When You're Launched Into The Deep.

"Launch out into the deep..."

It's written in red in my Bible, indicating that these words left the mouth of Jesus Himself.  And I find it in Luke 5, in the middle of my time with God in the morning, in the middle of the craziness that is 31 Days, and my eyes stumble over these words.  I go back and read them, and reread them, and reread them.  My heart catches a little every single time.

Jesus is talking to Simon Peter in Luke 5 when He utters these words, but I didn't even know they were in the Bible at the beginning of this year when I decided that I was done existing in shallow waters.  I didn't even know.  

So imagine the funny things happening in my chest when the same goal I've had, the same goal that I've felt pressed in my spirit to aim towards, is written in red right in front of me. 

I read the beginning of the chapter, about how Jesus teaches from Simon Peter's fishing boat and then tells him to launch out into the deep and drop his nets so he can catch some fish.  I laugh when I read Simon Peter's response: Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing (Luke 5:5).  He sounds so much like me, or I sound so much like him, and I nod like crazy because yes, I get it.  

I know what it's like to feel like you've been working your tail off, toiling and ministering and living.  I know what it's like to look in your nets and find them empty.  I know what it's like to feel like you're spinning your wheels, like you're working for no purpose, like you just keep dropping your nets and catching absolutely nothing for all of your trouble.

I know that discouragement, that disappointment.  And I know the look you give Him when Jesus looks at you in that situation and says, "You know what?  Launch out into the deep and cast your nets."  You look at Him like He's crazy, because He sounds crazy.  You're not getting anything at all where you are and He's asking you to go even deeper?

But I love that Simon Peter doesn't stop there.  He goes on to say, "Nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net" (Luke 5:5).  Translation: Jesus, You're crazy, but I'm going to do it because You told me to do it.  Regardless of what I see, regardless of what I don't see, I will obey You.

When Simon Peter chose obedience, when he launched into the deep, he was greatly rewarded.  He caught an abundance of fish that filled two ships to the point of nearly sinking (Luke 5:7).  Not only did his obedience lead to a reward in his net, but his obedience blessed others.   

Jesus told Simon to launch into the deep, just like He encouraged me to launch out into the deep, just like He may be asking some of you to launch into deeper waters.  Maybe some of you have been treading in shallow waters long enough, toiling and working all night with no reward in your net.  If Simon hadn't moved like Jesus requested, he would have continued receiving nothing for his efforts.  

Your obedience can activate your blessings.  So if you're reading this today, knowing that you're being called to deeper waters but fearful that your net will be empty even there, please take heart.  God won't call you to a place where He won't provide for you.  God will not lead you to deeper waters only to let you drown. 

Launch out into the deep, friends.  He is there.

Day Twenty Two.
You can find the rest of the series here.

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