Have you guys ever read Luke 5:1-11, where Jesus calls his first disciples?
I had read when Jesus called his first disciples in Matthew & Mark ... where it simply states that they left their nets and followed Jesus.
Then.. I read it in Luke.
Holy Spirit LOVES to remind us of who our Father actually is, and how the kingdom of God actually operates. CHECK THIS OUT:
Heres the break down : *but read it yourselves at the end of this post*
1) Jesus tells Simon to put down the nets (Simon is a fisherman)
2) Simon (who is the professional fisherman might I add) tells Jesus that they have been out all night and haven't caught a thing (justifying his doubt)
3) Simon listens to Jesus anyway and throws the nets in the water
4) They caught so many fish that their nets began to break (BTW this was their livelihood at the time, and they had just caught MORE than enough for their financial needs).
5) Peter falls at Jesus' feet and recognizes his sin in his doubt from earlier
6) Everyone is "astonished" watching this miracle
ARE YOU READY FOR THE ENDING????
7) JESUS TELLS THEM NOT TO BE AFRAID. THAT THEY WILL FISH FOR PEOPLE. THEN THEY LEAVE EVERYTHING INCLUDING THEIR LIVELIHOOD AND WHAT JESUS HAD JUST MIRACULOUSLY PROVIDED AND FOLLOWED HIM.
have you ever read it like that before?
While raising support, even starting a non profit... okay lets be honest here. Most of the things that Brandon and I have done in our lives following Jesus have been stepping out into the water of faith and trusting the word of the Lord that he's given us.
We didn't have money to raise teenage boys, and God always provided.
We didn't have money to start a non profit, buy a building, continue on this ministry... and we've been here for 4 years now.
Somehow, this was different though. Brandon stepping fully into The Nest, without any cushion of finance coming in for our family, or from The Nest at all.. has been scary at times. Im not just a young adult single woman galavanting around the world and can come home if I don't raise enough funds. We have kids. We have to feed them. We have an entire ministry we are trying to build.
Oftentimes the rational voice in my head will say "This is not wise." "You need to do "x,y,z" first." "You need to save for a year before he leaves his job... " and often times we're counseled by many to do the same.
Im not saying any of those things were wrong, or are even wrong for others.
But I know what it's like to listen to God, and what its like to disobey. I want to catch men. I Have to keep obeying the word of The Lord. When he says drop the nets. YOU DROP THE NETS.
But you know what part throws me the most about this whole thing?
The fact that The Father provided this INCREDIBLE amount of fish through Jesus, and the amount of MONEY that would be for them. For their livelihood.. and FOR THEIR UPCOMING MINISTRY. He did this incredible miracle... and then they leave it on the shore.
I don't know what happened with the fish, but Im assuming that people took it and sold it to make a profit? We cant be sure.
But, I can imagine in my humanity, I would say something like this:
"Wait, Jesus shouldn't we go sell all of this fish to provide for us along the way for our ministry?"
"Look at all that you just caught for us, this would surely cover a years worth of ministry for us!"
"Thanks for calling me and providing this time, now let me tell YOU how to provide next time."
JESUS showed what he was capable of, when he called his first disciples. He showed them that HE was provider, but that he requires us to drop our tie, our security, our hope in anything other than him to follow him. Even when it seems "wise".
Is he the Lord of my life or Not? Do I believe that He called me or don't I?
It's all fun and games until The Lord tells you to DROP EVERYTHING and follow him.
I am learning that more in this season of life than ever.
I know why God continually brings this nugget of wisdom up to remind me over and over again, which just shows how great of a Father he is , that what is wise to the world, and even the church sometimes, may not be the way that HE is orchestrating it to be. This is why I have to know HIS voice, and the way he is calling US, and go off of that. NOT the way that he has called others. (same goes for you by the way).
If there is an anthem of our lives, it may be that right there ^. haha.
All I know, as I sit in awe after only ONE WEEK of reaching out to supporters of ours to help meet our needs financially... we received EVERY. SINGLE. PENNY. and then more for this month.
THANK YOU JESUS. you're incredible! You've shown me how many fish you can catch!
Thank you friends and family, and co-workers for the Lord with us.
BUT HERES where it all ties in for me...
Do you know what happened right away?
I immediately wanted to hoard my fish, to save, to maybe not pay a certain bill or two, or not give extravagantly, so that we could have a cushion for the next month..
Do you see how our hearts are wicked within us?
WE NEED THE SPIRIT TO ENLIGHTEN US OF THE WAYS OF OUR FATHER & THE MINISTRY OF JESUS.
Our Heart continually says...
I see you've done this
But what if you don't do it again?
BE GONE FEAR. IF HES PROVIDED ONCE HELL DO IT AGAIN. HE ALONE IS OUR DAILY BREAD.
I'm both reminded and comforted. Im also certain that this passage is in there for me (JK.. kind of) to remind me that The Father provides how he sees fit, and Jesus calls me to come with him in following the ways of the kingdom of God.
Jesus never sounds like a hoarder, wondering if his Father will feed him. He never holds on to anything knowing that his Father has provided everything he needs . He is ALWAYS generous. "For God so loved the world he GAVE his only son" LOVE leads us to giving... How much more does our Father in heaven love us, and is willing and wanting to GIVE to those who do his work here on earth?
Like I always say (and have harder time believing at times) My Father has deep pockets, If we work for him, why wouldn't he take care of us?
Money and Ministry is weird. Honestly, its hard. Ive been in the weirdness for the past couple years, observing and close with many non profits and ministry peeps, churches, and missionaries. I look forward to sharing more of what God has taught me in the freedom that Jesus is radically producing in me by saying
"Don't be afraid.
From now on you will fish for people."
Jesus Calls the First Disciples
5 On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets.3 Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon's, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7 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. 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”[a] 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.