Welcome to WORD17!
It’s what they knew. Life on the sea became the norm. The boat, nets, ripples of water – they proved familiar. The slimy scales of fish did, too. How else would they have made their living as fishermen?
They were disciples: James, John, Simon Peter, and Andrew – men who gave up all in response to the call of Jesus.
These men – believers who left their past behind.
These men – believers who followed closely.
These men – empty net holders.
They sat or stood, solidly plunked in the boat amid the waters of the Sea of Galilee. Their nets cast – all through the darkness of night. Yet their nets remained empty.
But wasn’t it what they knew? Fishing was their livelihood. Years of experience – ability – sat in that boat with them. Familiarity waited alongside in anticipation, too.
Shouldn’t their nets be full?
Sometimes familiarity and ability leave us fishing all through the night. Our strengths and plans offer empty nets. They aren’t enough.
But morning comes. And so does Jesus.
With the Son of God, nets overflow.
He is the Way-maker, Net-filler, and Son of God. His voice, when heard, will lead us to recast our thoughts and actions. His discernment and direction will cause us to haul in the motherload of fishes when obeyed. With Jesus, the miraculous happens.
John 21:6 hit me hard recently. All I could think of was We know and try and try and try – but come up with nothing. We work hard, and we’re gifted, but “it” doesn’t seem to happen.
In ministry, for any of us, this can be true. And sometimes we’re plenty happy to keep our nets set just as they are. After all, it’s comfortable and familiar, right?
But what if, like the four fishermen disciples, we hear His voice? What if we tune into Jesus? What if we pull back the trust we’ve placed in our own ability, familiarity, and experiences? What if we throw them overboard in exchange for obedience to His guidance – even when it seems uncertain and hinting at uncomfortable?
As we head into this month, let’s wrangle with John 21:6. Let’s talk about casting nets, and goodness – let’s get real. Sometimes our “have it all together” produces zilch. I’m in a season of that right now. I hear the Lord saying it’s a heart issue – to trust and draw near. Yet, there’s comfort in familiarity. My head knows I should drop everything and follow. After all, it sounds easy in the Bible, doesn’t it? But something in me hesitates – and I question myself for hesitating. Sometimes even, his voice seems mute.
Are you similar to me? Do you want to hear Him clearly and cast that net with direction from His voice?
Today, our focus is on simply hearing Jesus. We’ll go further into this verse throughout May. For now, here’s a prayer to prepare us. Feel free to make it your own.
My work is nothing in comparison to Yours. Yours is good and plenty. You have knowledge beyond my ability. In You there is provision. Lord, give me ears to hear You. May I be similar to the four disciples who heard your voice and simply trusted. Help me identify and clean out the obstructions that cause me not to hear Your voice. Show me my heart. I offer it to You alone. May I hear You clearly and cast my net accordingly. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Here’s an article that may help you and your teen naviagate its choppy waters.