WHEN IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE
Updated: Oct 22, 2020
I was significantly struck by the child-like words of Peter in Luke 4:5 "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so I will let down the nets."
I'm sure you know the scene. Jesus is teaching the crowds from Peter's boat. As the teaching ends, Jesus has works to do! It had been a bad night for fishing and probably a late one! But, looking for faith Jesus tells Peter to do what doesn't make sense to the experienced fisherman.
To put out into deep water and let down the nets for a catch in the morning, when the best fishing was normally at night was unusual. That was one thing. On top of that, all of the fish seemed to have vanished in recent hours which added to the confusion; especially as the nets would need cleaning again afterwards.
Here's a very important question: How do we respond when Jesus asks us to do something that doesn't make any sense?
One response is to remember times when we thought God was saying to go do something; and that it maybe didn't pan out like we hoped. So it's there nagging in the back of our minds, holding us back.
Another response is to think ahead to the outcome and wonder what is meant to happen if we do what Jesus is asking of us; second guessing God's moves. We can also wonder if Jesus is actually asking us to do this? Is He actually asking ME to do it?
Some are put off from going for it, or will delay obeying if something doesn't make sense. They have to work it out first. It can be an insurmountable stumbling block for some. However this is a particularly important hurdle that must be overcome by those with prophetic gifts, for example. We often want to know the "why?" before we risk making a fool of ourselves.
Yet the fact that it doesn't make sense is actually the component that needs to be there; otherwise faith is unlikely to be produced for stepping out into the unknown. Of course we know what we should do! That is always helpful after the event... not!
What are the things that God is calling you to, that don't make sense at the moment?
Maybe all you have is a gut feeling? Yet you know others will require more of an explanation than that. Unfortunately in our human ways we often prefer to work hard to achieve things, yet in comparison to God's ways we'll end up as Peter saying "we've been working all night and not caught anything"! Maybe when you have to explain the unexplainable, just read out Luke 5:1-11! And let God do the rest!
The other day during a prayer session, I felt led to begin a painting. So I began blobbing paint on and it all seemed a mess. So I just kept working it for a few minutes until it gradually formed into what you can see above. It didn't make sense 'til it was all finished! Where God spoke to my heart about spreading my wings and launching out! I think God loves to work in this way, as we are His workmanship to do His works; things that if we strived to achieve would not turn out as wonderful!
Paul Martin is a youth worker and author. He has written two 40 day devotional books for young people on two key Psalms. His style is interesting an humourous, whilst getting to the core teaching of the Bible text. In addition to the devotions, the books also contain pages called "prayer spaces" on which to reflect with God and journal thoughts that come to mind. Click on the picture below for some samples from the books.