Friday morning, I woke, and I read a day out of “The Book of Mysteries,” by Jonathan Cahn. It was day 48, and the title was “Into the Deep.” The teacher character in the book spoke of Luke 5:5-11 where Jesus was calling his first disciples.
As I read the devotional in Jonathan Kahn’s book and then the scripture he drew his thoughts from initially I go a different perspective.
The scripture that the teacher based his teaching on was Luke 5:3-11. In it Luke relayed a story of a time when Jesus was teaching a crowd on the edge of “the lake of Gennesaret,” and he got into Simon Peter’s boat and asked him to put out a bit from shore, and Jesus taught from the boat. When Jesus had finished teaching, he told Peter how to fish.
Luke 5:3-11 (ESV)
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.” 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.
You could tell by Simon Peter’s tone that he was not eager to drop those nets he had just cleaned, but he did, and Jesus blessed them. They not only caught fish, they nearly sank their boat, ruined their nets, and sank the boats that came to help. When they got to shore they left everything to follow Jesus.
Now I read this more than a couple times over the last three days; I did not get it. I saw the act of dropping the nets as an act of obedience. Jonathan Cahn explained it as moving to the deep because that was where the most blessings were… at least that was my initial thought. But the more I meditated on it, the more my perspectives changed.
My thoughts went from one of simply trust and obedience to faith and from faith a deeper relationship with God.
I read all the reference passages included with the daily reading focused on Luke 5:3-11. It also included Genesis 49:25, 1 Corinthians 2:10-13 and as I pondered his thoughts I added 2 Timothy 1:6-7 and Romans 8:14-17
1 Corinthians 2:10-13
I read 1 Corinthians 2, and I struggled a bit with understanding it and how it related to the deep relationship. But I read past 13 through verse 16.
1 Corinthians 2:10-16 (ESV)
10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
As I read, I prayed and asked for guidance. My head and heart both ached at times as I tried to grasp this teaching. But what I realized is the great gift that we have in the indwelling Holy Spirit. Without Him, we would be lost, and the Word of God would often be gibberish.
The Holy Spirit came when we gave our life to Christ Jesus. We surrendered our will to Him. This gift is a gift of courage that is ours and is not meant to be squandered staying close to the shore but shared in the deep water without fear. We are not alone in this task the Holy Spirit gives us the strength to not only stay afloat but not fear the deep. It brought to mind for me two other passages. Romans 8:14-17 and 2 Timothy 1:6-7
I love these two passages from Romans and 2 Timothy. They remind me of who I am and the gift that I have been given.
Romans 8:14-17 (ESV)
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
2 Timothy 1:6-7 (ESV)
6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Now I ponder these two passages, and they speak of the kind of Spirit we received. In Romans, it was a Spirit of adoption, not slavery or fear. In 2 Timothy, it was a Spirit of power not of fear, but there was a condition to both. We had to suffer with Christ so that we may also be glorified with Him in Romans. In 2 Timothy we must fan the flame of the gift from God to assure we benefit from the gifts God gave us. As I considered these passages I thought about the reference to the deep and the blessings found there.
Over the past few days, I have just mulled these things over. I considered all kinds of thoughts from prayer to study of the Word. I thought about writing this blog and sharing the Gospel. But I had never really thought about blessings associated with the deep. I thought of it more as growing than a blessing, but that changed this weekend.
The original title for this blog post was going to be “Trust and Obedience” because that is more of what I saw when I initially read these passages, but as you can see it has been replaced with “Going Deep”. The more I read the piece by Jonathan Cahn and read God’s Word and Prayed the more I realized what blessings are found by searching the deep water. Not searching it FOR blessings but searching it to be closer to God.
It is not enough to hang out along the shore and wade in only deep enough to be sure that our head never gets under water. There is an illusion that we are safer there because no sharks will come get us in the shallows, but that is not true. Besides that, we are defining our safe zone rather than trusting the Lord. We are sure if we just stay in the shallows we will be safe. If we always keep our head above the water, we will be safe. But that is a deception from the adversary.
Never getting our hair wet we will never see the beauty of God’s Word that rests just below the surface. Never getting our hair wet we will never throw all our trust in prayer and see what He will do for us. There is far more danger in the shallows alone than in the deep water held by God.
One More Thing
This surrender is not always easy. It can be a radical change. But Jesus died for us and took away our sin and the method He used far exceeds the definition of radical. We are not alone. The Lord is with us and what He has to show us is more beautiful than our minds can grasp, but it is in the deep water, and we must trust Him enough to go where we cannot touch the bottom.
Father God, Thank you for everything. It is the only word that works for me this morning. I praise You for keeping me on track and reminding me that the joy and peace come in knowing You and sharing our good Word with others. Thank you for the courage and strength of the indwelling Holy Spirit. I am overwhelmed by His guidance and strength to direct my actions and give me the courage to obey. I pray all this in Jesus name, Amen