Just the other day I was looking for a zip lock bag containing gift cards Collins and Mike had received as wedding gifts. I had carried it around so that when I saw them next I could give it to them but somehow in my travels and changing purses, I could not find it. I was looking in every purse I had. I ran out to my car to look in the console. I texted my friend whom I had just traveled with to see if I had dropped it in her house. I looked in my bedside table.
Finally it occurred to me to pray. In fact, when I thought about it, I was disappointed in myself. I am usually characterized by praying when I can’t find something but for some reason…I was looking in my own strength that morning…FOOLISH.
When I realized what I needed, I stopped at my bedside and just bent a knee in prayer. I said, “God, you know where that bag is. It is not mine. I am responsible and forgive me for not coming and asking You. Please help me find it. YOU KNOW WHERE IT IS!”
With that I got up off my knees and decided to give my mind a break. I walked down the hall to the kitchen and fixed myself a cup of coffee. Odd because I am not a coffee drinker. I decided to go upstairs to my office to pay some bills. As I walked in my office something told me to move my large comfy footstool and when I did, the zip lock bag fell to the floor. It was lodged between my prayer chair and foot rest. I was overwhelmed with joy at finding that bag!
Point 1–How many times in life do we try to do things in our own strength…relying on ourselves…..???
Living over half my life, thank goodness I have learned to “lean heavily” on God for all things. Of course, at times, I fall short…reverting to my flesh and thinking it depends on me. I now hate when I do that. I have more experience now than ever before of placing my total self in God’s hands and relying on Him for everything!
I can honestly say, God never disappoints, even when I get a no or a redirection or don’t find what I have lost! By the way, I am still looking for a key to my neighbor’s house that I can’t seem to find. I have not given up. God will show me where it is at some point. But I know that I know that God knows all, God sees all and God can do anything that HE WILLS.
I am not God, but am His child and I have his Holy Spirit residing inside of me. I have learned to discipline myself to defer to His Spirit which lives within me for both the big and small of life. I love, love, love the story of Jesus appearing to the disciples when they were fishing after the resurrection. John 21:1, “Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples by the Sea of Galilee.” Watching them fish and knowing they had fished ALL night without catching a thing, He calls out to them, “’Friends, haven’t you any fish?’ ‘NO!’ they answered. Jesus said, ‘Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some’” (verses 5-6).
In the second part of verse 6 it says, “When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.”
Point 2–Jesus KNEW. He knew then and HE knows now where we should “cast our net.” As I/you/we go through our day, Jesus is watching. He sees our life–our goings and our comings. HE is alive. His desire is for us to come to Him in the big and small of life. To be surrendered to HIM. When we do, our “nets/lives” will be full. Scripture even tells us that the “net” was so full yet it didn’t rip. “It was full of large fish,153, but even with so many the net was not torn” (verse 11).
No matter where you are in life…God sees and God knows. HE wants to be Lord. As I studied this Scripture, I read on to find that many of the disciples in that boat, the one that pulled in the large catch of fish, were sold out to Jesus. So much so that they spent their lives sharing His name. They were later murdered for their commitment to the One they loved and the One who loved them.
Often we want our “nets to be full” without being “sold out” to Jesus. No matter the cost we want the “full net” without the commitment. It doesn’t work that way. Yes, Jesus loves us. Yes, we are given so much grace and mercy. He is quick to forgive our sins when we ask. But to live a life with a “full net” comes with a cost. That cost is a complete surrender to Him. Jesus is our example: ”Not my will, but yours!”
If you are reading this post, you probably live in America where there is little threat of murder for believing in Jesus. We are so blessed. But I ask you this question: Are you sold out enough/surrendered enough such that if your very life were threatened, you would confess Jesus as Lord?
The disciples lived an exciting, rewarding life. Full of love. So much love that they died for what they loved. The question I ask myself daily and one I pose to you today: How much do you love Jesus?
Do you want to obey Him to the point of “casting your net” where He tells you to? Or are you satisfied with fishing all night with an empty net? It is your choice. Where will you cast your net today?