A teaching by Rev. Barbara Williams, President of the Ministry of the Watchman International

Week of September 25-29, 2023

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. Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.
Luke 5:1-3

God begins working with man’s spare time. Actually, this is a story about a miracle catch, but there is always a story within a story. We need to know what God’s ultimate goal is when He gives us a miracle. Anyhow, Jesus sees that the fishermen are not using their boats. The boats represent their livelihood. They are idle at this time. Jesus in His mercy starts with our spare things. How many of us gave our spare change in the offering when we started with God, then spare dollar bills. Now some of us may tithe and give offerings. How many of us are willing to give sacrificially in the beginning?

Not many. This is why Jesus has to let us know something about His goodness before we can know Him fully. Is it worth it to follow this man?

A miracle sometimes will convince us.

Jesus commissions this ship because the Master has need of the things of earth to bless us on the earth. Don’t ever forget that principle. He has given man dominion on the earth, so He must use man’s resources in order to bless the earth. God placed prosperity seed inside everything that He created and called it good. Jesus is going to use something that belongs to these fishermen. Look out for a miracle! When Jesus uses something you possess, He can make it a miracle for you. When His hand touches it for any purpose, He blesses, increases and gives it back to you.

If you are in need of healing, there is good news! Proverbs 4:20-22 SAYS:

My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

So there is life and health in God’s word. Since God’s word is medicine, we must take it like we would a prescription. I suggest three times a day, like you would your food. Remember, healing is the children’s bread. Consider this your “dose” for today. Remember, read, and meditate three times a day the following:

Rx: Exodus 23:25-26 ~ So you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water. And I will take sickness away from the midst of you. No one shall suffer miscarriage or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days.

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
2 Timothy 2:15

If you’ve never studied the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, we invite you to join us as we read through the Bible in a year. Read and meditate on these chapters this week:

September 25: 2 Samuel 21, Galatians 1, Ezekiel 28, Psalms 77
September 26: 2 Samuel 22, Galatians 2, Ezekiel 29, Psalms 78:1-37
September 27: 2 Samuel 23, Galatians 3, Ezekiel 30, Psalms 78:38-72
September 28: 2 Samuel 24, Galatians 4, Ezekiel 31, Psalms 79
September 29: 1 Kings 1, Galatians 5, Ezekiel 32, Psalms 80
September 30: 1 Kings 2, Galatians 6, Ezekiel 33, Psalms 81-82
October 1: 1 Kings 3, Ephesians 1, Ezekiel 34, Psalms 83-84

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

God has used what man has given Him. He returns it back to man and then sets it into its original purpose again. Did you notice that Jesus immediately gives Peter the command for his blessing?

God wastes no time in repaying what He owes us. The question is, do we know what is going on enough to obey His command?

Prior to this time, Jesus has used the boat for His own ministry. The fishermen obeyed Him in that. Now it is time for their reward from God for allowing the gospel to be preached from the boat. Now think about it.

Has anyone ever asked you to host a Bible study in your home?

What was your reaction?

Did you not do it because of the extra work, time, or effort it would take?

Has God ever asked you to store materials for your church or ministry?

Has a businessperson ever donated their office for the use of a prayer meeting?

Have you noticed that those persons usually had no problem paying bills, keeping utilities on, or making the rent (considering they were obedient in other areas, too)?

God had a miracle reward for them, as well. Problem is, many people do not do the obedience needed to collect the miracle catch.

Jesus tells Peter to launch out into the deep for a catch. He says, “Peter, if you step out of your comfort zone, and get a little deeper in faith for the unseen, I will make it seen.” He tells Peter, “Yes, you will catch something if you obey me now.”

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.”
Luke 5:5

Problem. Peter is using his human reasoning to decide whether he will obey. The problem is fear. Fear keeps us from obeying God…all the time. It never helps us. It is one of the adversaries at the door of opportunity that we all face. Whenever a decision is to be made, fear comes calling to try and talk us out of the right decision. This is when most people start looking for “confirmations” instead of doing what God said to do. This little story illustrates how important timing is to obedience. God never wants you to obey Him when you get around to it. His commands always demand an immediate obedience. Even if it’s only a simple “Yes Lord”, there is something we must do in the now to show our obedience to God.

So Simon Peter argues with Jesus a little bit. He tells Jesus how much he has worked. Peter, would you like some cheese with that “whine?”

How many of us, when given a job to do by God, begin to tell Him how tired we are, and how busy we are, and we need time “for me?”

Come on now, be honest. We don’t understand that in every act of obedience to God there is a miracle in some form. It might come later in the form of favor with a creditor, or with a boss, or an open door to work for a great ministry. Of course, if work is a problem for you on this level, working for a great ministry is probably far from your goals. Anyway, God is wanting to reward Peter right now, but Peter is going to have to exert a little effort to get his blessing. He probably wants Jesus to know how much work he has already done for him, what with taking him out a little ways to let him preach from his boat. “Now you want me to work some more, Jesus? I’m tired. I worked all night.” Peter grudgingly obeys God.

And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 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. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”
Luke 5:6-8

Well, well, well. What do you know?

Just as Jesus said, they caught many fish. So many, in fact, that they have to call their friends to bring the companion boat to handle the overflow. They have met El Shaddai, the God who is way too big, more than enough. God has given them a miracle catch. Should they have had any fear?

Of course not, but they did. This fear and laziness almost cost them the miracle. This gift is called the working of miracles. Remember that. There is work involved in obtaining every miracle. Sometimes there is heavy toil, but is it worth it?

You have to decide for yourself. Everyone wants a miracle to happen. Miracles don’t just “happen.” They require that some person work them. How many really desire to work with God to get their miracle?

How many miracles lie un-gathered because of excuses?

How many times has God provided the means for you to get what you have been praying for, but it comes with sweat needing to be invested?

Are you like the impotent man who told Jesus he’d like to be made whole, but he has no man to do it for him?

Well, Peter repented quickly. When he saw that Jesus knew what He was talking about, he felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit. He recognized his sinfulness next to Jesus’ holiness. Miracles also makes this evident. We recognize the holiness of God when the anointing and results of a miracle show up. Miracles tend to let us know who God is, especially in comparison to us as simple, fleshly human beings. Miracles leave a mark on the people involved in them.

When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.
Luke 5:8-11

Jesus tells them the reason for the miracle. Jesus is showing them a vision of their ministry. He wants them to know that with the same anointing that it took to catch an enormous number of fish, Jesus would commission them to catch men. I’m sure they don’t know the full extent of His saying, but they are not going to make the same mistake twice. They made up their minds to follow Him without excuses, complaints, or negative feelings. They are repentant now, and desire another chance to show the Master that they appreciate Him.

Many people mistakenly think that they are losing something when they give to God. This story shows that the opposite is true. God will never pay you less for serving Him than you received in your own power. He always brings an increase. What has God told you to do?

How long ago did He tell you to do it?

When are you going to obey Him?

Your miracle will come through your obedience and work for God.