and we should ask, “Lord, what will You have me to do?”  And our response should always be, “At your word, I will.”  That is the true spirit of obedience.

Fourth, we will find that the results of obeying the Lord will be greater than we ever dreamed.  God’s way brings success and happiness.  If we truly love the Lord, we will trust Him and obey Him without demanding an explanation.

Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”  And John wrote in I John 5:3, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”  May we always be willing to obey Him.

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