April 19, 2007
Into the Deep With God Kathleen Maples
Luk 5:1 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of
Luk 5:2 And saw two ships
standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.
Luk 5:3 And he entered
into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down,
and taught the people out of the ship.
Luk 5:4 Now when
he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep,
and let down your nets for a draught.
Luk 5:5 And Simon
answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let
down the net.
Luk 5:6 And when
they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net broke.
Luk 5:7 And they beckoned
unto their partners,
which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they
began to sink.
Luk 5:8 When Simon Peter
saw it, he fell down
at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
Luk 5:9 For he was
astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:
I don't think it's a coincidence that Gennesaret means 'a garden of riches. It was also
called the Sea of Galilee, which means turning, revolution. And everywhere Jesus went, didn't He turn things completely around?
I know He revolutionized my whole life. The Son of God is here speaking and teaching the Word of God in the power of the Spirit.
He had just endured the 40 day period in the wilderness, and being tempted by the devil. John the Baptist had just been thrown
in prison. As Jesus is speaking, the people are so interested and so hungry, they are pressing upon Him, and that word implies
an urgent pressure of the crowd for Him to continue speaking on these things. They wanted to know, they wanted to understand.
According to Mark 1:15 He is preaching about the time they are living in and how the kingdom of God is at hand. They need
to repent and believe the Gospel.
This was not Simon Peter's first encounter with the Lord. Just the day before, he had been introduced to
Jesus by his brother, Andrew.
One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.
Joh 1:41 He first
findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.
Joh 1:42 And he brought
him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of
Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.
Now, Andrew was convinced that Jesus was the Messiah. The next day, as Simon Peter and James and John are
fishing, here comes the Lord, again. He looks around and sees two empty ships nearby, and their fishermen were busy washing
their nets. They had been laboring all night and come up empty. They had caught nothing. They were probably tired, and cleaning
up their nets and equipment so they could escape the heat of the day and rest. Jesus went on board one of the ships, which
happened to be Simon Peter's. I wonder if the people were surprised, because a fishing boat is not a clean or sweet smelling
place. The Pharisees would not go out to minister to the people, they only did their religious duties in the Temple. They
wouldn't even get their hands dirty if they could help it, and here the Son of God goes out to a fishing boat, and sits down,
to continue teaching the people. The people had only seen one other man do this- John the Baptist. He had ministered to the
people in the wilderness, at the Jordan river. Now Jesus spoke to Peter, asking him to take the ship out into the water a
little way, so He could continue to teach the people. He knew it was Peter's ship. He knew Peter was one He would call to
be one of His disciples. Luke is the only one who gives this many details of how the Lord called Peter, and the effect it
had on him.
Peter is surely tired, and with his partners, James and John, are ready to go home after they finish cleaning
their nets, I would think. If you had been up all night, fishing, and this was your livelihood, and you had caught nothing,
you would probably be tired, frustrated, perhaps a little worried, and definitely ready for a shower and bed. But there was
something about Jesus that commanded their attention, and obedience. His presence was different than that of other men. They
heard what Jesus was saying, and it had affected them, for when Jesus finishes teaching, He turns to Peter and instructs him
to lower the nets into the water that they had just cleaned, for a haul. The Word he had heard Jesus teaching had convicted
Peter's heart. He automatically calls Him Master. He politely explains they have worked hard all night, and caught nothing,
but because He said to do so they would let down the net. When Peter obeyed, the net was quickly filled to bursting with fish.
Peter needed help from his partners to just get the net back up and it broke. They caught so many fish the weight of them
began to sink the ship Peter was on, and James and John's ship, too. This wasn't natural and Peter knew it. Conviction hit
his heart. He had been cleaning his equipment, tired, frustrated, having worked so hard and accomplished so little, and here
comes this Man, and Peter heard Him speak the Word of God. He spoke with authority, and compassion. He addressed the regular
people, the poor-whomever would come and listen, Jesus would talk to. How different from the Pharisees and the religious leaders
of the day. Jesus went where the people were. He came to them. He had come into Peter's life, when he was tired, frustrated,
and empty. Peter was awed. He fell down before the knees of Jesus, and he humbled himself, in spite of the fact that others
were around, and I don't think his voice was strong and boisterous as he said, Get away from me, for I am a sinful man, oh,
Lord. His words imply an honest, sincere, and very convicted heart. Remember, the Pharisees considered themselves unclean
if one of the common folk happened to brush up against them-especially if they were dirty or poor or sick. After a night of
fishing, I would say Peter didn't smell too good, and wasn't too clean. He was used to rigid Pharisees. But there was something
convicted in his heart by Jesus. Jesus had just shown and given him more provision than he could ever have gotten on his own,
with just a Word. He was so astonished at the great haul of fish they had caught; it was more than they could handle. They
knew it was not natural. They knew they had never caught that many on their own. Something had happened, and fear gripped
Peter's heart. He knew he was in the presence of the Lord. He recognized true authority. But Jesus tells them not to be afraid,
that they would be catchers of men. They immediately forsook their boats and nets and followed Jesus. They left all. They
did not stay and get sidetracked by the great amount of fish, they left it to Zebedee and his other helpers. They walked away.
I have been thinking about these Scriptures, and have felt drawn to them for several days now. Sometimes,
we get so caught up in our lives, with our jobs, trying to make a living, and yet, we can get caught up in our religion, too,
trying to be a witness for Jesus, sharing the Gospel with those who will allow us to do so, and inside, feel tired, frustrated
at the lack of results, the lack of accomplishment. We can look around and wonder what are we doing, and why things are not
more fruitful? Jesus said "launch out into the deep, and let down your nets."
That word "deep" in the Greek is 'bathos' and it means
mystery, profound truth, the deep things of God. Perhaps we need to do more than get our feet wet. We need to dive into the
depths of the Word, invite the Holy Spirit to transform us, and make ourselves regularly and readily available to Him. We
need to deny our flesh its pleasure of sleeping in, and resting, and get up early and seek the truth and fellowship of God
while things around us are still quiet and calm. We must realize if we cater to the demand of our flesh for comfort and ease,
the spiritual life we have will die. If we do not feed it with the Word, and water it with prayer and communication with the
Father, and invite the Holy Spirit to do in our lives what the Lord sent Him to do, we will die. The oil will leak out and
we will be as foolish virgins, with the appearance of religion, but no power. No life of Christ transforming us into His image,
and glory. No faith. If we are found in that position when the Lord comes to collect His Bride, we will be left. If we will
come to Jesus, and hear Him, with hearts that are determined to trust Him for the power to obey Him, He will fill us with
His life, the Holy Spirit will reveal Him to our hearts, and make us what we were meant to be. He will fill our vessels with
holy provision just as He filled the nets with fish. And that is another thing that caught my attention. When Jesus said launch
out into the deep, and drop your net, the provision was already there. He caused the fish to fill the net to bursting. If
we will seek Him, and His life, His kingdom, and let our own wills and wants die, we will not lack for provision-spiritual,
physical, or financial. But we must be found faithful stewards of what He gives us. He will not trust spiritual riches to
someone who is slack or unfaithful. Oh, Word of God, wash us clean, oh precious Comforter, deal with us in mercy and do not
depart from us, guide us into all truth, and grant us Your strength to live it and walk it so that this desperate and dying
world can see the Way, the Truth and the Life once more. Help us be a people of prayer, confident of being accepted by the
Lord, because the Word says He has made us accepted in the Beloved. If we are accepted, let us not wait any longer. Let us
cast off the weights that hinder and beset us so easily and cut off the distractions and set our face to seek God, and be
determined to run right over that devil to get to the Lord. When our flesh mumbles it's too sleepy to pray, I wonder what
would happen if we sharply and viciously rebuked that sleepiness, in the name of Jesus, and knelt down, and prayed anyway?
When carnal thoughts try to invade our minds, to distract us from our purpose of communing with and hearing from God, what
would happen if we remembered the Scripture says we have the authority to bind every vain imagination with the Word of God
and cast it down as garbage, and tear down every stronghold, every fear, every doubt, because the weapons of our warfare are
not physical weapons, they are spiritual. (2Co_10:3-5) They are faith in the Promises of God, the Truth of God, and the effectiveness
of His Word and prayer. What would happen if we were stressed and angry at someone who had hurt us and remembered the Word
says love them that despitefully use you and pray for your enemies, and rebuked that anger in the name of Jesus, and began
to ask God for HIS love and compassion to fill our vessel so we could we could pray through the power of His Spirit with HIS
love and concern for those around us? Then it would truly be a work of the Holy Spirit and nothing of flesh. We can lecture
ourselves in our minds, remind ourselves of the Scriptures and commandments, but when we try to keep them in our own strength,
we will not be able. If we do it in our own strength, and try to present it to God as obedience, and we have not sought His
strength, we have not looked to HIM as the Scripture tells us to, for our provision, our help, our strength, our direction,
then it will be as offering Him something lame, and tainted by flesh and it won't smell very appealing to Him. It won't be
the sweet savor of His Son's life manifested in us, but that old man, still trying to do and handle things himself. This might
sound funny, but it's not meant to be. Have you wondered why God fixed it so when people who are working physically hard,
or playing hard, sweat that it causes body odor? Could it be He is trying to tell us something? And could it also be the reason
why there is a foul odor to body waste? Could it be that when we waste time and resources He has graced us with it is a foul
smell to Him?
I believe it takes courage to get out of our comfort zone and dive in with everything we have for the Lord.
We have to trust Him not to let us drown, or come up empty. If we do it His way, we won't.
And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent
the multitudes away.
Mat 14:23 And when
he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.
Mat 14:24 But the
ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
Mat 14:25 And in
the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
Mat 14:26 And when
the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
Mat 14:27 But straightway
Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it
is I; be not afraid.
And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
Mat 14:29 And he
said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked
on the water, to go to Jesus.
Mat 14:30 But when
he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
Mat 14:31 And immediately
Jesus stretched forth his
hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou
of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
Mat 14:32 And when
they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.
Jesus had just fed five thousand men, besides the women and children. He perceived they would take Him
by force and make Him King. He compelled His disciples to get in the boat and go to the other side. He did not want them stirred
up in their flesh by the sudden popularity and acceptance of the people, because Jesus knew this was not the plan. Flesh can't
get stirred up and crown the Lord King. It won't work. Flesh is fickle, changeable. It's also something that will never please
God, nor glory in His presence. Jesus sends His own out of a place where the people will be fawning over Him, which could
carnally be considered a place of success, and sends them into the ship, to go the other side. When they begin the journey,
it's not long, the sea begins to toss them around. The waves rolled, slowing their progress, making their journey difficult.
Isn't that what happens when we step out in faith to try to obey the Lord? Isn't that what we face sometimes when we try to
seek God, and the devil sends a flood of evil thoughts into our minds, to try to condemn us and make us feel too unworthy
to enter the presence of God? It can be such a heavy weight, all those vicious accusations, that it can blind us to the true
grace of God, and His love for us, that we forget in our misery He already proved His love for us before we ever were. He
already made provision for our sin before we sinned. How many times in His Word does He tell us He's gracious, ever willing
to abundantly pardon and forgive? How many times does He tell us He's long suffering, not willing that any should perish?
How many times does He tell us to look to Him for our help, to call out to Him and He will answer, and help us? Oh, church,
we have no excuse to stand on if we are living beneath our privilege. He didn't leave the three Hebrew children alone in the
fire, He didn't leave Daniel alone in the lion's den, and He didn't leave His disciples alone to struggle through this storm
however they could. HE WENT TO THEM. He went walking on top of the very thing that was trying to stop their progress. It frightened
them when He came. They cried out in fear to see the Lord walking on the waves that were battering their boat. Mark 6:48 tells
us Jesus would have passed by them and let them try to deal with the storm themselves had they not called on Him for help.
When they cry out, He calls out saying don't be afraid, Have courage, I'm here!
And here is Peter, again. He says, Lord, if it's really you, bid me come. Command me to come to you, walking
on that which is trying to stop me from getting where you told me to go. And Jesus says "Come." In that word was the authority
and the promise that Peter, too, could step out and walk on top of the waves that were trying to stop him from getting to
the other side. And he did. But rest assured, when he stepped out of the relative safety of the boat, the waves got bigger,
and the wind roared harder, because that devil wanted him to fail. That devil wanted him to fear and doubt. He took his eyes
off Jesus and looked around and got scared and he began to sink. Jesus did not let him drown in his failure. In my heart I
believe if Peter had looked around and started praising the Lord for victory over the storm, victory over the opposition that
come against them, he would not have sank. We are so prone to fear and doubt. It's no wonder the Lord had Paul to write for
us to put on the helmet of salvation and hold up that shield of faith.
When Jesus stepped into the boat, the wind stopped immediately. When they received HIM into the ship, the
storm died and according to John 6:21, they were immediately where they needed to be, on the other side. They were awed. They
bowed and worshiped Him. They were absolutely astounded. They knew He was the Son of God. This did not mean they did not mess
up and give in to fear and unbelief again. Flesh is like the ocean, it can be tossed to and fro by the lies of the devil,
and flood of evil he sends in against our minds. It can come in through our minds, through the mouths of those nearest to
us, in our lives or homes. We can continue to try to struggle through this life and try to live the Christian life ourselves,
or we can just stop everything and cry out to Jesus. Then RECEIVE in faith HIS strength, HIS ability, HIS wisdom, HIS power,
to do what He said we are to do. We can let the devil's lies bring us to despair or we can look him in the eye, by faith,
and hold our head UP not down, and say I might be unable, but my Master lives in me, and HE promised He would make what I
can't be, and HE can take me where even YOU can't go! Hallelujah! We can tell him to shut up and get behind us, just like
Jesus did, because he does not love or care for the things of God, he wants to cater to men's flesh and deceive them and cause
them to lose out with God so they will perish! We have to be aware, and understand his motives. Then we won't want to give
in to our flesh when it complains and demands its way. When we can see how this will play right into the hands of the devil
who hates us and wants to destroy the life of Christ and the testimony of His truth, so he can hold up the Gospel for ridicule
in the eyes of the lost, we won't easily give in. We must rise up and fight against the demands of the flesh and carnal that
would war against the life and Spirit of Christ in us. And remember, the Lord said He is our defense. He is our Defender.
He will fight for His people. His eyes run to and fro in the earth seeking those whose hearts are upright toward Him, who
look to Him for help in a battle they know they can't win alone. He will fight for us when we look to Him and trust Him for
the victory. We are already more than conquerors, we just need His help to see it! If God be for us, who can be against us?
If He is ever before our eyes, we, like the Psalmist said, will not be moved.
Psa 46:1 To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Psa 46:2 Therefore
will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Psa 46:3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
Psa 46:4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
Psa 46:5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved:
God shall help her, and
that right early.
Psa 46:6 The heathen
raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.
Psa 46:7 The LORD of
hosts is with us; the
God of Jacob is our refuge.
These were descendants of the man who rebelled against Moses in the wilderness, and rejected his authority
and leadership. They knew the history of their family. They knew the earth had moved and swallowed them up. Under David's
leadership in Israel, the sons of Korah, or descendants, had the chief place in keeping the tabernacle doors, and they also
wrote eleven Psalms. They are all cheerful, full of confidence in God, and praise for Him. And we can be too. We can know
He is our strength, our refuge, and help in trouble. And since He is, if problems mount up, and opposition is everywhere,
if the devil is taunting and trying to discourage us, we don't have to let it bow our heads. We don't have to bow to the image
of who we are that the devil tries to show us. We don't have to bow our heads to defeat and despair. Don't bow! Look UP!!!!!!
There is a river of living water in our midst, and it will refresh and strengthen and wash and cleanse us! It will renew us!
That mighty Holy Ghost came to find a Bride for Christ and He is all the Resources she needs to be ready to meet her Bridegroom!
God is in the midst of her and she won't be moved for God will help her! Let the heathen rage against God, and righteousness.
All God has to do is speak the Word and it's done. He's with us! HE can make this war cease. He can shut the mouth of the
devil, He is our strength to overcome our flesh and carnality, all we have to do is this:
Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth.
Psa 46:9 He maketh
wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the
Psa 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
Psa 46:11 The LORD of
hosts is with us; the
God of Jacob is our refuge.
We just have to get alone before Him, and wait on Him, praise Him and trust Him to put
in us that which is of and from HIM to sustain and keep us, and strengthen us. HE is our life. He is our everything. He will
not leave us or forsake us, and He will not fail us. He told Joshua to be strong, and stay mindful of the Word of the law,
to observe and do it, and not let the Word of God depart from his mouth, and that would prosper him and give him good success
when he went to battle and in the spiritual things of the Lord. And we can have this, too if we will be willing and obedient
and trust Him to do in us what He already knows we can't!
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God
is with thee whithersoever