Words of Faith 4-3-18
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2018
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch."
 Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets."
 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.  So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!"  For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken,  and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon's partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, "Don't be afraid; from now on you will catch men."  So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
This is a passage best savored slowly. The call to discipleship is quite overwhelming. Jesus invited Peter to fish the deep water. When he obeyed, Peter was overwhelmed by what happened.
Clearly this Jesus was like no other man. Peter had stepped beyond the comfort zone and had discovered power of a direct connection with God. Apparently Jesus was very ready to overwhelm Peter with blessing and destiny.
The truth is that God is always more prepared to bless us than we are ready to be blessed. You could twist that into a weird and selfish religion as some do these days, but that is not the point. The point for Peter was to answer a really big question-- Are you ready for the adventure of being a disciple of Jesus?
All this was quite overwhelming because the situation suddenly confronted Peter with the reality of his own sin. He fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" When we actually step out in obedience, we probably do so with some hesitance and then we find out, to our amazement, that God is real! That can be the most wonderful yet shame-filled moment. In such a moment, we realize just how much we really doubted, even though we thought we had faith. We realize how far we were from real faith in all the time we thought we were walking with Him. We realize how much we resisted His call.
In the call to discipleship, we suddenly realize that all the religious goodness we thought we had is totally overpowered by the reality of His spirit. It is the same realization that came to Isaiah (6:1-7) when he confronted the absolute holiness of God. "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty." Just as the Lord provided and cleansed Isaiah's mouth with hot coal, Jesus said to Peter, "Don't be afraid; from now on you will catch men."
True discipleship will be an overwhelming walk for us. We will discover God's overwhelming love and provision at every turn. We will discover His willingness to forgive and heal is much greater than our desire to be forgiven or healed. We will discover that while Jesus is so holy that we have no right to approach Him, He has approached us! He has called us. He has drawn near. It is a thought we can only rest in.
O God, You are truly overwhelming in Your love and majesty, Your holiness and mercy. Thank You for approaching me in the person of Jesus. In Jesus' name.