Simple Obedience

Message:  No matter how trained or educated we are in a particular topic there is a blessing in the humility of laying all that we know aside in obedience so that God can move. Peter was a fisherman. He and his crew undoubtedly knew what they were doing but when Jesus told them to throw their nets out once again they humbled themselves and listened to him and the blessing was literally more than they could contain.

Command: Lay aside my expertise, education, and experience when I need God to intervene or when he speaks into a situation that he wants to move in.

Promise: God knows more about my area of expertise or experience than I will ever know, and he is interested in my humility and obedience to trust him.

Warning: My own knowledge and experience has the potential to block the voice of God.

Application: The story about Jesus telling Peter to cast his nets to the other side seems so insignificant to me because fishing is not my area of knowledge and expertise. It’s not the job I do every single day and it’s not how I make a living. If I think about the things that I do know a thing or two about, I wonder how often this blocks me from hearing God. If I’m in a position of asking for help I might expect to hear from God, but Peter wasn’t asking. He just had a rough night of fishing and as he was bringing in his boat with the stink of failure from the night when Jesus asked him to pull up his boat and allow him to stand on it to teach the crowds. He could have been in a bad mood because his work didn’t go as expected that day, but Peter honored him in this with no expectation of any kind of reward whatsoever.  After Jesus was done teaching, he instructed Peter to cast those nets to the other side. He could have said no. I’m sure it was a hassle to drag it all back out but he basically told Jesus- “we did this already but on account of your word I’ll do it again”. That decision was life changing. Not just because of the financial profit but because it revealed to Peter that Jesus was more than just a teacher and verse 11 tells us that he left it all behind and followed Jesus. When I read this I wonder what simple acts of obedience God is asking of me that I might be ignoring. What things have I “tried already” without success and Jesus is calling me back to it. I have a choice to honor him with my obedience or hang onto my pride and stay the same. For me personally, I believe God is calling me back to the basic obedience of working my job with joy and allowing nothing to distract me from being the best employee I can be. I have done this before in the past with no reward of promotion, but I feel God pulling me to do it again out of a heart of obedience and not for the desire of promotion. Obey because it’s right.

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