“Put out into deep water” (Luke 5: 4)
What the church desperately needs are people engaged in Christ’s service who are prepared to go deep with God. Where are you in your life and service at the present time? Exhausted, frustrated, dispirited, angry? Maybe you look back to the start of your Christian service and remember your enthusiasm, your keen sense of calling and your vibrant optimism. People were going to hang on to your every word and lives were going to be transformed. You were going to help build up the body of Christ and mobilise believers to evangelise the world.
But the years have gone by and the stark reality of the difficulties and frustrations of service have set in and you have become disillusioned by the church hierarchy, difficult and fractious members and the constant demands of serving others.
A colleague in pastoral ministry recently said to me, “People don’t realise how demanding ministry is. Sometimes I just feel like walking away from it all.” Perhaps you feel that way, too.
Is there an answer to dashed hopes, spiritual lethargy, lost vision and fruitlessness?
Put out into deep water!
Simon Peter and his fishing partners had spent the night in fruitless fishing. They had toiled long and hard and hadn’t caught anything (Luke 5: 5). Jesus told Simon to put out into deep water and let down their nets for a catch (v 4). Maybe Simon thought, what does Jesus know about fishing? After all he is a carpenter, isn’t he? Maybe just to get Jesus off his back, he reluctantly agreed. Of course, we know the rest of the story – two boats so crammed with fish that they began to sink.
I want to encourage you to put out into deep water into:
God Himself – Romans 11:33-36.
God’s love – Ephesians 3: 17-19.
Prayer – Psalm 42: 7 (read the whole Psalm).
God’s Word – Colossians 3: 16.
Ezekiel, the Old Testament prophet, pictured water coming out from under the threshold of the temple. As the water flowed, it got deeper and deeper, first a trickle, then ankle – deep, then knee – deep, then waist – deep, then deep enough to swim in. The water symbolises God’s life, and the blessings that flow from His throne. Most of Ezekiel 47 is a picture of life, fruitfulness, large numbers of fish, nourishment and healing. Isn’t that what we long for?
“O God, I’m so dry and disillusioned. Take me deeper into you, heal me and bring new life into me and my service, through Jesus Christ our Lord”. Amen
Readings: Luke 5:1-11 and Ezekiel 47:1-12