Let Down Your Nets - God's Outrageous Abundance
I used to think I could never be a successful person. I just had a hard time wrapping my mind around it. I figured I wasn’t smart enough, I wasn’t good enough, I didn’t have the right look. I had a million different reasons why I would never achieve what I considered success. Basically we’re taught that having a successful life is up to us. I have to have some amazing business savvy, or have these superstar looks, or possess some crazy skill that no one else has.
Even our churches try to teach us that God’s blessing and his provision are totally up to our performance. Did you read your Bible enough this week? Did you pray enough this week? Did you give enough? Did you serve enough? Did you have a good attitude this week? If so, God will bless you. But if not, well, better luck next time. This is a religious attitude and it takes the focus off of Jesus and what He's done and puts it back on you and what you need to do to earn his blessing and his promises.
Jesus turns this idea upside down.
Let’s take a look at a story from Luke 5. Jesus has been teaching to a crowd of people by the lake of Gennesaret and he’s just about to shake things up.
Luke 5:1-7 So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, 2 and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. 3 Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon's, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. 4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”
5 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.” 6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 7 So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.
At this time, fisherman would fish only at night so the fish couldn't see the nets. They would use two boats; one to drop its nets into the water and the other one to scare the fish into those nets. In the morning, they would come to shore to clean up the nets and get some rest.
Then Jesus steps in and tells them to do it differently. He tells them to launch out in to the deep again and put down the nets in broad daylight; totally against the normal way of doing things! So Simon, possibly with a slight sarcastic tone, says, “We, the professional fisherman, have been fishing all night and didn’t catch anything, but let’s do what the carpenter says to do!” I doubt he was expecting a different result than the night before, but there was a lot of people watching so he just did what Jesus told him to do. But when he allowed Jesus to disrupt the natural way of doing things, he experienced God’s abundance in a way he never thought was possible!
Are you willing to stop looking at your own ability, your own righteousness, and the world’s way of achieving success and prosperity? Are you willing to allow Jesus to step in and disrupt the normal way of doing things in order for you to experience God’s abundance?
God has promised an abundant life for every single person. It doesn’t matter what you've been through or what you’re still going through. It’s as simple as this: God is good, His will for you is good, and He has equipped you to live a life of abundance. It has nothing to do with how good you are, but how good He is. That’s good news!