Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Abundance with Obedience

Where have you missed God's abundance because you were hesitant to obey?
Where has a lack of faith cost you blessing from God?

These aren't easy or pleasant questions. They're hard. I've been wrestling with them for a while now, and I'm not sure I like what my answers are. But, when I take time to reflect on them and talk to God about them, I see some things that relate. And I think it's a pretty safe guess you probably could as well. This isn't limited to just big things. It applies just, or maybe more, to the little things.

I was challenged by these questions when I was Luke 5:1-11 recently. This is the passage where Jesus calls Simon (Peter), Andrew, James, and John to be His disciples. Jesus uses Simon's boat to teach the crowds. After He has finished teaching, He tells Simon to take the boat out to deep waters to catch some fish.

Verse 5 records Simon's response: "Simon answered: Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets."

The result is a large catch of fish - so large they have to ask friends to come and help. And both boats start sinking with the size of the catch. In that moment Simon Peter realizes Who this Person in His boat is.

When Jesus told Peter to go out to deep waters and out down his nets, Peter didn't yet know who Jesus was. He may have heard some of Jesus' teaching and seen some miracles, but Peter didn't yet have a revelation of Jesus as the Messiah.

To me, this makes Peter's response in Luke 5:5 all the more powerful. After a long and unsuccessful night of fishing, Peter heads out and puts his nets down again. He didn't know what Jesus was about to do. He responded in obedience and faith. He took Jesus at His word before he knew exactly who this Man was.

Simon's faith and obedience saw an immediate result. He caught more fish then he could handle. More than could be handled, even when he had his friends come to help.

The result of Simon's obedience and faith without knowing was an abundant blessing from God. The abundance came after the step of obedience, not before and not with a word about what would come. Simon obeyed and then he saw the result.

It was as I realized this that I was struck by the questions I asked at the start. It's not about doing something with knowledge of how it will work out or a promise of what is to come. It's about obeying and stepping out in faith first. After we take that step, we see and experience the abundant blessing of God that comes.

Where have I missed God's abundance because I was hesitant to obey?
Where has my lack of faith cost me blessing from God?

I'm still wrestling with these questions myself. Maybe you need to take some time to wrestle with them yourself.

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