Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. Luke 5:4
This verse seemed to jump right off the pages at me the other day. I sat and pondered that verse and here are a few thoughts I'd like to share.
"Launch out into the deep." Christ is challenging us, yea, even commanding us to launch out into the deep. There is no room for complacency. It is not a time be at ease, to sit back for the ride, and to take life easy. To launch out into the deep means a moving away from the shallow things of life - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. It requires sacrifice, wholeheartedness, and strenuous effort. It means a giving up of one's own ideas and opinions to do as the Lord asks.
I think of how the disciples must have felt after fishing all night long and caught nothing. They were more than tired and ready to throw in the towel. Then Christ comes and tells them to go out and try again. I imagine they were wondering if it were really worth all the effort. I can picture other fishermen nearby who had also been fishing all night with no success, mocking them for trying again. There was nothing to say that they would get anything. In all human reasoning, it probably seemed totally crazy, yet they still obeyed. Now to apply that to every day life. God puts His finger on a particular area of my life that needs changing or may call me away from the trivial things of life to commune with Him. He might put His finger on the clothes I wear, the books I read, the things I spend my money on, or what I do with my time. It may be an attitude of my heart that needs changing. Now how do I respond to His promptings? Do I hasten to obey or do I procrastinate? It is easy to make excuses or to be driven by peer pressure. We start reasoning within ourselves if it's really that big of an issue. We evaluate the movie or book that God is putting His finger on and determine it's not all that bad of a movie or it's not a sin to read that book. True, the book or movie may not be bad or sinful in and of themselves. But it does become sin when God is calling us to deeper things and we decide that that book or movie is just too good to give up. I imagine that sleep seemed really good to the disciples after fishing all night long, maybe almost too good to give up, but had they not, they never would have caught all those fish, neither would they have witnessed the miracle Christ did. We often reason within ourselves that all our friends listen to the same music or spend their money on the same things as we do ourselves; to step back would be extreme or radical. Maybe so, but God does call us to live radical lives and launching into the deep means a moving away from the shallow and trivial things of life. At this point, we might be tempted to compromise and only move a little in the direction that God is calling us in. Again, if the disciples compromised and didn't go all the way out to the deep, but stayed in the shallow water, I don't believe that God would have rewarded them for their half-hearted obedience. There are times when God asks of small things from us that may be just as hard to give up as the big things. It may be to stay back from a game of volleyball, setting aside that project you've been trying to finish, or sacrificing sleep to pray for a weary soul, to call a discouraged friend, or simply to spend time at the Master's feet. Launching into the deep is a challenge, it does call for sacrifice and it does entail pain, at least for a moment. But the rewards of simple obedience to the Master's call is that of a heart filled to overflowing with joy and a clear conscience before God, for Christ tells us "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love...these things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." May your nets become full as you launch into whatever "deep" God is calling you!