Jesus In Your Boat?
1 And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,
2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.
3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.
8 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 was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:
10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
11 And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.
Jesus is always looking for a ‘boat’ – a heart, a life, a ministry, a business, a family, a church, a nation to enter into.
Allowing Jesus into his boat, gave Peter a life-changing encounter with the Captain of our Salvation.
What happens when the Captain of our Salvation comes into the boat of our lives?
I. He does a new thing in our lives –
A new thing is God changing a present situation or condition.
It is God changing the way things are or have been for you.
Before Jesus entered Peter’s boat, Peter’s condition was: he had “toiled all night and caught nothing”.
He had put in so much effort, but there was no result.
When Jesus entered Peter’s boat, the situation changed.
The fishing report changed from “we have caught nothing,” to “we have a great number of fish that our nets can’t even contain them.”
I pray that as Jesus enters into the boat of your life, your present situation will change.
Peter had toiled, labored, and tried so hard, yet no change, no improvement, but with Jesus in His boat, the situation turned around because no matter how bad or hopeless a situation is Jesus can turn things around.
He can bring about a radical change or transformation.
A new thing is God showing up in something you have been doing for years and giving you a totally new experience.
That night wasn’t Peter’s first night fishing, but it was the first time in all Peter’s years of fishing that he caught this number of fish.
What Peter saw and experienced that day, was a totally new experience for Peter in his fishing career.
For Jesus to do a new thing in our lives, we must make the boat of our life available for His use.
We all desire and pray for something new; for a turnaround for good in our lives, but is your life available for the Lord?
Jesus entered Peter’s boat because He was looking for a boat to use.
3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. (Luke 5:3)
Whatever we give to God, He will use for His glory.
God is a Master at taking the ordinary and using it for the extraordinary.
He took Peter’s boat and used it as a pulpit.
He took Moses’ rod and used it to perform great signs and wonders in Egypt.
He took the sling and stone in David’s hand and used it to bring down and destroy Goliath.
Then after Jesus finished using Peter’s boat to teach, the miracle-working power of God was shown in a miraculous catch of fish.
We want miracles, and we want a new thing, but we are not ready to make our boat; our home, our business, our time, our talents, skills, and abilities available for God’s use.
For some of us, we allow Jesus into the boat of our life but give Him ‘terms and conditions’ on how to use our boat.
Conditions like: my boat is only available for Sunday mornings during Church Service, any time after that you can’t use my boat.
Peter didn’t give Jesus ‘terms and conditions’.
He allowed Jesus to use his boat for His own purpose and for however long Jesus wanted to.
There were no interruptions while Jesus was teaching…
No please excuse me, I need to be somewhere else.
Peter allowed Jesus to have His way.
For the new to come, for God to move us to the next level, for our miracle to come, and for the power of God to fill our lives like never before…
We must be ready to allow God to alter, disrupt and disorganize our own plans, agenda, way of thinking, customs and traditions.
Interestingly, when Jesus got into Peter’s boat, He didn’t do the usual things people use boats for.
Jesus didn’t enter Peter’s boat and the first thing He starts to do is fish, which boats are usually used for.
Jesus didn’t enter into the boat and use it as a means of transportation to get to another location.
He didn’t enter the boat and use it for a boat ride, to relax, for sightseeing, and all the usual things boats are used for.
Jesus entered Peter’s boat and steps out of the norm;
He turns Peter’s boat into a pulpit.
I can imagine that if it were you and I, we would have said things like sorry, this boat is for fishing not for teaching.
I have never used my boat for teaching nor do any of the fishermen around here use their boats for teaching.
But Peter was open to a new way of doing things with his boat, different from what he had been used to.
No wonder he had such a miraculous catch of fish.
How about you and me?
Can Jesus shake and change our plans and schedule?
Can He use our boats for something that doesn’t fit into the customs and traditions of men?
I pray that today as Jesus comes into the boat of our lives, fresh grace to allow Jesus to have His way in our lives comes upon each and every one of us.
II. He shows us that He knows and cares about all our struggles
Before Jesus came into Peter’s boat, Peter had struggled hard and long to catch fish.
When Jesus entered his boat, Jesus didn’t say anything about this.
He just began to teach.
Then when He was through teaching, without Peter making any mention of how he had struggled all night to catch fish, Jesus addressed the need, and struggle in Peter’s life.
He says “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch” (Luke 5:4).
Many times it appears that God isn’t saying or doing anything about our needs and struggles.
But even when He hasn’t said a thing, even when the situation hasn’t changed, Jesus knows all about it and at the appropriate time He will attend to it.
The first thing we want when Jesus enters our boat is to immediately attend to our needs and our struggles, to turn things around.
Even though Jesus knew Peter had toiled all night and caught nothing, this wasn’t the first thing Jesus attended to when He entered Peter’s boat.
Even though He knew there was no fish, no food, for Peter to take home that day, this wasn’t the first thing Jesus addressed when He entered Peter’s boat.
No wonder Matthew 6:33 tells us “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
This means don’t seek first miracles, blessings, breakthroughs, and testimonies.
First, open the boat of your life to the Lord, let Him use your boat;
Let Him use your life for the work and purpose of the Kingdom of God, and all these things; all your needs will be addressed and attended to.
When it appears like the Lord isn’t saying anything about what you are going through,
He is actually planning something big for you.
God knows those areas of our lives where we have toiled all night and caught nothing.
He knows those times when we are ‘washing our nets’; when we have had a bad day, are weak, tired, frustrated from toiling all night and catching nothing,
He knows when we are having low sales, no sales, or no promotion.
He knows those times when we are worried that we caught nothing, we have no fish to take home; have no food at home, or no money in our account to pay our bills.
He may not say anything about it, but He knows.
It may look like He isn’t doing anything about it, but He is.
He is actually planning something big for us, something really amazing concerning that need, situation, or issue in our lives.
We just need to trust Him and obey Him totally and completely.
When Jesus got into Peter’s boat, He gave Peter two instructions.
The first was “Put out a little from the land” (Luke 5:3), and Peter obeyed.
When Jesus finished teaching, He gave Peter another instruction “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch” (Luke 5:4) and Peter obeyed.
Some of us keep struggling with the same problem, habit, or difficulty because we are not ready and willing to do what God tells us to do to get out of the mess we are in.
We don’t obey divine instructions because they don’t make sense to us, we can’t see how they will work, they aren’t popular, or we fear what people will say or do to us when we follow the instruction.
If we can get to the point where we can say…
“Since it is You Lord speaking…
Even if it doesn’t make sense to the human mind…
Even if I can’t see the logic in doing it, I will trust and obey You.
Even if people turn away from me, don’t support me, or make fun of me, I will still trust and obey You.
It is at this point of surrender to God’s Word and instruction that we are ready for a ‘net-breaking testimony’.
Peter’s obedience that day was total and complete.
He didn’t obey Jesus partially.
He didn’t obey the first instruction and then ignore the second.
Or obey the second and ignore the first.
Some of us obey God’s instruction on paying tithes, and dressing modestly, but ignore other instructions like “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven (Luke 6:37).
We pick the instructions we like, the ones that are comfortable and convenient for us.
God knows all our needs, He knows all our weaknesses and struggles and wants to give us victory in these areas.
When He gives us our own ‘put out a little from the land’ instruction and ‘launch out into the deep’ instruction, we must be willing and obedient.Complete obedience…
Not partial obedience…
Not halfhearted obedience…
When we obey it puts us in and positions us to receive uncommon blessings and turns our struggles and failures into major testimonies.
Another important benefit of having Jesus in the boat of our lives is that
III. We see the Lord in His power and glory
There’s a big difference between seeing a consultant and seeing the Lord.
There is a big difference between seeing a specialist and seeing the Lord.
When we see Jesus like Isaiah saw the Lord in Isaiah 6:1-3 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
When Isaiah saw the Lord’s glory, he said “Woe to me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts” (Isaiah 6:5).
When Peter saw the power of God to change a situation from nothing to more than enough he fell down at Jesus’ knees saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord” (Luke 5:8)!
You can’t behold the glory and power of God and it means nothing to you.
If you are comfortable with sin, then maybe you should ask yourself who and what do I see?
Am I so busy with my office work or business that all I see day in and day out are business associates and colleagues?
Am I so engrossed with my family that all I see and think about is my spouse and children?
Is coming to church just one of those things I do routinely that all I see Sunday after Sunday are the praise singers and preachers?
Have I allowed Jesus to enter into my boat, and spend quality time with me in my boat, so I can see Him clearly and know Him dearly, so I have an encounter with Him that changes my heart and my life?
I pray that Jesus will enter into the boat of our lives today so that we all, with unveiled face, shall behold as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, and be transformed into the same image from glory to glory.
IV. He blesses us and makes our lives a blessing
Jesus can’t enter into the boat of your life and you not be blessed.
One of the reasons why Jesus died for us was to redeem us from every curse and bring us into a blessed and fruitful life.
In John 10:10, Jesus says “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly”.
He gives abundant blessings like He gave Peter an abundant number of fish.
Peter was surrounded by blessings on all sides; fish that were too much for him.
Laboring in vain and fruitless efforts were terminated when Jesus entered Peter’s boat.
Curses are broken and annulled when Jesus is in the boat of our lives.
“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (Galatians 3:13-14).
Peter operated under the blessings of God free from every curse when Jesus entered his boat.
No devil, demon, or evil curse, covenant, enchantment, or spell could delay or stand in the way of Peter being blessed when Jesus was in his boat.
Blessings replace curses when Jesus is in the boat of our lives.
Outstanding success replaces failure.
Good health replaces sickness.
Sound mind replaces confusion.
Fruitfulness replaces barrenness.
Accelerated progress replaces stagnation.
May every curse and barrier to our being blessed give way as Jesus enters into the boat of our lives.
There were so many fish Peter had to call for other boats to come and help with the fish.
When you are blessed God is going to bless those around you as well.
There’s real danger out there and the worst thing that can happen to anyone is to sail through life without Jesus in the boat of your life.
If Jesus is not in the boat of your life, allow Him in today for your own safety.
The Captain of your Salvation is ready to sail with you and use the boat of your life to showcase the awesome power and glory of God.
If He is already in the boat of your life, but you aren’t allowing Him to have His way, today He wants you to hand over the steering wheel to Him so He can take you to the ‘harbor’ God has prepared for you;
God wants to take you to the place and heights He has prepared for you.