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September 27, 2016

Astonished By God

“(Peter) and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken….” Luke 5:9 (NIV)

Have you ever been astonished by God? Has God ever provided for you in such a way that left you feeling astonished? That’s what happened to Peter when he surrendered to God and simply took Jesus at His word and let down his nets. He had fished all night and never caught a thing. He thought he knew his business better than Jesus. Peter had offered Jesus his boat to teach from; but, after Jesus was through teaching the crowds from Peter’s boat, He had a lesson in mind for Peter. So, He told Peter to launch out into the deep water and let down the nets for a catch. It must have sounded absurd to Peter. “We already tried that, Master, and we didn’t catch anything. Besides that, the fish aren’t biting now. It’s the wrong time of the day.” I wonder if Peter was tempted to say, “Why don’t you just stick to teaching spiritual stuff, Jesus, and leave my business alone.” Isn’t that how we often respond when Jesus tries to get into our business? The smartest thing Peter did, though, was to let Jesus into his boat. With the intention to prove Jesus wrong, I think Peter accepted the challenge. Peter said,

“Master, because You say so, I will let down the nets.”

That’s when the miracle of provision happened! You see, this was a promise with a premise. Jesus promised that, if Peter would launch out into the deep and let down his nets one more time, he would catch some fish. For that to happen, Peter had to obey. What is it that God is telling you to do that seems absurd, incredible, and beyond belief? When Peter surrendered to Jesus’ word, he experienced the miracle of Divine provision!

“When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.” (Vs. 6-7)

Jesus gave Peter a boat load of fish! In fact, He gave him two boat loads full of fish! It astonished Peter and his partners! That’s what happens when we surrender to God. His Divine provision gives you three things that will astonish you even more!

A Bigger Vision
When you read this passage in the King James Version of the Bible, Jesus tells Peter to let down your “nets” (plural), and Peter responds saying, “I will let down the net (singular).” When he did, the net began to break, so Peter signaled for his partners to come and help him. Jesus wanted to give Peter a bigger vision. If we could just catch a glimpse of how much God loves us, we wouldn’t hesitate to surrender everything to Him. God wants to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or even imagine if we would just surrender everything to Him.

A Stronger Faith
Our faith increases with each measure of obedience. When Peter obeyed Jesus, he experienced the miracle and his faith grew. He was astonished by what Jesus could do that he couldn’t after trying so hard all day! How often have you thought, “If it’s going to be, it’s up to me”? As noble as that may sound, it’s wrong. Believing that puts you in control, but faith releases control of everything to God’s care and control. Faith rests in His ability to do what He promised in His way and in His time.

A Higher Purpose
I love what Jesus said to Peter. “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” (Vs.10) In other words, Peter, if you think this was something, just wait! I have so much more for you! I have an eternal purpose for you that will last forever! These fish will perish, but the fish you will catch for Me will never perish! You will become a fisher of men! Wow! I’m so glad Peter invited Jesus into his boat that day. Not only did He fill Peter’s boat with fish, but He would fill His life with a higher purpose and show us today what can happen when we surrender our lives and all that we have to Him!

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives us the promise with a premise for today:

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 (NIV)

Consider for a moment, as you pray today, the miracle of provision God has in store for you as you surrender everything to Him. Let Him astonish you!