During my prayer time one day this week I was led to a passage of Scripture. It was Luke 5:1-11, when Jesus teaches from the boat and calls Peter, James and John to follow Him. Before He does that though, Jesus gives them a dramatic call to purpose through a simple opportunity. (I sat on it a few days thinking it was only a lesson for me…but, no. I get to share it with you!)
These men were fishermen who labored all night and caught nothing. They were washing their nets, a sign that they were done for now. Jesus tells them to lower their nets again. They were tired, and sometimes we paint them as dejected because they caught no fish. Jesus speaks. They bring up so much fish that they need help from partners in another boat. Jesus tells them not fear; just like they caught all those fish, He made it so they will “catch” people.
I want to share with you what I saw in this passage. The challenge is to see through the eyes of opportunity. Take a few minutes and read Luke 5:1-11 and consider the following–
Verses 1-3: Jesus speaks at the place of opportunity. Jesus came upon these men at the Lake of Gennesaret. The irony of their unsuccessful fishing night is that this lake has clear water and is full of fish. It took Jesus to speak (teach from the boat) and them to try again to harvest all the fish. The point: Where you hear, receive and respond to Jesus the opportunity is already present. Where He speaks IS the opportunity.
Verses 4-5: God’s Word comes to challenge us to discover the opportunity because faith considers the opportunity and responds. Faith views previous labor as a motivator, not an excuse. Jesus told Peter to lower his net again for a big catch. In this season, God is encouraging some of us to repeat a thing that’s recently “failed.” The point: when God comes to you after a failure (real or perceived), He gives an opportunity for growth.
Verses 6-7: Only those who are out in the opportunity with you and see the need will be able to help seize it. The boat was a tool of opportunity on the lake (place of opportunity). When they caught the fish, it was the men in another boat who helped them (not someone from the shore). The point: some people are not the opportunity, but object lessons in the experience God is showing them and you. Do not come away from the experience thinking it was about connecting with a person. The Lord is calling you.
Verses 8-10: Awareness and acknowledgement of God’s opportunity creates a turning. Peter, James and John were surprised at the catch, and each man saw himself better in light of the opportunity. When they acknowledged Jesus’ greatness through the catch they could not deny, then the realized they had a choice to make. God’s Word speaks to your future. The point: Repentance is needed because a new way is needed…when we finally see the opportunity that has been there all along.
Verse 11: Understand that taking up the opportunity requires a move from the place to the execution of the opportunity. It turned out Jesus was not “blessing their business”, but He was opening them up to a greater reality. The point: God’s Word provokes obedience (movement). It is not for us to stay in the place and on the boat and marvel so long at the “catch” that we miss our chance to follow Him to change. He’s ready for you to make a greater impact; the call is beyond you to become “fishers of men”.
Closing: God is speaking to us at dead-end places of opportunity. He is challenging us to believe His word. We have received all we can at our present level. The fruitful place is not producing fruit for us, so in a supernatural burst of “fish” God causes us to see the closure of one phase and the beautiful opening of another.
While He speaks to you in this season, consider where He speaks — it will be a place you have known to bring you support because of your gift or skill or talent. Consider the container for the experience — it will be a common place where you toil often. Then see through the eyes of opportunity — make the move He is calling you to make.
Amen? Amen! God bless you, kingdom queens.