Brave Step in Obedience

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there. 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." “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking. When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.” For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him. His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed. Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.

—Luke 5:3-11

So the people left their camp to cross the Jordan, and the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant went ahead of them. It was the harvest season, and the Jordan was overflowing its banks. But as soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark touched the water at the river’s edge, the water above that point began backing up a great distance away at a town called Adam, which is near Zarethan. And the water below that point flowed on to the Dead Sea until the riverbed was dry. Then all the people crossed over near the town of Jericho. Meanwhile, the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant stood on dry ground in the middle of the riverbed as the people passed by.

—Joshua 3:14-17

The two sets of verse above keep coming to mind so I feel like I’m meant to share them.  They are reminders to me to step forward in faith and obedience even when I’m fearful or confused.

There have been many things God has called our family to that didn’t make sense.  Not to us, or our friends and family around us.  God made clear His direction time and again and we obeyed.  In moving, in growing our family, in life and in death.

When I read the above story out of Luke a few weeks ago I realized I had written in the margin the year that Laila died.  I had written that what I got out of that story was that sometimes when we think we’ve done everything we can, God will ask you to try again.  His way.  Peter even says to Jesus “we already tried and it didn’t work” (paraphrase).  They had already cleaned their nets and packed up for the day.  But Jesus called them into deeper waters and, with His help, success came from obedience.  It didn’t make sense to them ahead of time but they just obeyed and were blessed.

This has been the same for us.  Things have not been easy, but every time God has called us in “deeper waters” He has blessed and revealed His plan in ways we would’ve never understood before.

But that’s not the end of the story.  The fishermen still needed Jesus’ help.  They had this over abundance of fish and they still had to call out to Him to help them handle it.  We will never be at a place where we don’t need Jesus.  In the abundance of blessings and the deepest of sorrows and fear, He is there.

On more example before I let you go today……

The story from Joshua above also reminds me to step out in faith.  Notice that the scripture states very clearly that the men had to actually pick up their foot and step into those rushing waters BEFORE it would stop flowing.  Imagine how terrifying that must have been.  You’re carrying something so precious and your stepping into what looks like disaster, but you obey.  And you are blessed beyond measure to see the power of God hold back the water.

What rushing water do you need to step into but you’re afraid?  The Bible is filled with stories like these where God asks for obedience and trust and then blesses their socks off when they actually do it.  He will do that for you too.  Don’t let fear of the unknown keep you from what God may be calling you to do.  Stand on these examples as a foundation that God’s got this.  It may not make sense today but if you know He is clearly calling you into deeper waters for a deeper relationship with Him, trust and obey.

If we had all the details, there would be no need for faith.

I’ll be praying for you :)