To me, one of the most interesting (and applicable) stories in the bible is found in Luke 5:4-5
“When [Jesus] had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.’ Simon answered, ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets’”. Luke 5:4-5
Can you imagine being Simon (Peter) that day? Just finished an all-nighter and had nothing to show for it! And this guy, Jesus, is going to tell me…a professional fisherman…how to fish! What would you have done…what would you have said? Would you have said something like…”We are tired and dirty, we will come back later”…or maybe “Let me think about it and get back to you tomorrow”…or maybe “That’s silly, it’s a waste of time.” But not Peter!
Notice Peter’s reaction. He didn’t argue with Jesus. What did Peter do? He must have thought it was a strange request, but we read that he said: But because you say so, I will let down the nets (Luke 5:5). And we see that God blessed his faithfulness. Isn’t that just like Jesus! Luke 5:6-7… When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
Have you ever been in a position like Peter? God whispered in your ear that He wants you to do something. Do you question Him? Do you ignore Him? Do you rationalize why you know better? Or do you say (like Peter)…because you say so, I will_____________ . And then do you keep your eyes open to see what God is up to?
Ephesians 3:20-21 (msg)…God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
Do you believe that? Or is your fallback response to say, “who me?” “Let someone else do it.” There was once a college student who was struggling in many areas of his life. He spent a great deal of time feeling angry and frustrated. When he could stand it no longer, he went to the dim and seldom-used chapel on campus. He paced up-and-down the aisles, slapping the back of the empty pews. He yelled, he cried, and he raged at God. “God you created the world…what could you possibly have been thinking? Look at the problems people face. Look at the pain, suffering, and hunger. Look at the neglect, the waste, and the abuse. Everywhere I look, I see messed up people, hurting people, lonely people.” The young man ranted and raved on and on. Finally, exhausted, he sat in the front pew and looked helplessly at the cross. Its tarnished surface reflected the dusty sunlight filtering in through the stained-glass windows. “It’s all such a mess! This world you created is nothing but a terrible mess! Why even I could make the world a better place than this!” And then the young man heard a voice in the silence of that dusty chapel that made his eyes open wide and his jaw drop…..
“And that’s exactly what I want you to do!”
It’s easy to identify problems…and to think “why doesn’t God do something” And yet, that’s why God put you here…at this exact time and exact place. He has gifted you to make a difference in the world…and to share the Gospel through words and actions. To be the answer to someone else’s prayers.
Galatians 6:2…Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
He has a plan custom made for you to accomplish His will…to be the answer to someone’s prayers. Jeremiah 29:11… For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
What is God wanting you to do to make this world a better place?…How and to who, is He calling you to share the Love of Jesus with? Will you respond…is your heart saying to the Lord “because you say so, I will.” The question is whether you are a thermometer or a thermostat?
A thermometer merely tells what the temperature is. The thermometer changes with its environment…and registers and tells others what is going on in that area. The young man in my story was a thermometer…He stated the conditions but did nothing to change them.
A thermostat on the other hand changes the temperature. It reads the current conditions and changes them to where they should be. That was God’s response to the young man…to make the world a better place…more Christ-like.
You will live your life as either a thermometer or a thermostat. You are either influencing others …or you are being influenced by them.
Jesus is calling you to be a thermostat. Well, I doubt that they had thermostats in Jesus’ time….but he did tell us to be agents of change. Matthew 5:13-16… “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Where and to who is God calling you to be an agent of change? What are you doing about it? It may be a phone call to someone isolated and alone. It may be to give an anonymous gift to someone you know is hurting financially. It may be a listening ear to someone making a life-changing decision. It may be sending a card to someone who is sick or facing surgery. It may be a kind word to a clerk or server. It may be an act of kindness to a neighbor who works on the front lines. What is God asking you to do? Is your response… because you say so, I will!
Humor for your day:
It’s like a man who had spent a fruitless day fishing. In desperation, he picked out three fat fish at the local market. “Before you wrap them,” he said to the clerk, “toss them to me, one by one. That way I’ll be able to tell my wife I caught them and I’ll be speaking the truth!”
Fishermen must be all alike. Someone has said that the only thing that casts doubt on the miracles of Jesus is that they were all witnessed by fishermen!