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July 31, 2013

Launch Out - Be Transformed

One month of blog posts complete! Its been challenging, but worth the effort.

Luke 5:4 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.”

We talked about the cause and effect pattern that when Peter obeyed the Lord and launched out into the sea, they experienced a miracle. Peter responded with astonishment and a realization that He was a sinful man in need of a Savior. Taking the cause and effect literary comparison a little farther, we see that the effect of the miracle was to bring about a transformation in Peter which then led him to immediately leave everything to follow Jesus. Sometimes we stop at the first step and never obey the crazy things the Lord asks of us and like the seed that does not fall into the ground we remain the same. Sometimes we're desperately looking for a miracle so we obey, but all we see is the benefit for ourselves. These fish were money. These men usually fished at night and sold their fish in the morning, but they were out all night with nothing to show for it. Peter could have been celebrating the big pay check that was coming. We can easily turn a miracle into a self focused moment and miss what God is trying to do. God always intends to bring about a spiritual transformation.

In this moment Peter experiences a transformation of his heart and mind. The enormity of this moment, standing before a holy and righteous Lord, brings conviction and a realignment to the purposes of the Kingdom. He is then ready to be called. This is important because we can pray for God's will all we want, we can serve in church and do a lot of good, but until we experience transformation, nothing has changed and we're still not ready. We blame God for not speaking, but in our own unwillingness to step out in faith we block the answer from coming. We never experience the resurrected life and fullness in Christ that were we're born for because again like the seed we're unwilling to fall into the ground and die - so we remain unchanged. Launching out meant Peter would follow Jesus, hear his teaching, live with Him, eat with Him, and see the miracles first hand. It meant He would be present on the mount of transfiguration, walk on water, and see the dead raised to life. Launching out meant that in a few years, Peter would receive the fire from heaven and stand up among the crowds and preach the gospel. It meant that he would be counted among those who were turning the world upside down. Obedience positions us to receive from the Lord not just the miracle of fish, but eternal truth and riches in Jesus Christ.

Be willing to do what it takes to position yourself for God's plan. Be willing to say Yes Lord. Be willing to launch out into the deep at the word of the Lord. Be willing to be transformed. In short - Be a Disciple!