Thursday, April 16, 2009

Gone Fishing

Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We are going with you also.” — John 21:3

A pastor who spent a fruitless day fishing picked out three fat fish at the supermarket. “Before you wrap them,” he said to the store manager,” toss them to me, one by one. That way I’ll be able to tell my people I caught them and I’ll be speaking the truth.”

Have you ever been stressed out to the point of giving up? One of the best places to get away from the daily grind is going fishing. You may have your own place to unwind but how many times have you wanted to leave your problems behind, get away from it all, and hang a “gone fishing” sign on your door?

Well, that exactly what one of the disciples did. Don’t believe me? After Jesus resurrected, His disciples waited in Galilee for further instructions. Peter must have been anxious and decided to return to his former profession: fishing. He actually convinced the other disciples to go with him. Maybe they were worried. Maybe they were wondering. Whatever the case, Peter was ready to hang up his prayer shawl and pick up his fishing nets.
We find this story in John 21. 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. (John 21:3–4)

There is nothing worse than going fishing all day and catching nothing. Maybe this was not a bad thing though. At the end of the fishing day, Peter realized what a waste his life was without Jesus. He probably remembered how empty his life was before he met the Man who changed his life forever. Life without Jesus was futile. There was no direction or blessing.

You can aim at your goals. You can work hard in business, work hard at everything you hold dear, and still your dreams may not be fulfilled because you did not have the Lord direct your life. You did not invite Him to bless your plan or, more importantly, direct you in your plans.

So often we will think, “It’s my life and my future and my career and my family and my money.” We forget that we belong to God. We need to remember—it’s God’s life.

While they were out fishing, Jesus appeared to them, but did not reveal His identity. He called to them from the shore and asked if they had caught anything. After answering no, the disciples were told by Jesus to cast their nets to the other side and when they did, they could not lift all the fish. Amazing! Jesus directed the fish into their nets.
Peter instantly recognized His master and jumped out of the boat (sound familiar) and beat all the other disciples to shore. Peter realized how foolish he was by waiting on fish instead of waiting on His Master. He leaped into action to be with His Lord. Peter was so excited that when the other disciples came ashore, he leaped aboard and dragged all 153 fish to shore by himself!

Jesus then reinstated Peter to the ministry. He told Peter to shepherd and feed his sheep - the church. Just a few days later, Peter preached and 3,000 souls were saved and baptized. Talk about fulfilling your calling!

Don’t give up on what God has called you to do. Jesus is so gracious and loving. He wants to guide and direct your steps. Did you know that? God has a custom-designed plan just for your life. He wants you to get out of the plans you think are best for your life and leap into His.

Keep that in mind as you think about your future. Say, “Lord, what do You want me to do? I don’t want to go fishing and pull up empty nets. I want You to direct me. I want You to guide me.”

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