“4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” ”
(Luke 5:4 MSG)
“3-4 The rest of them replied, “We’re going with you.” They went out and got in the boat. They caught nothing that night. When the sun came up, Jesus was standing on the beach, but they didn’t recognize him.
5 Jesus spoke to them: “Good morning! Did you catch anything for breakfast?”
They answered, “No.”
6 He said, “Throw the net off the right side of the boat and see what happens.”
They did what he said. All of a sudden there were so many fish in it, they weren’t strong enough to pull it in.”
(John 21:6 MSG)
Mark 1:16-20 has a similar version of the same account.
Matthew 4:18-22 is another version of the same account from a different perspective.
Have you ever been in a place where you feel like you have tried everything and nothing seems to be coming to fruition? You feel like you may be in a grey area. It’s not necessarily a bad place but not the best place either, just somewhere in the middle. This is the transition place. This is the make or break point of the process. How will you behave in the transition moment. To God it is a moment because He does not function in our time or calendar, but to us it can seem like an eternity. The transition can be a very frustrating place because you feel prepared to move forward but the timing is just not right to go into the “deep” yet. When in the transition it is very important to remember the words God has spoken to you and adhere closely to them. Those words will help you to prepare and mature to the appropriate level in order to be ready for casting your net and getting a great catch.
The version in Matthew 4 is a scripture that gets highlighted to me often times when I am being tried. Jesus was tempted by Satan in the wilderness during his 40 day and 40 night fast after being baptized by John the Baptist (his cousin). He was hungry and I’m sure his energy level was very low. At this time Satan pounces and begins to Test him. Jesus, being fully God and fully human was tempted by the Devil. He was our ultimate example. He showed us that we, just like he did, need to fast to be fully ready live out our destiny and for Satan’s onslaught.
“4 1-3 Next Jesus was taken into the wild by the Spirit for the Test. The Devil was ready to give it. Jesus prepared for the Test by fasting forty days and forty nights. That left him, of course, in a state of extreme hunger, which the Devil took advantage of in the first test: “Since you are God’s Son, speak the word that will turn these stones into loaves of bread.”
4 Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: “It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.”
5-6 For the second test the Devil took him to the Holy City. He sat him on top of the Temple and said, “Since you are God’s Son, jump.” The Devil goaded him by quoting Psalm 91: “He has placed you in the care of angels. They will catch you so that you won’t so much as stub your toe on a stone.”
7 Jesus countered with another citation from Deuteronomy: “Don’t you dare test the Lord your God.”
8-9 For the third test, the Devil took him to the peak of a huge mountain. He gestured expansively, pointing out all the earth’s kingdoms, how glorious they all were. Then he said, “They’re yours—lock, stock, and barrel. Just go down on your knees and worship me, and they’re yours.”
10 Jesus’ refusal was curt: “Beat it, Satan!” He backed his rebuke with a third quotation from Deuteronomy: “Worship the Lord your God, and only him. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness.” 11 The Test was over. The Devil left. And in his place, angels! Angels came and took care of Jesus’ needs.” (Matthew 4:1-11)
Just as we get tempted by Satan during vulnerable times we are able to get through those times just as Christ did through fasting and speaking the God’s word to fight off Satan’s attacks.
Christ fasted before he began his destiny. He didn’t have any disciples or perform any miracles, he had to be prepared in the wilderness. We are prepared in the wilderness when no one sees. We get prepared in the darkest of times and in order to function at our best that prep time cannot be cut short. Try not to get overwhelmed with what God has called you to do, easier said than done, right? Understand that God did not give you the calling to fulfill on your own, it is his gift that he has given to you and only he is the key to fulfill it. Don’t get caught up in the task. Remain humble, flexible and teachable so that you can continue to move forward and not delay.
I tied the temptation of Christ in with when Christ met the first four disciples at lake of Gennesaret.
Luke 5 The Message (MSG)
“Push Out into Deep Water
5 1-3 Once when he was standing on the shore of Lake Gennesaret, the crowd was pushing in on him to better hear the Word of God. He noticed two boats tied up. The fishermen had just left them and were out scrubbing their nets. He climbed into the boat that was Simon’s and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Sitting there, using the boat for a pulpit, he taught the crowd.
4 When he finished teaching, he said to Simon, “Push out into deep water and let your nets out for a catch.”
5-7 Simon said, “Master, we’ve been fishing hard all night and haven’t caught even a minnow. But if you say so, I’ll let out the nets.” It was no sooner said than done—a huge haul of fish, straining the nets past capacity. They waved to their partners in the other boat to come help them. They filled both boats, nearly swamping them with the catch.
8-10 Simon Peter, when he saw it, fell to his knees before Jesus. “Master, leave. I’m a sinner and can’t handle this holiness. Leave me to myself.” When they pulled in that catch of fish, awe overwhelmed Simon and everyone with him. It was the same with James and John, Zebedee’s sons, coworkers with Simon.
10-11 Jesus said to Simon, “There is nothing to fear. From now on you’ll be fishing for men and women.” They pulled their boats up on the beach, left them, nets and all, and followed him.”
Simon Peter was told to go deeper into the water to catch fish after they had been fishing all day and caught nothing. These very experienced fishermen had given up. They were done for the day. They had already began cleaning their nets and packing up their gear, but Jesus said try again, now with my help. All they had was Christ’s word. Being that Christ was the Word manifest that was all they needed; all they needed was his presence on the scene. With Christ telling them to try again they caught a great catch; a catch large enough that they needed more help hauling it onto the boat; a catch large enough that their nets almost broke.
With preparation through prayer, fasting, and speaking the word of God you have authority to see great harvests. Just as Christ was tempted then equipped through that trying time you will also be equipped. Are you tired of trying and ready to give up? Don’t! Cast your net to the other side. Every word that God has given you during the hard time of preparation was given for this moment. Use your weapons and go deep.
“16-18 So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.”
(2 Corinthians 4:16-18 MSG)
“7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7 KJV)
“6 “Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”” (Deuteronomy 31:6 MSG)
I wanted to share this with you today. These words were given to me through prayer and fasting and I wanted to share to encourage you.