By Kim Eidel
Tired…disappointed…confused…and hurt…these are just a few of the emotions one can feel when they encounter “shipwrecked faith”. Many people find themselves at this crossroad in life at least once. You know you heard from the Lord…but the pieces of shattered faith lies encamped around you. You still serve the Lord and you still love Him; but there is this chasm of brokenness between you and your creator. Perhaps stepping out in faith again and trusting Him seems like a big “if” right now. If this is you, then I have great news for you! He IS faithful and He does have a great outcome for you; but you simply need to rest in Him, trust in Him AND His timing AND do it His way!
We have a perfect example of this found in Luke 5:1-7. Simon, later known as Peter, and his co-workers and companions were commercial fishermen by trade. That is how they made their living. These men had returned from an unsuccessful overnight fishing trip. They were in the process of cleaning up their tools, boats, and nets. More than likely they were disappointed, hungry, and tired from the long night of work. I can imagine them cleaning up and ready to go home and get some rest before it was time to go back to work later that evening.
Then in walks Jesus and after getting in one of the empty boats he asks Simon (Peter) to cast out a bit so he can speak to the people that had gathered around. I want to point out that Peter did not know who Jesus was, but none-the-less, he did what Jesus asked with a good attitude. Peter and his men paused from their busyness of cleaning their supplies and chose to be obedient right then and there…not when it was convenient for them. Peter went with the flow of the request made by a man he didn’t know. Then, the next point to notice is that Jesus spoke the Word…Peter, whose life was about to change first heard the Word of Jesus before any transformation took place.
After Jesus taught the people, he told Peter to take the boat and go out in the deep end and to let down their nets to catch some fish. Peter acknowledged and admitted they worked hard all night with absolutely no success, none…period. He could have operated in excuses, and if he had, to the normal way of thinking, it would have been justified. These men were tired, exhausted, and perhaps even hungry. They had worked all night with no results and they had cleaned everything up. They were done. Now here comes some preacher, not a fisherman mind you, and they were told to go out and fish. If they did what they were told it would prolong them going home; it would prolong them getting rest and sleep. On top of it all…they would have to clean up…again! Now unfortunately, a lot of people would have allowed this knowledge to sway them from being obedient. But if Peter had these thoughts he didn’t allow it to show. Instead, he responded in a way that impacted his outcome. Peter replied, “…we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again” (verse 5, NLT). He went again…he did it again because he was told to do so.
In verses 6-7 goes on to tells us that when Peter and his men acted on the word of Jesus they caught so many fish their nets began to break. They called out for their partners in the other boat to come and help with their catch. When both boats were filled with their bounty, their boats were on the verge of sinking! Talk about overflow! What was the difference? When they fished during the night they were on their own, they went in their own timing, they did it their way, and in their own effort. When they chose to be obedient to Jesus, they went out to fish with Jesus with them, they went when they were told…not on their own timetable, they did it the way Jesus told them to do it and they did it after being built up hearing the Word of Jesus.
These men caught more fish than they had ever caught in one fishing trip…ever! If they had decided to give in to the flesh, to their tiredness, and to their disappointment from the last unsuccessful adventure…if they had not been obedient…they would have missed out on an incredible blessing! Perhaps Simon (Peter) would have never became a disciple of Jesus or become known as “the rock” if they had not stepped out in this particular instance.
How many times do we become so involved in our “busyness” that we either don’t hear God, or if we do, we state we will do it later when we are finished with such-in-such or when it is more convenient for us. How many times do we try and adapt something the Lord is calling us to do on our own timetable? When we do this, we are not being obedient! We are not trusting Him and our focus is more on our responsibilities or our lives. Christian, we need to put Him first! We need to step out when he tells us to step out and do what he is leading us to do…the way he wants…not the way we think it should be done.
Peter had the right attitude; he didn’t operate in worry or fear of failing a second time when Jesus told him to “do it again”. Many times people tend to remind themselves of the failure they went through and even though they feel led to do it again…they choose to remain paralyzed in fear of a repeat of failure. If they are not careful they will be find themselves consumed with a host of excuses. But the truth is, excuses will hinder your growth and it will hinder your progress. Excuses will not allow you to succeed or obtain victory.
Peter decided to be obedient and he did what Jesus told him to do…he took Jesus at his word and he did it again. Because he operated in trust, Peter and his partners were blessed in a great way because of their obedience, their right attitudes, their trust in Jesus and because of their follow-through. They went when Jesus told them to go.
We must decide to have the right attitude; we must operate in obedience, we must trust in Him and we must follow through when we feel led to “do it again”. Pray and ask the Lord for confirmation if you are not 100 percent sure of the timing…but be ready to follow thorough when it is confirmed.
When we step out like this in faith, in his timing, and when we do it his way…we will have a blessed outcome, overflow, and increase in our walk and situation that will astound us…much like Peter was amazed. When our focus and trust is on our Creator; when we trust Him to make a way…we will receive a great blessing…and a wonderful testimony to share!
Kim Eidel is an Apostolic Minister and founder of Arise Ministries — a non-profit religious organization and its divisions — that teaches the “how-to’s” of faith and practice.
With a mandate to serve, encourage, empower, and disciple through speaking engagements, live events, writing, and broadcasting, Kim equips others to grow spiritually and to develop a closer and more personal relationship with the Lord.
Kim is an ordained minister through the Church of God (Cleveland, TN) and is the Executive Pastor at the Refuge Church of God in New Martinsville, WV and has a degree in education. She is also the author of several published articles and enjoys teaching the principles of God’s Kingdom.
Kim and her husband, George, live in West Virginia with their four children.