Are You Fishing on the Wrong Side of the Boat?
"You have sown much, and bring in little; you eat but do not have enough; you drink but you are not filled with drink; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes." Haggai 1:6
In this story Jesus is teaching a spiritual lesson to His disciples about fishing on the wrong side of the boat, in other words being led by His Spirit will result in a catch and being led by your own understanding won't!
The sons of God are led by the Spirit of God and not by the lust of the flesh. Jesus was training His newly chosen disciples to hear and obey God. Peter, obviously frustrated and angry about the death of his Master decided to go fishing and the disciples went with him. They fished all night as the scriptures say, but caught nothing. In the morning Jesus appeared on the beach calling out to them concerning their catch, but they had nothing to show for their effort.
"Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." John 21:6
It is amazing how many miracles Jesus performed on and around water and fishing. It is also amazing how one word from Jesus can change the entire atmosphere of a situation. From fishing all night with out catching a single fish, to hauling in a net of 153 is what one revelation from God can accomplish.
I have to believe Jesus was amused at this fishing expedition as He watched from the beach. Here are the pillars of His new church, called to be fishers of men, some even called out of the commercial fishing business struggling to catch one little minnow. Human nature is a funny thing when men follow their own understanding and although Jesus knew everything would turn out alright, He made this into a teaching on being led by His Spirit and obeying His voice.
Jesus called His disciples to breakfast and began to question Peter about His love and allegiance for Him, Peter answered and said that he loved Him more than the others. After Jesus repeated Himself to Peter several times asking about His love and telling him to feed His sheep, He made an interesting statement concerning the complete surrender of ones life, even to death.
" Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish." John 21:18
Jesus spoke to Peter about his physical death that he would endure in the coming future, but also of our spiritual deaths in regards to our laying down our life for the Lord. He said when you were young you went wherever you wished, but when you are old another will gird you. When we become new Christians we go and do what we please but as we grow older in the Lord we are constrained by His Spirit. In other words we submit to be led by Holy Spirit.
For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. Romans 8:13
LED BY THE SPIRIT
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. Romans 8:14
To be led by the Spirit is likened to a blind man with a seeing eye dog, he cannot see where he is going but trusts in his faithful friend to get him to his destination. So it is with Holy Spirit, we have to trust His judgment in all things in order to be led. The flesh, or carnal nature of man will always choose to be led by his own understanding or logic in a matter and the results will always be the same, fishing on the wrong side of the boat!
Learning to walk in the Spirit takes a willingness to please God by constantly choosing His path rather than ours. The Lord is our Shepherd and as sheep we learn to be led by hearing His voice, trusting His judgment, and by obeying His Spirit. He will never make us do anything and we can always go our own way, but just as Peter and the boys found out, its better to listen to Jesus than fish all night for nothing.
I say then: Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things you wish. Galatians 5:16,17
TRUST IN THE LORD
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5,6
This was the first word God ever spoke into my heart almost thirty one years ago. As a brand new creation in Christ, God was already teaching me to follow Him. Through many trials and mistakes, some pretty bad ones, and some even grave error in my judgment, nonetheless He never gave up on me. My older brother always says: "Too soon old, too late smart!" How true.
Walking in the Spirit and being led by the Spirit is like learning to snow ski, something I was never good at, although I tried, I could never master it because of my own understanding. I grew up on a lake and learned to water ski with my next door neighbors. Being young and agile helped greatly, and skiing with a pretty girl also added to my skill. But water skiing is nothing like snow skiing, something I learned almost twenty years later.
The very first time I tried it I was at a beginners slope in Colorado with a friend who also had never skied on snow. We rejected the lessons because we thought because we were good water skiers we had it made and we did until we looked at each other barreling down the slope towards the parking lot when my friend exclaimed to me, how do you stop? I said, I don't know and so we both crashed and burned in a pile, because we leaned on our understanding of something we knew nothing about.
Are you fishing on the wrong side of the boat, and how does one know when he is? Being successful in the world, making a lot of money, and even having a large and prosperous church or ministry does not necessarily mean that you are in the will of God. When you are being led, there is a quiet peace, even in the midst of the storms of life. There is no pressure or anxiousness to succeed or perform, just waiting on Holy Spirit to give direction and comfort knowing that God is in total control of your life.
Peter and the disciples heard the Lord and proceeded in the path that was laid out for them and they received a great harvest of souls; if they had followed their instincts and understanding they might have missed the divine plan that God had set forth for them and the church of Jesus Christ would have never been birthed.
If you want to change the path you are on and begin fishing on the right side of the boat, first repent of running your own life, surrender to the leading of the Holy Spirit and begin to pray and study God's word, meditating on His divine plan for you. Begin a quiet time with God every day coming to Him as a child to receive direction, comfort and wisdom and as you do, the peace of God will begin to fill your heart. May the Lord fill your nets with a catch!
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper. Psalm 1:1-3
Raising Up Godly Leaders for the Church
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