What is God Saying to me?

 

 

Launch Out 4.0

They needed a second boat…

Luke 5:6-7   6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 7 So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.

This past Sunday I had the honor of being part of a marriage ceremony for a friend of mine that I have been meeting with for three years.  His journey has been challenging… filled with frustration, guilt, and fear.

Throughout it I felt very strongly that when he finally got to the place where he just let go and completely surrendered to God’s leading he would begin to see what His blessings really look like.  I told him that very thing two years ago… two years ago.  The time lapse happened because he had never experienced a God that could carry the weight of his mistakes and issues.  He never had experienced true forgiveness and therefore couldn’t engage in true faith…trusting without seeing.  About ten months ago he finally let go.  He ended a relationship that was incorrect and completely gave himself to pursuing God’s best.  Two months later he met the woman who would become his bride!  Their marriage on Sunday was so special because of what it represented… the culmination of God’s rich blessing when he finally let down his nets.  And yes, he was amazed at the catch!  J

We are all at the same point in a wide variety of ways.  Our church is launching out into a new missional structure that is focused on populating Heaven and depopulating hell.  Offering two services on Sunday nights will not be easy, but God has promised that if we are willing to let down the nets He will provide the resources to make it His.  The second service is the other boat, the help needed to catch the increase that God has already called to Himself.  We must remember that!!  They are not coming because we did or are doing anything special… they are coming because Jesus has called them.  We are merely fishermen and women.

What is your personal point of transition?  In what area is God asking you to let down your net?  If I can encourage you in any way it would be to say that I have watched this principle happen in my own life.  Whether it was financial, or relational, or personal… when I gave it to God the increase was staggering.

Your story is being written right now…whether you like the plot line or not it is being written.  Make the next chapter God’s.  Watch what happens when He is in control!



Launch Out 3.0

Simon was doubtful but obeyed anyway…

Luke 5:5  But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.”

Let’s refresh our memory about the first two points to this passage in Luke chapter 5.  Week one we talked about the fact that the four fishermen were washing their nets when Jesus approached them.  This wasn’t just an added descriptive detail to make the story more appealing… this was a spiritual statement of preparation that opens the door to the calling of Christ in our lives.  

How have you been washing your spiritual nets this week?  In week two we looked at the importance of making sure Jesus is commissioning the Launch.  He is drawing us into a deeper relationship and asking us to fish when we get there.  It is so important for us to be confident in His calling.  John 10:1-5 gives us a picture of this…Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”   Are you confident in the calling of Christ in your life?  Can you hear Him calling you, and calling our church into deeper waters?

This week we take a look at Simon’s response to Christ’s commissioning.  Jesus asked the fishermen to do something that made no sense to them.  The timing wasn’t right, the conditions weren’t right… they just didn’t see the point in it.  However, because the master asked them to, they launched.

So many times in our lives we are presented with callings and opportunities that don’t make sense to our understanding.  We look at the idea from our abilities and what has worked or not worked in the past and we reason the idea away.  I want to tell you that going all in with Christ is going to go against some of your natural responses.  Your humanity will not want to give up control and the pursuit of your own preservation.  That is the point though.  God knows that as long as we remain in control and our natural understanding governs our actions, we will be living below the calling He has for us.  When we let go is when we begin to grow into the fullness of His plan.

Our church is heading for deep water.  You are heading for deep water.  It may seem scary… it may seem too hard, but the lesson here is that when we hear the master call all we have to do is obey.  The Bible records Simon’s doubt on purpose.  God wants you to know that the reaction of doubt is not the issue… the issue is whether you are going to obey anyway.

This week I ask you to search your heart for areas where you haven’t given up control yet.  Where are you still doubting and haven’t launched out?  Do you believe that His Word is true?  Do you believe that His promises are for you?  Do you believe He can do miracles right here… right now?

He is calling…will you follow?



Launch Out 2.0

Luke 5:4       When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 

One of my favorite high school hang out spots was the basement of my best friend Eric.  It was darkish, coolish, and his mom didn’t really care if we broke a few things while playing  basketball on his 6 foot rim.  I also loved it because the constant sound of the fish tank was a very soothing sound to fall asleep to…  not that high school guys like to sleep a lot or anything.  The really cool thing about that fish tank though was the resident king fish of the tank.  It was the largest goldfish I had ever seen.  I didn’t even know they could grow that big.  The ones I won at the fair never lived long enough to grow at all so I was impressed.  I soon realized the size of the tank had a lot to do with this fish growing so large… and as I grew in my understanding of God, I immediately realized that that I needed to get myself in a bigger tank!

 

The first thing Jesus said to Simon was to “Launch out into the Deep”.  The time for fishing in the shallows is over… it is now time for you to head out where the fish have room to grow.  Jesus was calling this group of fishermen into an experience that was going to prove to them the true nature of the one they called Rabbi.  Jesus didn’t just want to be their teacher, He wanted to be their Messiah.  (Notice Simon calls Him Master in verse 5 but Lord in verse 8)  Jesus is calling… commissioning you to Launch out into a DEEP relationship with Him that has some big fish in it.  It may be a new view of yourself, a more Biblical view of your personal life, or a more Christ-like depth of Love for the lost around you.  Whatever it is, Jesus is calling you.  Each of us and all of us are being commissioned to head into deeper waters.  The promise therein is that He will provide the catch, He will be the provision…so we can Fear Not.  

 

Don’t miss the second half of the passage though!!  “Let down your nets for a catch”.  If all we do is spend our time trying to pursue a deeper experience we are only doing half of the process.  It is time for you to let down your nets.  God has given you amazing gifts and talents in order to draw all men to Him.  Use them!!  Begin to see yourself as a critical piece of the puzzle of God in this area.  The way you love your family puts God on display.  The way you handle your finances, interact with friends and strangers, honor authority, hold your tongue or loose it… all of it displays the Glory of God Almighty.  Begin to see yourself as a disciple and Let Down Your Nets For a Catch!  The promise is for today.



Launch Out

This summer we are going to take a walk through Luke 5:1-11.  I have outlined six key points from this scripture that God is using to prepare us for the next phase of ministry here at Abundant Life.  Throughout the summer I will be taking each point and examining it… turning it over and seeing what God could be speaking to us about His plan for Growth for our region.  I encourage you to do the same.  What we get in our secret time with Him is critical.  Spend time in the Word and in His presence.  The results will be a powerful story of His calling for each of us, and all of us!

Luke 5:1-2   5 So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets.

They were washing their nets  –  When was the last time you went to begin a project and found the tool you needed to use to be broken, misplaced, or out of batteries?  My answer would be yesterday!  But then of course my boys might have had something to do with that.  Making sure you are ready for a task is just as important as executing the task itself.

When Jesus approached the fishermen they had just completed a night of frustrating fishing… catching nothing.  Their response to this disappointment however was to wash and mend their nets in preparation for the next opportunity.  You see they realized that without preparation they were guaranteed to fail.  Without good nets they would always be hungry.

Just like Simon, James, and John we need to be actively attending to the “tools” God has given us to catch fish.  Your faith walk is one that needs to be washed.  Without preparation, the opportunities to catch fish will produce little result.

As we prepare to launch out into the deep waters of two services, and a more purposeful ministry in our communities we need to be attending to the elements of our walk that God will use to draw all men to His Glory.  This week I want you to attend to the following five areas of your relationship with God.  As you earnestly seek Him, allow Him to speak into your position of preparedness…

  1. Prayer (1 Timothy 2:8 – 8 I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;)
  2. The Word (2 Timothy 3:16 – All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness)
  3. Commitment (Romans 6:But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,
  4. Integrity (Proverbs 2:20-21 So you will walk in the way of the good and keep to the paths of the righteous. For the upright will inhabit the land, and those with integrity will remain in it …
  5. Submission (Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding.)