Sunday, August 4, 2013

Other Side

Other Side
August 5, 2013
John 21:6  "He said, 'Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.'  When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish."

How many times have you worked hard and diligently, yet to no avail?  You may have spent countless hours and pressed forward with all your might, but there are times when you have seen little or no fruit to your labor.  Your intentions might be well and good, from a heart of gold, but there are moments, even years, when it seems you have made little ground.  I've seen pastors start ministries, with the most valiant of hearts, fail at their efforts.  It makes me cry to see them have to close the doors on their efforts, their hearts' work.  It happens all the time in business, ministry, even school.  No matter how hard and diligent the effort, sometimes there is no success.

A few disciples of Jesus understood this.  They were out fishing all night, throwing their nets into the water, reeling it back in, only to see an empty net.  There was no fruit to their labor; their hard work had not paid off.  Countless hours were spent, their backs were aching, and their nets exempt of fish.  The sun began to rise after the all-nighter and they were about to throw in the towel.  A voice from the shore shouted out, "Friends."  Again, the voice shouted to the men in the boat, "Friends."  "Have any luck catching fish this past evening," the voice asked?  "Try throwing the net over the other side of the boat, just one more time!"  Reluctantly, the men obliged the friendly voice.  They cast the net on the other side, just one more time, and pulled in so many fish that their boat almost capsized.  The voice obvoiously came from Jesus, but the recommendation was not logical.  If the net came up empty the previous 100 times they cast it, whey would there be any fish this time?

And what was different about the other side of the boat?  Nothing.  The boat had not moved into different waters; it was in the same place.  One side of the boat or the other, if there is a school of fish near you, you are bound to pull something out of the water.  It wasn't about the net, or the boat, or the position, or the water, or the side the net was cast.  It was about trusting in the voice of the Lord and His provision for success, His timing for the blessing.  The moment the fishermen submitted to the full voice of the Lord, laying down their ideas of business acumen, and trusting beyond human wisdom or understanding, the Lord granted the blessing.  The Lord did not do this to frustrate them, but to teach them to listen to His voice and trust that all provisions for success are granted from Him alone, no matter how skilled they were at their craft.  It wasn't that He was stalling their success, but that He was teaching them to trust in Him before arrogance could settle in place, thinking they had done it on their own accord.  It wasn't about them, it was about the Lord.

You may have tried with all of your might at something you believed to be a good work, but have had little success.  You might have tried to go back to school but it didn't work out.  You might be a small business owner, struggling to survive.  You might have started a ministry but it doesn't seem to ever get off the ground.  If you firmly believe you are working with a heart for the Lord, then try it again, against human wisdom, trusting in the voice of the Lord, leaning upon Him for the success.  If you quit, you are only solidifying your failure.  If you try again because you believe it is what you are supposed to be doing, then trust in the Lord for His timing for the fruit to your labor.  Go beyond conventional business acumen and submit to the Lord, waiting on His timing for the success.  I believe the Lord's voice is calling out to you, "Friend, try it again just one more time; try it my way!"  So go ahead and cast your net on the other side.  What have you got to lose?

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Pr 16:1&9, Pr 19:21, John 21:5-7, James 4:13-17

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