Read: Luke 5
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.” Simon replied, “Master, we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” (Luke 5:4-5)
From the very moment Jesus first called him to follow, Peter demonstrated what it meant to be a true disciple. In so doing, the response of this very first disciple established the essential benchmarks for would-be disciples in every age.
To begin with, Peter exhibited a fair amount of holy discontent with his current experience. Peter could have rejected Jesus’ command to recast his nets, and we would have understood that response. He had worked hard the previous night. He had already tried what Jesus was suggesting, with no results. He had “been there, done that.”
Yet Peter was ripe for something new; he wasn’t satisfied with the way life had been working out for him. Despite his best efforts, past experience had left him empty; the old way hadn’t worked. So to keep doing the same thing yet expect different results would have been pure insanity. Peter wanted more, so he was willing to let go of the past and risk the adventure of something new in order to follow Jesus.
As Peter’s experience demonstrated, both literally and figuratively, you cannot set sail for new horizons of faith and stay tethered to the shore of what you know. Holy discontent calls you to let go, and set sail!
With holy discontent nudging his soul, Peter quickly subjugated his feelings to his faith. He was tired, his muscles ached from a night of tossing out and dragging in those heavy Galilean fishing nets. He had worked his fingers to the bone picking out the weeds, untangling the tangles and mending the rips that were caused by snagging rocks instead of fish. To make it even worse, there was nothing to show for all that effort. Peter just wanted to get to the local pub, unwind with his buddies before heading home to crash for the night, catch a few winks and then get up early the next morning to go through the same routine yet again.
Peter had neither the physical nor emotional strength for another fishing expedition. Yet there was just something about this amazing man named Jesus who had the audacity to ask Peter to do what he had already been doing that caused his faith to rise. In that moment, Peter made a life-altering decision to grab his “want-er by his will-er” and do what Jesus had commanded.
True discipleship demands that you give your faith the authority to rule your feelings.
That’s what Peter did. He simply obeyed. That’s the bottom line of authentic discipleship. Peter was willing to take Jesus at his word and just do it. Without argument or delay, he took action, and the result was a miraculous catch. Suddenly where there had been emptiness and barrenness, there was fullness and fruitfulness—the reward of obedience.
That is what Jesus is asking of us today. We must allow the Spirit of God to foment a holy discontent with the emptiness and barrenness of our lives. We must take our feelings and enslave them to whatever faith is requiring of us. And then we must simply, purely, quickly and completely obey. That is true discipleship.
If we will just do that, a miraculous provision of holy contentment will be ours!
“Beware of reasoning about God’s Word—obey it.” ~Oswald Chambers
What If God Took Over?
Pray this simple prayer of discipleship, if you dare: “Lord, whatever you ask me to do, I will do it!”