Because You Say So

5Simon answered him, “Master, we worked hard all night and didn’t catch anything. But at your word I will lower the nets.” 6When they had done this they caught a whole bunch of fish, so many that the nets started to tear. 7So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come help them, and they came and they filled both boats till they almost sank. — Luke 5:5-7

(I’m still filling in for Jody who has had to work some serious overtime this week.)

What does it take to get you to do what God has told you to do? I know that for me, it is often not all that easy!

Please lay aside all those questions about knowing what God has told you. They are very good questions, but I’m not talking about those. I’m talking about the moments went you know what God wants you to do, but find it hard to actually go and do it. I’ve actually found that I’m not in doubt as much as I’d like to pretend I am. I know, but the doing is hard.

We like to beat up on Peter. He’s impetuous. He opens his mouth only to exchange feet, or so it seems to us. We remember the denials, coming right after his claim that he would never deny Jesus. But there is also his confession (Matthew 16:13-20), and then there is this little story.

He’s been fishing all night. He’s tired. To be quite honest, he doesn’t believe that they are going to catch anything. He’s thinking how Jesus is a carpenter, a preacher, and he he hopes he’ll become a king, but he’s not a fisherman. How can he know where to fish? Besides, we have the evidence right there. He’s calling for fish right here at the shore when there’s all this noise and disturbance. If we didn’t catch them at night, out on the lake, when we were supposed to catch them, how can we expect them now?

Then Peter does something I can relate to. He decides this is something he has to do whether he likes it or not. He doesn’t pretend that it’s a good idea. He doesn’t pretend that he’s suddenly found a load of rational reasons why this is a good course of action. He simply says, “At your word I will lower the nets.”

“Because you say so.”

I’m guessing all of us remember being annoyed when our parents would say, “Because I say so,” as the reason we were to do something. It gets us right in the middle of the independent streak. We don’t understand but we have to do it anyhow.

Peter doesn’t understand, but because Jesus tells him to, he’s going to do it. “It’s a waste of time Jesus, but at your word, I’ll do it.”

There’s a question for all of us right there. Are you willing to act at his word? Are you willing to do something just because he says so, even if you don’t like it or it doesn’t make sense to you?

On this occasion, that resulted in a couple of boatloads of fish. On Pentecost, it resulted in 3,000 souls—the other kind of fish!

What might the result be in your life?

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