Simon answered, "Master we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word, I will let down the nets." Luke 5:5
But at your word.
As our church prepares to enter into a season of fasting and praying, my heart is torn. To be honest, fasting creates a bit of an uneasy feeling in me. Not fear or dread. Not a lack of desire to spend concentrated time seeking God.... just an uneasy feeling.
This morning as I was talking to God about all of this, he impressed something on my heart that I feel explained my uneasy feeling. He said,
"Don't you dare enter into a season of fasting unless you are willing to COMPLETELY obey everything I tell you to do."
Perhaps that was my dilemma. Perhaps I am not 100% sure I want to hear what God has to say.
This morning I read in Luke 5. The story is familiar. Simon Peter is cleaning his fishing nets. He and his buddies had spent the night before fishing. It was a disappointing catch. Jesus comes by, gets in the boat, and has Simon go out just a bit in the water then Jesus sits down and teaches.
After Jesus finishes teaching, he looks at Simon and gives two commands:
1. Put out into the deep
2.Let your nets down for a catch
Simon's response, found in verse 5, is simple "We toiled all night, BUT at your word, I will let down the nets."
My response to the call to fast has been has been like Simon. "I have been praying. I have been seeking you and your will for our life, our church, our community...BUT because you have instructed my pastor to call us to this, I will do it."
My attitude has not exactly been one of obedience. Here is what I learned this morning.
1. The Instructions. Found in verse 4.
A change of location. (Put the boat in deeper waters) They fished at night! This was not the routine!
An action. (Let your nets down for a catch)
2. The Results. Found in verse 6.
They caught a LARGE number of fish. The catch was massive! Greater than they could have planned for or imagined. Taking place in the same waters they had been fishing in just hours before. Don't forget, they "took nothing" in that fishing trip.
The nets were breaking! This is a beautiful reminder that God keeps his word. Back in verse 4, Jesus told them to "let your nets down for a catch." What a catch it was!
3. The Impact. Found in verses in 8 and 9.
A change in Simon. His response was a repentant heart!
Simon and ALL that were with him, were astonished! Simon's obedience created an environment for a personal miracle, but also a miracle for those around him.
Here is how God pulled all this together for me.
1. God will often ask you to change your location and daily routine for a reason. Fasting will cause a change in our routines. It will remove distractions, but it will also create an environment for a miracle.
2. While fasting is intensely personal, the results of the activity of God in our life WILL impact the world around us. We cannot even imagine what God has planned.
3. Do not enter this fast unless you are ready to obey. Just as blessings follow obedience, consequences follow disobedience.
Life will be different the next 21 days. I am sure walking away from the things God has impressed on my heart will seem difficult at first, HOWEVER:
If God calls us to something, it for a reason. He has a purpose in mind. He is beginning a good work and Philippians 1:6 tells that when God begins a good work, he is faithful to complete it.
I can hardly wait to see how He ASTOUNDS us!
Saturday, January 9, 2016
Simon answered, "Master we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word, I will let down the nets." Luke 5:5
Posted by ocean mommy at 1/09/2016 03:59:00 PM
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Friday, January 3, 2014
Hope. It has been my word since October of 2012. Last year especially, God gave me ample opportunity to bask in hope as well as share hope. I feel like it is "my" word. :) My theme. Who knows, maybe a song will come from this.
As we ended 2013, I began to ask the Lord if HOPE would be my theme/word for 2014 or was there something different. Over the last weeks of the year, the word TRANSFORMATION slapped me across the heart. Clearly, this was my theme for 2014.
I'm journaling my thoughts on my neglected blog this year simply calling them Transformation Thoughts. All will be based on what God is showing me in through his word. Most of it, like today's will simply be raw nuggets of what God is teaching me.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
Transformation Thoughts #1
LOVE STEADFASTLY. BE FAITHFUL.
Proverbs 3:3-4 (from ESV) tells us:
Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.
It is January. A new year. A fresh start. I have some goals set for this year. I bet you do too. For me, this is the year of transformation. Transformation in health, business, and my spiritual life. If we were together, you would probably share something similar.
As I read the above verses in Proverbs this morning, I was struck with verse 4. It says, So you will find favor and success with GOD and MAN.
Favor and good success with God and man are the result or consequence of two things:
Steadfast love. Faithfulness. Those things, at least for me, are hardest in the everyday. In the routine. The bed making. The laundry. The dishes. And for me, feeding the dog. (Sorry, just being honest)
Steadfast love and Faithfulness. In relationships where you just aren't sure where you stand.
Steadfast love and Faithfulness when each day presents a new challenge.
Steadfast love and faithfulness when it would be so very easy to simply wimp out, stay in bed and watch reality t.v.
Why bind it around our neck and write it on the tablet of our hearts?
Favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Reminds me of Luke 2:52
And Jesus increased in wisdom, and in stature, and in favor with God and man.
Here was my question from this morning:
Do I want to accomplish my goals for this year? Well, yes! Of course I do!
Then I MUST STEADFASTLY love God and THEN love others with that unwavering, steady constant love. Even when rejected....choose LOVE.
I MUST be faithful (consistent, reliable, available) in relationships. This will come from an overflow of my relationship with God.
Overtime I will see that my perception of "good success" will change. It will be transformed into God's plan. He WILL transform my heart, my mind, my desires bringing them into complete obedience to his plan. (That by the way, is when he will give me the desires of my heart.)
Even as I studied this passage...the term success is not what my American,goal oriented mind wanted it to mean! (Financial accomplishment; achievement; promotion. WINNING!)
Nope it is talking about gaining a good name. Good repute. Being held in high regard. The Hebrew word literally talks about being WISE. Gaining WISDOM. Knowledge, understanding, discretion. See how God changed my perception in this? My human thoughts went straight for the tangible...while God was saying dig deeper there is more!
My nugget for today:
Ask God to transform the way I love. Love steadfastly and be faithful.
Success may not look like what I thought it would. BUT...when my perception has been transformed by Jesus, success is better than anything I could imagine.
Monday, September 2, 2013
It is our calling as parents to train them, discipline them, and protect them. Proverbs 22:6a says, Train up a child in the way they should go. That training will not always be easy, or fun and honestly sometimes it is exhausting. But, the conclusion of Proverbs 22:6 says
Several years ago He gave me a lists of things to keep me from being THAT logged off parent. Maybe you need the reminder too.
Tuesday’s morning dream was a check asking me if I was confident of the condition of my children’s hearts. Their spiritual heart. So Tuesday morning at breakfast I made each person in my house look me in the eye and answer some questions. They kind of giggled at me, but could tell the urgency I felt.
Posted by ocean mommy at 9/02/2013 12:39:00 PM
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
I LOVE Proverbs 4:4
Oh how I pray our girls hold fast the Word! I pray they love it because it is the written word of their Creator to them. I don’t want them to keep a bunch of rules out of fear…but out of an overflow of LOVE and desire to obey the ONE who died for them.
Purity is a direction on a path customized for YOU and for ME by the one who knit us together in our mother’s womb. You CAN trust that His path and plan is FOR you.
“Choosing the right path begins with submitting to the One who knows what’s best for you better than you know what’s best for you.” Andy Stanley in The Principle of the Path.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
This is a raw, unedited, picture of my mind today.
This week I am alone most of the day. Both girls are out of town and I am seizing the opportunity to catch up on some neglected areas. One of those areas was to finish a study I have been working my way through. Boy have I needed this time.
The last month has been full of ups and downs. Highs from incredible times of service and lows from the most bizarre situations. Situations that have left me face down before the Lord, crying out for His healing hand. In the last week, my phone has blown up with prayer requests ranging from tragic accidents and marriages in crisis, to friendships navigating misunderstandings.
My heart is heavy and my mind spinning with questions particularly in one area. The only thing I know to do, is to go to His word. I have searched the scriptures and asked God to help me understand the "why" of a specific situation. As He promised, His word gave the answer and understanding I needed. But I still found myself wrestling with how Christians could stoop low and especially adult Christians act a particular way. Today He answered in a way that astounded me.
This quote from Beth Moore's "Jesus, The One and Only, explained exactly what God's word had already put on my heart.
Compromising people can't stand the site of excellence, and miserable people can't stand the site of happiness.
Not only did God use this (along with the rest of this day's homework) to help me understand....He slapped me in the head and pointed out some areas where I was compromising.
And it hurt. It hurt because I had not even realized I was compromising! Funny how sly the enemy is isn't it?
We stand proudly behind our church attendance, position, title..... and look soooo put together on Sunday. But outside the walls of our church our lifestyle really doesn't look any different than the next person.
We have compromised.
Our Twitter or Facebook updates are asking for prayer or quoting some cute spiritual saying one minute, and the next our updates and pictures are questionable and quite frankly, grieve the heart of God.
We have compromised.
And not only have we compromised, we poke fun of Christians who have not. Why do we do that?
Personally, I believe it is because we see in them exactly what we know we should be doing. It makes us uncomfortable.
We have, as God convicted me again today, sacrificed personal holiness on the altar of relevance.
God did not call me to be relevant. He called me to be holy.
Today, more than ever before I feel this overwhelming urgency for believers to be willing to step to a deeper place with the Lord. A place that will demand that we look different, act different, entertain ourselves differently... A place that will demand us to be set apart... Please hear me NOT a list of rules, we have tried that and it obviously didn't work.
Rather, have a life that lives Matthew 5:16. I love it here in the Amplified Version
Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven.
Something tells me we don't have much time left here. We must, I must, live in a way that consistently points people to Jesus Christ.
Our pastor challenged us Sunday morning to stop simply singing the words trust and obey and DO THEM.
My "obey" this week was to stop compromising in a very specific area and trust that God is enough to handle the consequences to my obedience.
Posted by ocean mommy at 6/26/2013 04:15:00 PM
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Maybe because both of my girls are invading my closet to borrow shoes, clothes, belts......
Maybe because I am looking them eyeball to eyeball without bending over....
Whatever the reason, this summer I feel time passing faster than ever before.
More than ever before I find myself drawn to pray for my girls. And not just my physical daughters, but also the sweet middle school girls God lets me love on during the school year in small group Bible study.
As we ended our Bible study for the summer, I shared with them a verse from Psalm 144 that I pray for my daughters as well as my middle school girls. It is verse 12 and it says
Let our sons in their youth be as grown-up plants, and our daughters as corner pillars fashioned as for a palace.
I look at that verse and when I see corner pillars I immediately think of a few words:
support system carved/ornate custom designed strong
Towards the end of the school year it hit me that we have entered a more intense "training" stage of parenthood. We have very few years left before we send them out.
More than ever, I feel the urgency for them to be grounded in their faith. They will be the support system in their homes, to their husband...I want them to be a strong, pure, holy, beautiful support system. Pillars confident in who God says they are, and what God has called them to do. Corner pillars that are solid and structurally sound, completely capable of holding up the area God entrusts to them.
My prayer is that they are wise women who build their house on the rock, not the sand. (Luke 6) I pray that as they are strong pillars. I pray they understand that until they see the face of Jesus, they must continue the building process! The foundation must go deeper. The support beams must continue to be strengthened and added or the corner pillars will begin to crumble.
But just like God always does...the more I pray this over my daughters, the more God reveals weak areas in my foundation. Areas that need attention. Areas that need to be reinforced.
And it sends me straight to my knees.
I am the corner pillar in my home.
Am I a strong, pure, holy support system to my husband?
Am I confident in who God says I am and what He has called me to do?
Am I solid, structurally sound and completely capable of holding up the area God has entrusted to me?
Am I consistently working on my foundation? Adding support beams?
Am I checking myself for weakened areas?
In other words:
Am I, the corner pillar in this household, spending enough time with the Father? Am I giving my girls a clear picture of what a strong corner pillar looks like?
I want, as Ezra 7:9-10 says, the good hand of the Lord on me! Changing me, making me stronger and capable to do the thing He has called me to. Verse 10 of that chapter in Ezra says "Ezra set his heart to study the law of the Lord and to practice it and to teach His statutes and ordinances."
I am convinced and convicted that for my girls to become those beautiful corner pillars this mommy MUST:
Set my heart to
This summer is taking a turn in a direction I had not anticipated. :) And I am so very glad. Something tells me it will be one that will impact our family for generations.