Forsaking the “supply” and choosing the “source” - Inspiring insights from the actions of Simon Peter and his fellow fisherman, on the journey of being fishers of man.
“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. When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking” (Luke 5:4-5).
I am inspired by the fact that Peter just had insight to obey. He just had it in him to know who was speaking to Him and He later declared this insight in front of others, as recorded in Mathew 16:16.
Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”. (Mathew 16:16)
What happened next after that act of obedience, was beyond Simon’s imagination, because when God speaks, situations change. According to Luke 5:6-7, when they had listened and put the net back into the sea, they caught many fish that their nets began to break. Peter and His fellow fishermen never expected such an abundance, Jesus had spoken, they had obeyed and their circumstances were instantly changed.
“But as it is written Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
It is even humanly unexpected that Peter and others just left the boats, which I must add, were full of fish and instead, just decided to follow Jesus Christ.
“So, when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him” (Luke 5:10-11)
It mattered not that their boats were full, they forsook all. They did not get excited about the gift and forget about Jesus, the giver of the gifts. They realised that this was a call for them to tell people about the good news of a Jesus Christ, who had done wonderful things. There was a new mission: To be fishers of man; to tell people about the grace they had just experienced; and direct the weary and hungry back to the source of supply, abundance and grace. They chose to follow the source of supply because, I believe they also had a revelation that the fish stock and associated wealth, they were supposedly leaving behind, could nevertheless, be given back in 100-fold by Jesus Christ.
“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life” (Mathew 19:29).
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Mathew 6:33).
We also learn from their story, that the journey to following Christ was not smooth. Peter even denied Jesus at a critical time before He was crucified (Matthew 26:69–74, Mark 14:66-72, Luke 22:55-62, and John 18:15-18, 25-27). His spirit was willing, but his flesh got weak (Mathew 26:41). However, Peter’s call remained despite all the other mishaps along the way. He used these moments of weakness, to motivate and encourage fellow believers,
“Be on the alert, because your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Even from these challenges, he had faced along the way, he had ultimately repented and by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, took the stand and consequently, 3000 people were saved just in one day. (Acts 2:41). He became a witness, just like Jesus had said.
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
He had listened and responded when Jesus had called him to follow Him and consequently, God’s people were now experiencing redemption and were being brought back to the love of their Father.
Let us be inspired to follow on Peter’s footsteps and not feel condemned, because of the things we think we had not done right in the past, for there is no condemnation in those who are now in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). We just need to focus on doing what our Lord and Saviour had asked of us. Let us be motivated by the fact that, when we decide to get into the harvest field, man will be brought back to God, lost sheep will be found and be brought back to the Shepherd. Let us make others know what our Lord Jesus Christ had done (Psalm 105:1), (Isaiah 12:4).
All is needed is our willingness (Isaiah 6:8). Besides, just by our own lives, we can influence another person, so let us not put the lamp under a bowl (Matthew 5:15–16). Mostly, let us forget about having all the right arguments, for the Holy Spirit will help us to know what to say, at different times and opportunities (Luke 12:11-12). Let us remember that our Master, Jesus Christ, has a heart for people and wants them to be saved and have a Shepherd.
“But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, the harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:36-38).
We have great work to perform, we are the representatives of the church of God and laborers in the harvest field of our Master. Let us therefore trust him to be our source of supply and find inspiration in His Word and our fellow believers such as Peter, and not be engrossed in the blessings God bestows upon us, but to hold on tight unto Him.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28: 19-20).
Holy Bible, New Kings James Version (1982). HaperCollins.
https://biblia.com/bible/esv/ (sourced 09 September 2017)