Jesus was (and is) always seeking to teach us to trust Him more. Everything in His kingdom operates by faith.
Expanded faith means that God is released in the sphere of our lives and ministry with expanded effect. He is more greatly glorified as we are more greatly dependent.
In Luke 5 we have a perfect example. Notice the progression of this profound faith lesson for Peter, and for you.
The Word of Faith
When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch” (Luke 5:4 NASB).
It seems that the point of this exercise was not to get some fish for dinner. It was to push Peter to trust Him, even when it went contrary to his senses and experience—to believe that what God said was really true.
The Lord asked this professional fisherman to do something that made little sense, because he had “worked hard all night and caught nothing” (v. 5). God will often challenge us right in the area of our greatest proficiency. Peter knew fish. Right there was where the lesson needed to take place.
The Step of Faith
Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets” (v. 5).
We are always faced with a choice: Will I believe what I think, living by human reasoning alone, or will I believe that what God says is really true?
The first word of Peter’s response is telling: “Master.” Peter had left everything to follow Jesus, and he was not about to turn back now.
At every turn of the common day, we are faced with this same test: Will I live by my thinking or God’s leadership? By my thoughts or His commands? Who is in charge? Who is the Master?
And faith is not merely a confession, but movement based on God’s revealed Word. Peter had to get back into his boat and cast the nets.
The Reward of Faith
When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break…. But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For amazement had seized him and all his companions…. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men” (vv. 6-10).
God always rewards faith. Always. And Peter was no exception. Faith was rewarded with:
- A great catch. Christ was true to His word (as always) and gave them more than He promised. He loves to do “far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).
- A humbled believer. When Peter saw this fresh demonstration of Christ’s power and faithfulness, it put him right where we should always be, i.e., on our face before a mighty God.
- An amazed crowd. Everyone who witnessed this moment was seized with amazement. We have lost the wonder of God in our day, because we have lost men and women who will take God at His Word. But when we trust God for what He has promised, it astounds a watching world and draws them to this One who can do anything.
- A greater lesson. Jesus didn’t do this to get lunch, or to set Peter up in the fishing business. He had a greater agenda. Peter was called to fish for men, as are you. Jesus showed him the principle this holy enterprise was to operate on. Just as he had trusted and obeyed for fish, so he must trust and obey to make disciples of all nations.
Your Next Faith Lesson
… is right before you if you will listen to the Master.
Perhaps today He will ask you to believe Him for revival in your family, church, city, or nation; the redemption of a prodigal, or the resources to live; the solution to a seemingly impossible problem, or the grace to endure.
God is speaking, challenging you to believe Him for more. Quiet your soul and listen. His Spirit shouts from every page of Scripture to trust Him more.
And be certain to remember: His purpose is not fish, but faith that reaches men and women. Will you doubt God and never see His greatness? Never release Him to do that which will humble you and amaze others?
Or will you believe and see the impossible?