In yesterday’s article we began to discuss a very personal subject to many believers: how God wants to encounter you in your time of crisis to restore you to your divine purpose. We began to unwrap the beautiful story of Peter’s supernatural restoration by the Lord himself down by the Sea of Galilee just prior to the Lord’s ascension. In today’s article we will continue going line by line through this beautiful story and seeing what fresh revelation the Lord has for us through it!
HAVING FOLLOWERS DOES NOT VALIDATE YOUR DIRECTION
2 “Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together.
3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We are going with you also.” They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.”
Notice how even though Peter found himself in disobedience, found himself going back to what was familiar to him (this taking him out of the perfect will of God for his life), people were willing to follow him in this endeavor. Peter said, “I’m going fishing”, and the others said, “I’m going with you”. The message here is that just because people follow you in your disobedience is not a sign that you're doing the right thing.
If a person is a natural leader (which Peter was) they can lead people into disobedience with them just as easily as they lead people into obedience to the Lord. Which is why natural leaders must always remind themselves that their god-given influence which continues in obedience or out of obedience to God is not a sure indication of being on the right path. You must always ask yourself “What has God spoken? What has God said?”.
I find it interesting that Peter had help here from other disciples that Jesus had told to go into all the world and preach the gospel, just like He told Peter, and they too were in their own version of disobedience, which I believe aided in Peter’s disobedience. It took persecution coming to Israel in Acts chapter eight to really disperse the disciples and get them to take the gospel to the Gentiles, because still, even then, they were not fully engaging the call of God. Whether it be the crisis of calling which Peter faced when He betrayed the Lord, fear of doing what God said, or just a lack of revelation concerning what Jesus really meant when He spoke of the gospel going to the nations, it doesn’t really matter. They were in delayed obedience, which is another form of disobedience. So here’s the lesson: find others who are saying yes to God and run with them. Birds of the same feather flock together. If you find yourself following a leader who is in disobedience to God, it will only incite more of your own disobedience.
FRUITFULNESS OR LACK THEREFORE CAN BE A SIGN TO YOU
4 “But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.
5 Then Jesus said to them, “Children, have you any food?” They answered Him, â€œNo.”
6 And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish.”
The lesson here is this: When you’re experiencing a crisis in your life which has gotten you distracted from your calling, look for the voice of the Lord giving you direction in the midst of that crisis. Usually a breakthrough of fruitfulness will come when you respond in obedience to the Lord’s voice, and this breakthrough of fruitfulness will serve to awaken you to the right path.
Peter and the disciples, in their disobedience, went immediately back to what was comfortable and familiar to them: fishing. But it wasn’t so comfortable anymore because it was not bearing fruit for them like it once did. Why? Because they were no longer fishermen in that capacity according to the Lord’s call. That season, prior to Jesus calling them into the ministry, was over with, therefore it was no longer going to feed them like it once did.
Sometimes when a season of leanness comes it’s just that, a season of leanness, a momentary trial or tribulation, a test to overcome while you keep going. But other times a spell of leanness is a sign to you that you are not doing what God has called you to do. Learn to discern the difference between the two and act accordingly.
In this case I believe it was a sign to Peter that He was not doing what God called him to do. His key to fruitfulness and getting back on track was beginning to obey the Lord again and do what He was called to do. That started again for him that morning when He heeded the voice of the Lord and threw the nets where the Lord told him to.
Different sides of the boats represent different mountains of influence, different jobs and vocations, even different geographical locations which are in accordance with the call of God on your life. Maybe you're a pastor whom God specifically called to be a missionary overseas, but you chose to stay in a more affluent first world nation out of comfort, or maybe because you just want to live near your grandkids. But for some reason every time you raise funds to go on a mission trip you always have more than enough that comes in, even extra, but when you’re just preaching weekly trying to do the work of the ministry at the local level in your city you can’t seem to keep the books in the black. The fruitfulness in missions is the Lord telling you where to cast your nets in this case, but if you persist in casting your nets on the side of the boat you desire in your flesh, that you desire for the sake of convenience, then you can expect more toilsome nights with no fruit.
Maybe you’re in ministry and God’s called you to go into business, and every time you dabble in that vocation it yields fruit, but every time you sow time and energy into the other there’s no fruit. This could be a sign to you, just like it was a sign to Peter, for you to get moving with what God has ultimately called you to do. I believe that choosing obedience and doing what God has truly called you to do will always yield the greatest fruit in your life spiritually, in your joy, your happiness, and in the natural as well with things like sustenance, provision, & earning power. Learn to recognize the sign of fruitfulness when it comes from the Lord and learn to interpret what it means in your life.
We will continue this discussion in tomorrow’s article!
In His Service,
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