Taking Risks and Learning Faith
I was sitting in prayer meeting a couple weeks ago and we were studying the call of the first disciples in Luke 5. I felt like I knew all about this story and so I asked the Lord to show me something I’d never seen before…
Jesus was thronged by so many people on the shore that he stepped into Peter’s boat and asked him to cast out from the shore so he could teach the people from the boat. So Peter obliges, Jesus sits down as was customary for teachers of that time, and teaches the people. When He was finished, He told Peter to launch out into the deep and cast their nets into the water. Peter explains to Jesus that they had fished all night and caught nothing. What Peter knows is that the best time to fish is at night because the fish can’t see the nets being cast into the water as they could during the day. Fishing during the day was a waste of time and a hopeless endeavor. But Peter reluctantly agrees to do what Jesus says. And his faith was rewarded with a net so full of fish that it began to break. So they called over another ship with James and John and filled the boats so full of fish that they began to sink!
I believe there is a business lesson for us in this story. Jesus told Peter to do something that made absolutely no sense. It appeared to be a guaranteed recipe for failure and a waste of time. That’s why Peter and his companions were on the shore. They had given up knowing that you can’t catch fish during the day. But by following Jesus’ instructions, they reaped a great reward. Sometimes we can reason that the message we’ve been called to bear or the methods we’ve been called to use just don’t make sense. It seems like they are a guaranteed failure and they’re going to make us look silly if we follow them. But He who controls the fish of the sea tells us to follow Him, and He will make us fishers of men. I wonder what Peter thought looking at his nets bursting with fish, and trying to compare this catch with winning souls. And then, at the peak of their financial prosperity, Jesus asks Peter and the other three disciples to walk away from it, and follow Him. Peter had a wife, other disciples had people dependent on them for financial support, and again it didn’t make sense to leave everything and follow Jesus.
We need more faith to just do what we’ve been told. God will make Himself responsible for the success of our work if we are obedient to His commands. This is called righteousness by faith.