Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Ready or Not

When he had finished speaking he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and let down the nets for a catch.” 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.” (Luke 5:4-5)

When Jesus invited Simon to “put out into deep water,” Simon answered with some reluctance. Who can blame him? He had already been out there all night long – and the entire night of fishing was an exercise in futility.

What a lousy time for Jesus to show up. Simon & Co. had already been washing their nets. They had already worked through the night. Their bodies are tired. Their equipment is clean and hanging to dry. And yet Jesus has the nerve to say, “Let’s go out again. Put out into deep water.”

Sometimes Jesus asks us to do things that we don’t feel ready to do. The problem is timing. We want to obey, but we’ll have to obey later. If we can just get ourselves together, get ready, get rested, make arrangements, then we will serve God much more effectively.

But maybe God is most glorified in your life when you are least ready.

There’s a great story in the Old Testament about a man named Gideon (Judges 7). God asked Gideon to gather an army to fight the Midianites. That’s what Gideon did, only to have God tell him that the army was too big. If Gideon won the battle with his large army, then the credit would go to those who fought. They would boast in their own strength. When we are most prepared and ready we are most likely to boast, to take credit. We point toward heaven, but the cameras are pointed at us.

So Gideon reduced his army from 30,000 to 300. What we call desperate, God calls ready. When the victory comes we get the gift, but God gets all the glory.

This may be one of those days when you don’t feel very “spiritual.” You’re not entering this day with a great vision of what God will do in those deep waters of your life. You’d like to stay home and channel surf or just go shopping. But Jesus is asking you to live in obedience. Jesus invites you to trust him. Jesus invites you do put out into deep waters one more time.

You may not feel ready. But sometimes in the grind of the day you see the glory of God. Simon did. So go ahead, put out into the deep waters, ready or not.

Lord Jesus, we will once again put out into the deep waters in obedience to you. Give us the grace we need for this day so that even in our fatigue, in our distraction, in our lack of readiness we will see your glory. Amen.

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