Welcome to a brand new glorious year, 2018.
This year God’s desire for us as a Church is to dig deeper into Him, His Word, His will, and a living and dynamic relationship with the precious Holy Spirit. The Lord is our treasure and pearl of great price that we have to go after this year at all costs.
Matthew 13: 44 - 46
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
There is a purpose for the Lord calling us to dig deeper this year. One, so that we will come to know Him like we have never done for ourselves. Two, so that following that we can launch out into the deep as He commands us to so we can reap a mighty awesome harvest.
"So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.
When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”
But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless, at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signalled 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. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”
The scripture tells us there were two boats on the shore, but Jesus chose Peter’s boat. I have always wondered why Peter’s. He is the God of one person at a time. It is also really important to note that the Bible did not say anything about Jesus asking Peter for permission to use his boat.
"Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat."
1. He did not ask Peter about what had happened the night before or how he felt.
2. Jesus saw the need, required a boat and stepped into Peter’s boat. Peter had no say in what Jesus was about to do.
3. Peter did not challenge Jesus. He simply obeyed and responded to Jesus’ request.
4. Peter did not try to dissuade Jesus or complain about his lack of success the night before.
This year the same way Jesus required Peter’s boat for the Kingdom’s business, so also He requires you and what is yours because He wants you to launch out into the deep for a net breaking harvest. Will you make yourself and all that belongs to you available to Him?
Jesus stepped into Peter’s boat not oblivious of Peter’s lack of catch or oblivious of Peter’s feelings. Jesus knew Peter’s frustration.
However God’s Word to us today is found in the gospel of Mathew 6:31-32.
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.”
God knows your needs. He knows your challenges. What is it that you are going through that He does not know? Jesus is concerned about everything you are facing today. He is concerned about your circumstances. He is concerned about your situation. He is concerned about you and your family. Be rest assured He is in full control. Scripture says in Psalm 138:8 “The Lord will perfect everything that concerns me.”
All He needs is you, your time, your possessions, your life and your all. He wants to first bring you into an intimate knowledge of who He is, His will, the inheritance He has for you, and His plans for your life, and then use you in extraordinary ways.
Jesus needed Peter’s boat because there were people who needed to hear His Word. There were people who wanted to hear His message and He needed a platform. Peter’s fishing career had to take a back seat. Can what you have become Jesus’ platform of salvation, healing, restoration, deliverance, provision? Can your life and all that is yours become Jesus’ platform to spread the good news? Can your ambition take a back seat so Jesus can be heard and people be introduced to all the Kingdom of God has to offer? Can your desires be laid on the altar so that your life can a vehicle of unimaginable blessing to others?
An interesting scripture for is found in Acts 16:6-9 in which Paul’s ministry was subjected to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
“Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.”
Scripture says that Paul tried to go into Bithynia, but The Spirit did not allow them. He had to succumb to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Give room to the Holy Spirit this year to lead and guide you. Don’t lead yourself, let the Holy Spirit lead you.
You may like Peter have toiled all night, prayed all night, gave your all and now you are tired. Jesus is giving you a life line and His instructions to you in 2018 is, “Launch into the deep”.
There are many reasons why you may not want to launch into the deep this year. It could be fear, it could be your comfort zone or disappointments. However when you hear His voice because you have given Him your time and attention, you will like Peter launch into the deep. Peter caught what He had toiled for all night, all because he allowed Jesus to direct his affairs. He allowed Jesus to speak into his situation, and despite his fears and doubts he obeyed.
I dare you in 2018 to go beyond the norm, dig deeper and launch in to the deep. Dig into the Word. Search the Scriptures. Allow the Holy Spirit to direct you. Spend time in thanksgiving, praise and worship. Become a prayer giant. Desire to grow spiritually this year. Give attention to the voice of the Good Shepherd, hear His voice and then launch into deep at His command. God is saying to us in 2018 to think big, to remove any limitation, to go away from the norm.
William Carey who was a missionary to India and translated the English Bible into Urdu, said this, “Undertake great things for God and He will do great things.” Two of our biggest fears are failure and criticism. Unfortunately, we can never overcome these fears if we do not take action. This is the time to step out of our comfort zones. Your comfort zone will lead to stagnation and stagnation is a breeding ground for frustration, depression, and anger.
In Jesus name in 2018 as you launch out following His command, your life will not be the same again. Just as from that moment, Peter’s life was never the same again.
So, people of God, your mandate this year is to DIG DEEPER and to LAUNCH OUT INTO THE DEEP. Go ahead and obey, He is with you all the way. If God be for you who can be against you?