Bound by Obedience

“Jesus told Simon, ‘Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.’ Simon answered, ‘Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if You say so, I will let down the nets.’ When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break” (Luke 5:4-6)

Time and again, God gives His faithful followers peculiar and odd, incredibly unconventional, instructions.

God commanded Gideon to whittle down his army of thousands to only 300 fighters. (Jdg. 7:1-8)

God ordered Joshua and his army to defeat Jericho by marching around the city seven times. (Josh. 6:4)

And Jesus told Peter to set out and cast his nets, even though they’d caught nothing all day.

Peter provides a perfect example of the attitude we should emulate – the attitude required for God to work miracles: Trust and obey.

Peter says, “This doesn’t make any sense, but Jesus, if You say so, okay, let’s do it!

When it comes to God, it doesn’t need to make sense.

He is the Creator and Master of the universe! There is literally nothing He cannot do.

Jesus said, “Have faith in God . . . whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mk 11:22, 24)

But you must act on your faith.

Faith is belief with legs on it.

As Jesus says, “Consider it done.”

God makes the unconventional conventional, but so many people are limited in their faith and their reasoning because they rely solely upon human understanding.

Do not give into fear; God is near.

Refuse to doubt Him, and determine, above all else, to trust and obey.

You will have the biggest catch of your life.

Amen!

Spring Free

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed” (Isa. 61:1)

The prophet Isaiah delivers a lovely message of liberation and comfort.

The original recipients of this message were Jews who were in Babylonian captivity in 586 B.C. But the beauty of the Bible is its universal application. This message pertained to them back then as well as it does to us right now.

Only God knows what future holds, and the stages of our life will pass purely on His command.

No sooner. No later.

We exist on His timetable – not the other way around.

Your big break will occur when God is ready. You will find that special someone when God is ready. It is simply a matter of waiting on the Lord.

Sounds like a lot of waiting.

It is.

The Jews wandered in the wilderness for 40 years before entering the Promised Land (Ex. 16:35)!

You can, however, speed up the process by submitting to God’s will. He has a purpose and a specific set of plans for you (Jer. 29:11).

And they are far superior to whatever you could imagine.

True liberation comes when we surrender to the will of God.

We don’t know everything – we hardly even know anything, except that we don’t know what we don’t know. There are an infinite number of actions and reactions, causes and effects, occurring simultaneously throughout the world, each of which could affect your life greatly.

And for the most part we are completely unaware of their existence.

For instance: You didn’t know that a CEO got the call to let someone go; that the CEO then fired an employee; that said employee took it really hard and had too much to drink, but chose to drive anyway; and that his path and yours would cross that night when he slams his car into your.

You didn’t know that.

You couldn’t have.

But God did.

God knows everythingabout everything – and His plans are already in place!

Ask God to reveal His plan to you in prayer as you study the Word – God’s game plan.

“Above all else seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all things will be given to you.” (Matt 6:33)

Amen!

Sinfully Awkward

“If anyone has caused someone pain, he has caused it to all of you” (2 Cor. 2:5)

Pain and suffering are often debilitating due to the pure distraction they cause.

In any group, in general, when one member suffers, the entire group suffers. This is because we are emotional beings, keenly attuned to the moods and feelings flowing around us. And we easily empathize with others who are experiencing loss, pain, or sadness of any sort.

This skill is called “social intelligence.”

Experts are adaptable and can quickly adopt whatever mood or feeling the situation demands. They are often the tone-setters of conversations and situations.

Those who are less capable in this area are usually referred to as “socially awkward.” There’s nothing at all wrong with people like this. They just don’t “fit in” and can be made to feel as if they “don’t belong.”

It is the same with sin.

It just doesn’t fit in with the life of a believer. Every time a believer sins, the whole body of believers receives a jolt of pain.

That’s what makes it awkward, because it’s not just one person who suffers – everyone suffers.

To be sure, sin plagues us all.

If we’re in the world – we’re susceptible to sin. But that doesn’t diminish its far-reaching consequences.

When you smash your thumb with a hammer, the whole body is affected. The eyes widen, the heart races, the neck and shoulders tense, the legs may even dance a little jig.

And then the thumb must apologize for the chaos it created.

But it wasn’t the thumbs fault! It was the hand that held the hammer which smashed into it, or maybe the wandering eye that was too distracted to focus.

Whichever member is to be blamed – they have all been made to suffer.

It is the same with any group – be it a family, sports team, business, or the body of Christ.

As an extension of whatever group you belong to, your actions and words reflect back on that group.

Their reflection can be positive or negative; the choice is yours.

As simply as one bad choice may cause countless others to suffer, one good choice can be the cause to rejoice.

Amen!