Very early in life (almost from birth) we are trained to be successful according to the world’s definition of success. We are driven by goals and accomplishments from the day we take our first steps and ride our first bike. As we grow older, we are pressured to accumulate knowledge and “things” in order to prove our success. In our Christian walk, Jesus calls us to a new definition of success – one determined not by what we accomplish, acquire or understand, but by our simple yet complete obedience.
The disciples walked and talked with Jesus, but they still faced many challenges with faith and obedience. One morning after fishing all night without a catch, Jesus called from the shore.
“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.”
The disciples were successful that morning. But we must understand that the large number of fish did not define their success. They would have been successful even if the net remained empty. Oh how I wish more in ministry could grasp this truth! The disciples were successful the moment they were obedient and cast the net on the right side of the boat, the moment they walked in step – walked in relationship – with Jesus.
One thousand years earlier, King Saul was told to “attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them” (1 Samuel 15:3). But Saul allowed the Amalekite king and the best livestock to survive. He tried to hide his disobedience by telling the prophet Samuel that the animals were for a sacrifice to God. “But Samuel replied: ‘Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams'” (1 Samuel 15:22).
In any task we undertake for God, it’s easy to become discouraged by our apparent lack of success. We often feel inadequate, and those feelings increase when our goals seem to be elusive. But we must remember that the outcome of the task is minor compared to our obediently walking by His side. We have almost no ability to determine how our efforts fit into God’s plan. God doesn’t need our fish! He can accomplish His plan with the rocks if He chooses, but He desires our willful obedience and loving trust, though He knows our obedience will never be perfect and our trust will never be complete. Our Father desires a people who will bring Him glory as they love Him with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Let’s take our eyes off the accomplishment of the “catch” and what we can produce. Rather, let’s focus on walking each step according to His leading. Let’s love Him with an uncluttered heart and concentrate all our effort on obeying His call to cast out the net.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries
**** Reading Plan ****
Nov 20 Ezekiel 40:28-41:26; James 4:1-17; Psalm 118:19-29; Proverbs 28:3-5