You know the story, right? Galilean men,who had been fishing all their lives, drag back to shore tired and discouraged. Their nets are empty. It happens. Some days their nets are full to the brim and the money is good. Other days, well, they get nothing but seaweed. All they can do is pray it evens out and they can eke out a living for their family.
Do you feel that way? You put so much effort into what you do, but there are days you see very little, if any results. Maybe it is your job. Perhaps it is raising your kids, or it is a ministry you thought was what God wanted you to do. At least, that’s what you assumed because you love doing it and you have the talent. And if that ministry happens to also be your income . . . well then, you really know how these fishermen felt.
But, what happens to these diligent, but weary fishermen who have been out all night with little to show for their efforts? Jesus tells them to back out and drag their nets in a specific place – in deep waters. Is he kidding? All they want to do is go home, have a hot meal, rub ligament oil on their aching shoulders and have a good nap. To drag in shallow waters would take every bit of strength they have left. And He wants them to drag deep?
Yet something in his voice tells them to turn around, head out once again.
I have a painting over my bed called The Draught of Fishes. It shows Jesus, hands lifted to heaven in praise, as the men drag the bulging nets filled with fish into the boat. I stared at that painting, thought of my writing ministry, and sighed. How do I get my nets to bulge with His blessings? Here are the answers God gave me.
The first is this. In Luke 5, Simon allowed Jesus into the boat to preach so the acoustics were better for the crowds. Simon listened to what Jesus taught and realized this man had unusual authority. Then, when Jesus told him to return to the sea and fish in the deep, Simon believed. I need to let Jesus into my boat, and listen to what He has to say. That means letting Him use my boat for His purposes, not mine. It also means absorbing His wisdom and once again realize who this is in my boat.
Second, when I have given my boat to Him, He will, in turn, provide for me in abundance – but only if I do what He says and not what I think would be best.
Third, I must go where He leads me and fish where He tells me, no matter how worn out I am, or discouraged, or doubtful of the results. But, I must keep Him in the boat while I do His work, not leave Him back on the shore watching from a distance.
Fourth, I can not do this on my own. Even if I think I am doing His will for my life, unless I follow where He leads, my nets will come up empty time and time again and my efforts will be in vain.
Read the first few verse of Luke 5 with your life in mind. Fish for the answers He wants you to glean in your net. Be willing to drag deep. You just may see your net worth in a new perspective.