And He saw two boats drawn up by the lake, but the fishermen had gone down from them and were washing their nets. When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon (Peter), Put out into the deep [water], and lower your nets for a haul. And Simon (Peter) answered, Master, we toiled all night [exhaustingly] and caught nothing [in our nets]. But on the ground of Your word, I will lower the nets [again]. And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish; and as their nets were at the point of breaking, They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and take hold with them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw this, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
This is a new year, and with a new year, must come a new mindset. Sometimes we become stuck in a problem. We stare at it so long that we can no longer see any solution, so like Peter, we wash our nets again with the demoralizing thought that we tried our best. Inside us however is this unspoken feeling of futility that makes all our repeated efforts nothing more than mechanical responses that don’t anticipate any victory but only another night with “no catch”.
When God asks you to do something again, something you think is redundant because you have tried over and over again, it is because He is going to accomplish it. I challenge you this year to:
Look for the sovereignty of God.
It is important that we look for The Word of the Lord when He speaks into your situation and tells us to “cast out into the deep”. Remember “He upholds all things by the Word of His power”. If God is not behind what we are doing, it doesn’t matter how much effort and planning goes into it the results, even though appearing successful, will be hollow.
Listen for His voice.
When you are washing your nets and hanging it up for the day, open your heart through the redundancy. Peter’s response was the right one, “Buton the ground of Your word”. When He heard God’s voice, it was enough to rest his exhausted heart on. What God will often say is to “Do it again”. Do the same thing you have been trying with no avail, except this time you have the Creator of the universe behind you.
Be open to the possibility of having your mind blown.
It had never entered their minds that they would catch so much fish that their nets would break and they would need help from other fishermen. God has given us a great capacity for imagination. Imagination is what fuels personal visions, dreams and solutions. A friend who was president of a large engineering firm said once that he hired engineers not based on the degree or math skills but on their ability to imagine. Twisted imaginations was one of the problems in Genesis when God voiced His concern, that
“Every imagination and intention of all human thinking was only evil continually.”
Because of his imagination, man’s capacity for evil can take on endlessly new creative ways.
But here is the part about having your mind blown: Just as God gave us this awesome gift of imagination, God is the only one who can surpass what we could have imagined. No matter how powerful our imaginations are, they will never be able to envision what God has prepared for us in heaven.
What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him.
1 Corinthians 2:9